“I don’t just want you to survive ….”

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The other day, I talked about how the stand out thing I’d learnt from Mike Ovey was to allow God to disagree with me through his word. Well, one way that God disagreed with me came through Mike’s teaching, though in this case posthumously.

After Mike’s untimely death, I remember one former student sharing that Mike had been there for them during a particularly tragic and testing time. Mike had said to them “I don’t just want to help you to survive this suffering, I want to help you to be holy in it.”

This challenged and convicted me both in terms of what I myself prayed for and also what I prioritised in the pastoral care of others.

Those words rung loud and clear in my metaphorical ears again at the start of the pandemic.