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Viewpoint from Rev Steve Deall 06/08/2021

Rector of Bradwell Benefice

New Start viewpoint 06-08-2021
We moved to Bradwell just over a year ago as a family.  Just before we left, we had an extended period of hot weather. One evening we looked out of the back of our house over a large area of woodland called Cannock Chase and saw a huge plume of smoke. There was a massive wildfire sweeping through the wood destroying everything, it left total devastation.  The picture I have shared (left) was taken two weeks afterwards, it was so striking to see new life through the old devastation, it really spoke to me
I once heard someone speak of a dark time in their life.  Awful, dreadful things had happened to them and those whom they loved.    Yet, in the midst of their suffering they had been given these verses by God, “I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places” (Isaiah 45:3)
The words did not do away with the pain or magically make everything better, but they were words which sustained them on their journey; particularly that little verb ‘will’ which holds the promise for a future
Dove rightIn retrospect they saw where God had been with them holding them in the pain.  Even in the darkness God gave them treasures of deepened relationships and unexpected peace.  God uncovered for them riches in secret places
It is as though God shone a light round a dark cave showing where, even in such a place, there were gems which enabled my colleague to know that God was there; they sustained his faith until he could find a brighter path
I’m sure that everyone has found lockdown difficult; some are coping better than others.  A good friend shared this “I live with depression and there have been days when I find its tentacles reaching out for me once more.  When I look back on my previous dark episodes there were moments of utter despair but there were also flashes in the darkness that helped me to know hope, even if only for a brief moment – and hope was what I needed more than anything else”. It is amazing how the smallest acts of kindness can represent a glimmer of hope from God
God wants only the very best for us, yet sometimes life can feel very different.  You may be finding this at the moment.  It has not been easy to live life in lockdown and as we stand on the brink of something new,  It may feel like hope is buried.  Yet, in the deep dark places God is there and will bring out hope and green shoots of new life
Every blessing, Steve Deall 
also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury

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