Thursday, November 17, 2011

17th November

So then, today I got my camera out and that’s how I’d like to tell my story…

I woke up and looked out from my bunk and saw the morning mist. It was like a shroud obscuring my view. And it seems to me that everything about my life has been clouded by the loss of my lovely Jane. Even after 6 months I miss her so very much. I’ve been crying on and off all day…

But then, as I broadened my vision, I realised that the sun was just beginning to make it’s mark on the new day. And the mist started to lift. More and more, whenever I look carefully, I see the hand of God at work in my life. I’m always impatient, I know, I want everything all at once, but I can see the first sign of a new hope. When the Lord transforms our lives he often begins with hope, and the certainty of hope is a cornerstone of God’s gift of faith. And faith can move any mountain.

When the sun came out I headed for the hills. Climbing higher and ever higher, seeking the summit. The path was steep, my legs and lungs protested just a little, but I continued with no real problem. My daily training over the past months has paid off; I am strong and well able to cope with such a challenge. And my walk with the Lord over the decades prepared me for the greatest test of my life… caring for my wife as she fought her battle against cancer. Now I’m ready to ‘conquer’ the next challenge. Grief is for a season, I will not allow it to cloud my future with negativity. The blessing that Jane was in my life is all that I will take forward, that and a confidence that I can handle whatever challenge life sets before me. In God’s strength of course!

But I feel just a shadow of my former self. And maybe that’s not a bad thing. God is changing me, preparing me for the totally different life that I must now live. I can no longer be the person I was. I believe a healthy marriage is such a caring, sharing relationship that over time you reach a wonderful unity which trusts and loves completely. For the foreseeable future I’m solo… that feels weird, but I have to embrace it as I can no longer live as if I were married.

Now I know that the Malvern Hills are not exactly mountains, they’re more picturesque than anything, but even with well laid pathways they still provide a 9 mile challenge. I’ve yet to make that distance in one go and today I walked to the British Camp. But it was the first steps from the car park that were the steepest and most challenging. As I got higher the route got far easier and indeed the final few yards to the summit were a simple stroll, although, as is often the case there are several crests that prove to be just stages on the way to the top. And in life there’s always going to be the next challenge, in one sense we never arrive, we’re always on a journey. But it’s nice when the uphill struggle eases a little and we can just stop for a while to enjoy the view.

From the top I looked towards the sun and captured this rather unnatural camera flare. And that has me thinking of my faith journey with Jesus Christ. The more I look to him for direction and purpose in life the more he reveals himself to me. I believe in prayer. I believe in the supernatural power of God and maybe, just maybe he’ll intervene in my life sometime very soon and change it for the better one more time, in a way that defies natural expectations!

Exodus 15:26 ‘I am the Lord who heals you.’ (NLT)

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