Old Meeting House Congregational Church (1643)

The Best Hidden Church in Norwich

blog post

As a former career coach one of the questions I asked my clients was what they hoped to gain from being coached. There was just one answer to this question but it was given in many different forms – more success. This is certainly not a bad goal but success can be found in many different ways. If your desire is to get to the top, where do you go after you have reached the top?

“Sweet success” is an oxymoron. Success can only leave us with a ravaging thirst for more and a growing sense of bitterness and despair if we fail to achieve it. We have followed emptiness, Jeremiah says, we have become empty (Jeremiah chapter 2, verse five).

There’s a reason for that emptiness. God in His infinite love and wisdom has foiled us. He has seen to it that our endeavours fail to satisfy us because He loves us too much to let us go. He will deny us and thwart us until there is nothing left but God. George MacDonald, the Scottish Congregational theologian says, “He threatened terrible things if we will not be happy.”

Perhaps you’re a cistern-digger, driven by soul-thirst. Only God can satisfy your heart. Everything else will deceive and disappoint.

But the prophet Jeremiah paints another picture: a “spring of living water” (Jeremiah 2:13), rising from hidden depths, pouring into our hearts, satisfying us even as it makes us thirst for more, always flowing in abundance, always accessible.

James Taylor, the American singer-songwriter, an unwitting trust-sayer, writes:

There’s a river running under your feet –
Under this house,
Under this street,
Straight from the heart:
Ancient and sweet,
On its way back home.

There’s a river of God’s love flowing at your feet. Put down your pick and shovel. Stoop down and drink. “Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17).

In C. S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair, Jill finds herself transported into a strange land because of her own pride and foolishness. She is lost and very thirsty, and looking for a stream. She finds a brook, but she also finds the Lion, Aslan, a symbol of Jesus, lying beside it. Aslan growls and tells her she may come and drink.

“May I…could I…would you mind going away while I drink,” said Jill.

The Lion answered with a look and a very low growl and as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realised that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

“Do you promise not to – do anything to me if I do come?” said Jill.

“I make no promise,” said the Lion.

Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.

“Do you eat girls?” she said.

“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion.

It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.

“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.

“Oh, dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”

“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.

True success can only be found in Jesus. In 2016 I hope you find true success.


Go Back


Search Blog