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My wife and I have just got back from a trip to Salcombe in Devonshire. We were there to celebrate a golden wedding with some of our oldest friends.
It was wonderful time of reunion and reminiscence. Somehow throughout the 50 odd years we had known one another we were still able talk the hind leg off a donkey. It was a very special time.
Getting there and back on a 1,000-plus miles round trip, however, was something altogether different. As we drove south, we went through some of the harshest and most terrifying rainstorms that I have witnessed in all my years.
Then, as though some heavenly water tap was turned off, a blazing heat lamp was turned on and out of the muck and mire and whiteout conditions, we began to see the beauty of the countryside through which we had been speeding.
We had it on the way down and the way back a few days later!
My thoughts turned again to the time we had spent with our friends. When we were together, we were able to look at the variety of events and happenings that we had shared over the years – tears and laughter, joys and sorrows!
Because we love and trust one another, we have been able to take the long view and discover God’s purposes for our lives, sometimes against our natural inclinations.
This is not to say that we have not had times when we railed at God, nor are we on some triumphalist kick that says we have everything sorted. But we have often found our peace in what have been called ‘thin places’ where heaven and earth seem to get close and we can see the landscape more clearly.
It is true to say that the sunshine does not go on for ever, but then neither does the rain.
Oban Baptist Church.