While we have rejoiced in the safe arrival of our little grandson, Hudson, I have returned to stories of illness, sadness and concern for a number of family and friends. Sometimes life is like that – great one moment then bad, hopeless or down right disastrous the next. The events of our lives roll on with predictable unpredictability. One thing I have learned is that we should count our blessings but never take them for granted.
Just as a little aside, this was definitely the case for the maroons this week. I visited a couple of parishioners at Greenslopes Private Hospital and was travelling in a crowded lift when a wards man asked, “well what do you all reckon about tonight’s game?” The response was unanimous spoken support for Queensland and the assumption that the team would continue its winning streak… so I am not sure how those supporters coped with Queensland subsequent loss later in the day.
On a more serious not – the stories of Elijah and the widow, together with Jesus encounter with the mourning widow of Nain, reflect so many other stories in the Scriptures; it is precisely when life has been almost extinguished that new hope arrives.
Perhaps we experience few moments of new hope because we don’t often find ourselves close to the end of our energy, our material goods and our personal resources. The sad reality is that at some point we probably will… and then, how do we cope? Where do we turn and what resources are available for us to draw upon?
The widow of Zeraphath trusted Elijah and expended the last of her grain and oil in order to share with this stranger. The widow of Nain was supported by her friends and neighbours and finally by Jesus himself – And Paul, robbed of sight and the faith that had sustained him to adulthood had no where to go and no one to trust – only God. All were given new hope and sustained in newness of life!
And what of you? What of your reserves? Where do you go when the “chips are down”? Where do you find hope and meaning and life in the midst of sorrow, concern and the disasters of life? What sustains, strengthens and brings new life?
Like the maroons, we can not rest on our laurels… we need to have a back up plan and the necessary resources in reserve!
Love and blessings