Dear church and e-News friends,
“Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord Is”
– Jeremiah 17:7
One time on the great lakes in America I learned the full meaning of the popular saying ‘sailing close to the wind’.
I was ministering for a pastor friend who in his former life had been a major in the British Army. He loved extreme sports having been a paratrooper. He also owned a fast twin hull catamaran which had a very tall main sail. He persuaded me to go sailing with him-which turned out to be my very first time on a vessel like this.
As we set off for the lake he said, here’s hoping for some good wind today.We set sail at a leisurely pace, but as we went further out into this lake, which looked to me as large as an ocean, the wind picked up.
You should have seen the smile on his face.
Before I knew it, I was standing and balancing on the edge of the hull, holding onto the main sail with a rope, trying to stop the catamaran flipping over as he ‘sailed close to the wind’. We sailed at speed on a knife edge, I was using all my strength and all my weight to pull the vessel down and back into the water, whilst he was trying to catch as much wind as possible to make speed. I was around 18 feet off the water, up in the air, standing on a very wet and slippery hull, leaning backwards and outwards over the sea, it was now me hoping that we would not flip over and end up in the deep.
I survived, exhausted and very wet. I could see how he got such a rush from such a sport, but I’ve never felt the urge to do that again.
We use this saying ‘sailing close to the wind’ to mean that a person is taking unnecessary risks or living life only just within legal limits. But many of us have been sailing close to the wind as we have navigated this pandemic. It’s taken all our strength just to keep the boat of our lives balanced, afloat and moving forwards. It has taken its toll on mental health, marriages, work and business. And here we are in so many areas hitting another severe lockdown.
But we have been determined to thrive and not just survive in this season, and I am astonished at what God’s done, the testimonies that keep coming in, and the ground we have taken as a church and ministry.
We can do this, because the God within us is greater than the driving wind of problem and pressure. In fact, we can catch the wind to pick up pace and cover ground.
The key is to hold onto your hope as tight as I held onto that rope.
We have just read about the ‘blessed’ man, who according to Jeremiah has made a bold, firm, fixed decision, he has decided to make the Lord his hope. One translation says it this way, whose confidence indeed is the Lord. Confidence in God is the best antidote for the 6 deadly ‘D’s, discouragement, disappointment, disillusionment, despondency, despair and disease.
This Sunday we have a fantastic two meeting program lined up.
I’m talking on the above as I complete the present series ‘Never-ever-ever give up’, and for our 5pm/9pm meetings we have special guest Stephen Matthew. We are doing an in-depth interview with Stephen, looking at how he beat cancer, life now and the future he sees post Covid. AND he is bringing a fantastic encouraging word as we reintroduce teaching and preaching into this service. PLUS we will continue to break bread together.
Look forward to seeing you all,
Friendship cafes will continue here, albeit with some new restrictions.
We love you guys,
Andrew & Sue