The best laid plans don’t always work out as we all know, but when they do go wrong it seems to catch us by surprise each time. This time last year I was preparing this article expecting a hospital admission, operation, short recuperation and back into harness by the end of January, I even had my fitness weekend booked in Feb! But alas it did not go to plan. I have just come home from hospital having spent 20 weeks in and out all year.
One day a fellow patient in the ward that had become my ‘parish’ said
“This is all in God’s plan for you; He has lots of things to teach you while you are ill”
This sentiment has been given to me several times during my illness, so with as much grace as I could muster at the time, I had to disagree most strongly. Whilst I would agree I did learn a lot about myself, being patient and most of all relying on the prayers of others when unable to pray for myself – I cannot believe in a God of love who would ‘plan’ sickness in order to show me these things. For any reading this who are going through hard times of illness, bereavement or other difficulties I can assure you it has not been sent by God. There was only one perfect plan – when God sent his Son Jesus to be with us,. God only has good desires for us, as Psalm 23 tells us . Quiet waters, green pastures, shelter and a banquet are his ‘plan’. But because we live in a less than perfect world we do have to go through dark valleys as well, but still His wonderful promise is that we will not have to go there alone. In all our difficulties God is alongside to be with us in the hard times. He keeps pace with us, so that we keep going out of the darkness into the sunshine. I wish you all a very peaceful and blessed Christmas and a New Year full of promise and hope.
Thank you all for your love and prayers – keep going they are working well! And so with renewed faith I hope to be back sharing ministry with you all very soon.