MOST of us will be trying to have a holiday where we don’t meet Noah floating by on an ark.
Some of us will be more successful than others but the reality is we are all grateful for having dry homes.
The apostle Paul wanted to make a trip. He had felt for ages he’d like to visit Rome; he believed in prayer and prayed often.
He prayed believing God wanted him to be in Rome.
He prayed to arrive safely and he did but, to get there, he was shipwrecked, bitten by a lethal adder and roughly treated.
On arrival, he was hit in the face and put in prison. Not the ideal way to get to your destination!
Paul didn’t mind the journey or the fact he was in prison. He just wanted to be with the Roman Christians so that he could encourage them.
They were having a rough time being persecuted by the emperor because of their faith and he wanted to give them some hope.
I’ve found what Paul found – that God will answer our prayers in ways and in timescales different from what we might expect.
But he will answer them and, like Paul, when we are in difficult straits, he will always carry us through.
We all need encouragement. That’s why Jesus said: “I will be with you always – give me your heavy burdens and I will carry them.”
Encouragement comes when we gather together. When Christians gather, everyone should give and receive.
Mutual faith isn’t about being Holy Willies, it’s about having a common purpose to encourage one another.
It’s from this encouragement that we gain strength to live life with hope, to be vulnerable, knowing we are claimed by God because of our weakness and failure, not because of our successes.
Jesus multiplied five loaves and three fishes to feed over 5000 people.
What he was given seemed insufficient. But when it was placed into his hands, it became more than enough.
If you feel right now that what you have or who you are is insufficient, then remember this: when we place ourselves and others into Jesus’ hands, he can do more than enough for us.
Rev Arthur Christie of Anstruther, Cellardyke and Kilrenny Churches, writes in the East Fife Mail.