It’s a memory I will always treasure. I recognised the hymn ‘Blessed assurance Jesus is mine’ immediately, even though it was being sung in Croatian. It was especially appropriate because the church I was walking towards was located on the edge of a battlefield! 

It reminded me of Psalm 46 where we read ‘God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom’ (The Message Translation).

Psalm 46 was written at a time of national deliverance. It is obvious that God had intervened in the most amazing way to save His people, and the Psalmist wanted future generations to remember what God can do when things get tough.

We are clearly living in turbulent, even dangerous days, and life can often prove difficult for everyone of us, which is why it’s always good to step back and think about God’s amazing power. For if the Easter story is true there are no limits as to what God can do when He chooses to. Even death is no match for Him.

It also means that Christians can look forward to the day when this sad, broken world will be transformed, and all of His people will be resurrected to life again. Christians don’t simply believe in life after death, they believe in ‘life after life after death’. This will be the day when He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All those things will finally disappear - for ever! 

But all that belongs to the future of course and sadly until that glorious day dawns life can be full of hard knocks and even the strongest faith can be severely tested.  So how should we react when life goes ‘pear shaped’?  It seems to me that there are at least two answers to that question. Firstly, we have to confess our ignorance and admit there are times when we simply don’t know why God allows somethings to happen to us. I had to admit this recently when I was talking to a friend who is really struggling to understand all that’s happened to him recently.

But secondly, we can decide to trust God, believing that He will give us the ability to do so. Yes, there will be doubts and there will be many questions, but God asks us to keep on trusting Him despite the setbacks and in spite of the disappointments. We may not understand everything at the moment then, but one day we will. 

I will always be thankful for the friend who introduced me to a book entitled ‘No Language but a Cry’. It tells the moving story of how a psychiatrist named Richard D’Ambrosio worked with a deeply traumatised child for six long years because he believed that, given time and loving care, she would live a normal life again. He had no guarantees of course but ‘hung on in there’ until she was fully restored to complete health. 

God asks the same of us. He wants us to ‘hang on in there’ if necessary, trusting that ultimately “‘All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well'” and the empty tomb is there to prove it.