Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
Last Thursday Storm Doris hit our shores causing untold damage. Power lines were brought down by fallen trees. Vehicles were damaged. Rail travel was disrupted. The gale force winds overturned lorries on the open roads across Lincolnshire. Sadly, too at least one person was killed by flying debris whilst walking in the street.
With so much vitriol, incitement to racial hatred lies and deceit in the world we need something to cling on to. (And whilst we are on the subject remember Jesus said: ‘Why do you look for a speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye with never a thought for the plank in your own?’ Matthew 7:3 (RSV)) Don’t forget that this is God’s Creation we are messing up! But if: ‘ God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that everyone who has faith in Him may not perish but have eternal life’ John 3:16 RSV would He leave us without any hope at all? The answer surely must be NO and there are numerous examples in the Bible to support that statement. Perhaps the one that gives us most hope must be when we read: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ John 1:5(NIV). Whilst everyone who does evil hates the light yet evil cannot overcome that light.
Then right on cue we read: ‘ See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.12 Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land’ Song of Solomon 2:11-12 New International Version. Yes, despite the storm, the daffodils are coming into bloom in the garden and the crocuses are in full flower. Our old friends Mr and Mrs Blackbird are searching the bushes and hedges around the garden for a suitable place to build a nest. Spring is on its way. Indeed apart from marking Ash Wednesday March 1st is officially the first day of Spring. By Friday morning Storm Doris had died down and the clearing up could begin.
God in His mercy calls us out of darkness and asks us to follow Him in the light. God is with us and will walk with us through all difficulties and dangers. With God by our side who or what can overcome us? After all, as Moses said to Joshua: ‘The Lord himself goes at your head; he will be with you; he will not let you down or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged’ Deuteronomy 31:8(RSV) Hope leads to faith and however dark the world may seem a firm faith in God will see us through.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years