What would be on your wish list when choosing a friend? A good sense of humour? Having similar interests? How about someone who keeps their word? It’s easy to say, ‘I’ll pray,’ or ‘I’ll be there,’ and then completely forget to do it. What might you have promised in the past that you can follow through with today? Or what new promise can you commit to? Keeping a promise sends a powerful message: you matter to me.

Green: Who have you said you’ll pray for about a specific need? Write it down and pray morning and evening for a week; then get back in touch with them and ask if anything has changed.

Amber: Ask a friend or a member of your family if you’ve forgotten to do something for them that you promised. Make sure you put reminders into your phone or calendar if you can’t fulfil it at the moment.

Red: What new promises could you make today? You could commit to check in with your neighbours regularly, to meet (virtually) with your church to pray for the current situation and for each other, or even make promises to yourself and your household as to how you will think, act, or speak while on lockdown.

‘The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’ (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)

Last summer, I entered the ballot to run the London Marathon when a persistent colleague persuaded a group of us to enter. Because there was only a 4.2% chance of my being successful in the ballot, I firmly believed that I would not be picked. But I was.

When I first wrote this, there were 154 days left until I ran the London Marathon. As you read this today, there should have only been 29 days to go. But two weeks ago, at the end of a week where I was exhausted from training hard, I found out that the marathon had been postponed to October because of the Coronavirus.

It was crushing, to say the least. Of course it is the only option in the current circumstances. Running a marathon is no stroll in the park; in fact, it is definitely a long and gruelling journey, and that journey just got six months longer.

But a promise is a promise, right?! For the charities I’ve chosen, I’m committing to keep going until October.

When I was still in shock that I’d got through the ballot in the first place, what was beautiful was the support, faith and belief that I received from friends and family. This is a promise I want to keep because I want all those who I promised to know that they matter to me!

It reminded me how God has promised us so many things simply because we matter to him and he loves us dearly. Sometimes it may be challenging to keep a promise we make, but he has already promised that we do not need to fear as he is always with us (Isaiah 41:10). God has fulfilled so many promises in my life that he has inspired me to keep the promises I have made to friends, family and even strangers!

There is so much joy in a promise from the Lord because he always fulfils his promises. God has promised us that he will be with us along our own individual race. He will help us to get to the finish line and when we get to the end, we will look back and see how far God has taken us. We will say, ‘Wow, God really kept his promise. He is good.’

Adeoluwa works at Stewardship, supporting over 700 clients. Outside of work, he is an avid sports enthusiast and enjoys trying various sports like football and tennis.
A massive fan of music, he loves to discover new artists such as Mac Ayres, as well as learning to create music of his own. He has been training hard for the upcoming London Marathon and is running for the sickle cell society and the cold weather shelter in Islington.

Today’s charity is: Caris Cold Weather Shelter

Caris Cold Weather Shelter runs through the coldest months of the year. It’s staffed by volunteers from the community and helps to provide shelter and hospitality each year.