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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

9 August 2017: Jon Piper, Hope Church

Keep Paddling

I recently bought a tandem kayak, which I’ve taken out onto the sea with my sons. We’ve ridden some very rough seas and I’ve particularly enjoyed the feeling of being so close to the water. The power of the waves, separated from my body by a few inches of plastic, can be immense and, in rough waters, each new wave represents a new challenge to take on. Sometimes the boat will be overwhelmed and we’ll get very wet!

As I write, I can hear a television news interview, where the presenter is asking three interviewees of various high ranks in their national diplomatic classes what they believe are the greatest threats to the world. North Korea, Syria, China and Russia, or the general confusion of alliances and incidents in the middle east are all on the table. Wherever the next threat comes from, we can be certain that it will arrive.

These risks to our international stability come regularly and powerfully, like the waves under my kayak. We will usually be prepared for them as an international community, but sometimes we will be overwhelmed. Sometimes we are found ill prepared for what occurs, as we were at the start of the twentieth century and we struggle to keep our stability in choppy waters.

I’m convinced, as I read the Bible, that international instability, war and the associated pain and chaos is neither planned nor a surprise to God. Jesus, when he speaks to his disciples, tells them that there will be wars and rumours of wars. There’s an expectation that we will be washed by these waves, but Jesus’ point is that his followers shouldn’t be surprised, but should hold onto hope in him. We should keep paddling, even in choppy waters, because these waves will cease and our perseverance will be rewarded.

See photographs taken during last week's PACT Holiday Club

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