I actually lived in Wales as a child and I even learnt the Welsh language whilst at primary school.
The fact that I can only remember ‘Bore da’ and ‘Diolch yn fawr’ (okay, I confess that I had to look up how to spell that, but I can say it) doesn’t matter.
Surely the fact that I lived in Wales and can speak the language (although I’m not sure how far ‘hello/good morning’ and ‘thank you very much’ is going to get me) means I’m Welsh through and through?
Some of you may wonder why I have decided to declare that I am Welsh this morning, but those of you who watched the football last night will understand completely!
Watching the Wales vs Belgium match last night made me want to be Welsh and this got me thinking about allegiances and loyalty.
True loyalty is something that should supersede circumstances.
If I supported England a few weeks ago when we were unbeaten in qualifying for Euro 2016, then surely I should continue to support them now after they have been knocked out?
When my family moved from Wales, we went to live in Wolverhampton (hang on, isn’t that where Ashley Williams (the Wales captain) was born?). I spent my teenage years in Wolverhampton and so when people ask where I am from or what football team I support I say Wolverhampton. Wolverhampton Wanderers have never been consistently successful in the time I have followed them, but yet I still them.
I guess that most football fans have this, ‘that’s my team and I will support them to the end’ mentality.
The question that this train of thought has left me with is
‘How loyal am I to God?’
God does amazing things and sometimes he has answered my prayers in miraculous ways. Sometimes God does such overwhelmingly great things that I feel like the Welsh football supporters did last night as I cheer him on shouting thank you very much (wait, shouldn’t that be ‘Diolch yn fawr’?)
Sometimes life is hard and stressful. I can remember a time when I prayed asking God to cause an emotionally painful time to stop but it didn’t and another time recently when I was so encouraged by what God is doing but then I received some news that flattened me.
So, am I loyal to God just in the good times or do I follow him even when things are tough?
Does God stop being God because life is tough?
You see, God doesn’t spare us from pain, but he is with us in it.
I believe that having Jesus with us is so much more important than where we are or what we are going through but our focus is often on our circumstances rather that the Christ who is with us.
I need to confess that I am not always as loyal to God as I should be, but my desire is to be devoted to God who is with me always.
The really good news though is that even when we are not as loyal as we should be that God is still faithful to us!
If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is. (2 Timothy 2.13)