Saturday, December 26, 2015

Momentary troubles

I have chosen this photo of Diane and myself with Maggie, our much loved little grandchild, during our visit to see the family in Jersey last weekend. That was the high spot of this Christmas season but it has gone downhill quite a lot since then.

I think I want to apologise, really, that I haven't been posting faith-building blog posts recently and have fallen a bit behind, but the fact is I have been - and am - quite ill.  Things began to go down a bit for me, health-wise, the day before Christmas Eve. Since then we have been in A & E twice and the doctors surgery, seeking help with a real flare-up of chronic pancreatitis. Sadly, there is not much that can be done other than hit it on the head with very strong antibiotics and heap up the morphine pain relief in the hope of getting on top of the appalling pain. That has not been successful yet, but we live in hope.

We continue to await news of our application for funding of the huge operation that could fix this all for me, but which, as far as now anyway, the States are not willing to finance. We are being told that we should hear something in January, so we need to hold on some more. Diane's dearly loved sister is seriously ill and needs constant care.  Of course, in the light of the huge toll of human suffering that there is in the world our tiny microcosm of need is minute. But to me, it all seems a bit overwhelming. The house is full of food and I can't stand it at all!  Everyone is bursting with Christmas cheer and I am far from being a bah humbug type, but it doesn't touch my deepest need.

What does touch me deeply, though, is the real point of Christmas.  Emmanuel means God is with us, in the pain, in the sickness, in the bereavement, or whatever you are facing.  And these amazing words put it all into the correct perspective: "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Cor. 4:17).

So, if Christmas cheer leaves you a bit cold today, or even disappointed, I want to recommend a relationship with the living Christ who alone gives hope to live by and if necessary, to die for!

Happy Christmas!