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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Weather forecast.

It's been an unusually 'harsh' winter here in S.W.France. 'Harsh', of course, is a relative word and, compared to what Scotland, and other parts of the UK have been experiencing, we have had it very easy! 

Today, however, has been probably the most interesting one this year. It was a beautiful day until about 1730 (that's 5.30 p.m. for those who don't use the "24 hour clock"!) and we were preparing to leave to do some shopping on our way to the rehearsal for the church worship group. Just as we were getting ready, there was a series of peals of thunder, one rolling straight into the next. Then came the first few big splats of rain. I suggested to my wife that it might be wise to take coats but, in just the minute or so that we needed to get them, those splats of rain had become hailstones - falling more thickly and heavily than I can ever recall having experienced before. The hail shower was so heavy that we waited until it had calmed down before heading out to the car.

Then, about four miles closer to Bergerac, even the rain stopped; the clouds cleared; the sun shone brilliantly; and there was a magnificent, and full, rainbow arching across the sky - a blaze of colour that was quite magnificent.

Just a couple of hours later, on our way back home, we were treated to an amazing display of lightning - both sheet and forked - that made the night sky appear like noontide. then came that rain and, by the time we had reached our home, it was falling so heavily that we decided to leave the shopping in the car, and just get into the house as quickly as possible. Yet, some twenty minutes' later, I was out clearing the car of our purchases.

That was about ninety minutes ago, and already, there are renewed flashes of lightning, and peals of thunder. The day isn't yet over!

I suppose that that is the weather for you! Forever changing. I found myself thinking of the words of the anonymous writer of the Letter to Hebrew disciples of Jesus: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (13:8). He is the One on Whom I may depend in every situation, and every circumstance. This is something that is experienced, on a daily basis, by those in what we refer to as 'the persecuted church'.For example, more than 100 disciples of Jesus have been killed in Egypt, alone, in the past year. Bombs have been detonated in church buildings; a bus travelling to a mionastery was attacked and, in the north, Daesh (IS) terrorists stormed into homes, and shot disciples of Jesus on the spot. 

Sat7 (www.sat7uk.org) tells of one woman named Nahla. Both of her daughters were killed when Daesh bombed their church building. She was recently interviewed by the TV station. Wearing a locket containing photographs of her daughters, she said: "Of course there's pain and sadness and aching. That won't go away for the rest of my life. But God will strengthen you. Take refuge in the Lord."

Nahla can only have that confidence, even in her personal tragedy, because of the unchanging nature of Almighty God, revealed most fully in the Son, Jesus.

I wonder on what, or in whom, you are placing your confidence as you read this post! Everything else will let you down. Possessions can be lost; relationships can break down; health is not guaranteed. Even if we could hold on to all of these, they only last for a time. I don't know who first made the comment that 100% of people die but, until the rapture of the church, it is unarguably true. We may postpone death; some may go to great expense having their dead bodies frozen (cryogenics) so that they may be 'unfrozen' whenever a cure for the illness/disease that killed them is found - somehow failing to understand that such a cure will be of no use to them as thay are already dead!

Jesus, is for time - and for eternity. He is the only One Who can travel with me through that experience of physical death. He is the only One Who can assure me of life that is not just 'everlasting', but that is of a quality that I cannot even begin to imagine in this life, because it is the life of Almighty God Himself.

I have walked with Him for more years, now, than I care to remember - and He has never let me down (although, sadly, I cannot say that I have never let Him down.). He is my Saviour, my Lord, my King, and my Friend. 

I commend Him to you.

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