Because we were married in a Registry Office, Jo and I decided that on our twenty fifth wedding anniversary, we would ‘borrow’ Ashburnham Parish Church and have a celebration service, and affirm our marriage vows before God, family and friends. So in January 1995, we packed out the church with Gerry and a band at the top of the steps, and Canon Sir Nicholas Rivett-Carnac officiating. He and his wife Marigold had moved into 1 The Stable when we vacated it, and were very keen on the idea of it being a very special occasion……so much so that they generously insisted on buying me a new dress and matching jacket. What a truly lovely couple!
The tailored pure wool jacket had what I took to be false pocket flaps – not surprising, as for some utterly frustrating reason, ladies clothes more often than not come without pockets. This necessitates of course the difficult decision as to where you put your handkerchief; up a sleeve, down a bra, or for the very old amongst us, up the leg of our school passion-killers! Men haven’t an inkling of what it really means being a woman. So unless we choose to live in jeans with a whole range of pockets, we’re really snookered when it comes to carrying anything on our person. Anyway, back to my beautiful jacket, which I actually wore this Sunday, and remembered how it was well over ten years before I discovered that in fact there were pockets behind the flaps, but they were very neatly and invisibly sewn up – when I quickly removed the tacking stitches, there they were, lovely deep silky pockets. I couldn’t believe it – they were there all the time! I could have been usefully using them all those years, but I just didn’t know they were there.
How often do we struggle on, battling with difficulties and frustrations, making do, putting on a good show, but feeling Jesus just isn’t there, that we’re on our own, or that we’re just not important enough? Matthew tells us that just before Jesus ascended and went back to his heavenly home, he assured his disciples that as we lived out His kingdom life, making and teaching others to be disciples, he would be with us day after day after day, right to the very end. The Amplified version says “Behold, I am with you all the days, perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion, to the very close and consummation of the age. Amen, so let it be.”
And I love Hebrews 13:5 in the same version “He God Himself has said, ‘I will not in any way fail you, nor give you up, nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake nor let you down, or relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!’” Don’t you just want to discover the truth that he’s always there with you, ready to enable you in every situation? Then undo those tacking stitches, and enjoy and live in all the resources that are waiting for you.