18 November 2008

Great Doddington - Shipwrecked!

Continuing with our recent form of meeting, this week it was Chris's turn to bring some prepared material. He decided to share more detail about the trip he and Donna had made to Israel in November 2007 and he brought a few pictures from the outward journey.

The plane had to wait about 20 minutes before it could land at Tel Aviv, Clearing Mediterranean storma heavy thunderstorm and a very wet runway meant that it was impossible to land on schedule. That first night in Israel was spent in a coastal Kibbutz hotel and the storm continued all night with torrential rain and frequent, violent bursts of thunder and lightning.

This reminded Chris of Paul's shipwreck on Malta in weather conditions that must have been much the same. At the time he was a prisoner on his way to Rome to appear before Caesar, and one of these winter storms had blown up. We read Acts 26:32-28:16 and recognised that Paul's life was very much like our own. He was trapped by circumstances, things happen and we, like Paul, must just deal with them as they arise. Paul was not anxious, he was not frustrated by the delays, he didn't complain, he just took life day by day, moment by moment, knowing that the Lord would use it all. The passage reads just like any typical diary.

As we talked and prayed we recognised that we are not special people doing special things, we are ordinary people being used in special ways. There is a world of difference.

Rachael described a vision of a waiting room. In this situation people tend to remain alone even though they are together, each one reads a magazine and they don't talk to one another or interact. But it need not be like that.

Father told us, 'Life is a place where you are waiting for me, you can interact with other people, you don't need to be alone.' As eh looked, Rachael noticed a broom in the corner, it was worn out and had only a few bristles left. And the Lord said, 'It's not fit for its purpose. If you all pull together you are like a broom with many bristles - fit for me to use.'

Jody also described a picture, she saw a specialist workshop where cellos were being made, several workers were busy there. She saw one cello neck and fingerboard which already had strings but was not yet attached to a soundbox. She realised that it can't be used to make a useful sound until the two parts are properly joined.

In the same way, we are not quite finished yet, but when we are completed and are all gathered together we'll make a wonderful orchestral sound. She understood that it's most important that we allow the necessary work to be done.

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