God has provided
Being born in a so-called Christian country to Christian parents and having attended church ever since I was in a carry cot, could have deceived me into thinking that this would automatically make me a Christian too. Wrong! In his word, the Bible, God tells us that we, as individuals, have a decision to make about the claims upon our lives of his Son, Jesus Christ.
Fortunately for me, my parents and the church youth leader made this very clear and, having seen the effect Jesus had on the life of an alcoholic Scotsman called Joe, I realised I needed to be forgiven for my sins and so asked Jesus into my life at the age of 17. The Bible makes it clear that becoming a Christian doesn’t make life a bed of roses or that it’s the end of all one’s problems. What it does say, and I can testify that it’s true, is that Jesus has promised that when we put our trust in him, he will neither leave us nor forsake us and that, whatever we go through in life, he will stick to us closer than a brother.
Nowhere in my life was that better illustrated than in the dark times of 1994-5, after my wife Sue had given birth to our daughter Angharad. Shortly after this happy event we were told Sue had terminal cancer, with a prognosis of two to nine months. In the end she held out for a year and died not long after Angharad’s first birthday. I might have been bitter about all this: after all, what did I know about bringing up a baby? And how would I manage to hold down a job at the same time? To my surprise, I never did feel bitter: we’d enjoyed 13 very happy years together, more than many couples manage these days, and now I had a beautiful daughter to care for. I just had to trust God to sort it all out and, as usual, he did.
One of the old Hebrew names given to God is Jehovah Jireh which means ‘Jehovah will provider’. I can testify that he has done that throughout my life, especially at that time, and in so many ways. For example, in terms of employment, who I married, where I should live, Sue’s family, my church family, a father who gives me great advice, even how things worked out after my very serious injury in a cycle accident three years ago, and taking voluntary redundancy last year. There’s simply not enough space here to list them all.
When I’m tapping out a rhythm on the bike on the climbs to the top of Gower with the wind and the sun in my face, I look around at God’s creation and thank him that I live in such a beautiful area. But even Gower can’t compare with the majesty of heaven which one day I shall see, thanks to what Jesus has done for me. And there I’ll spend eternity! How about you? Where will you spend your eternity?
Steve Colinese is a member of Penyrheol Community Church, Gorseinon.