In a few days time I’ll be getting suited and booted, preparing to get married to the amazing Amy Walker.

But a few days back, I took a slow walk around a lake to think, pray, reflect and be thankful.

If 10 years ago I knew all that was to come, I probably would’ve hidden under my bed 🙂

But God never promised us a life free of pain and suffering.

In fact, Jesus promised that in this broken world – with broken people (like me) – we WILL all face trouble and tears. If I could take time back, there’s so much I would do differently – mostly to love better (which is to love selflessly and sacrificially).

But Jesus also promises to be with us in the pain. He promises to catch every tear. He promises to hear every cry of our heart. He promises to give us peace and strength and comfort in the storm if we reach out to him. He promises we WILL come through.

And that’s my story today! He has kept all those promises – and many more – even in the midst of my doubts and questions!

Eric Liddell once wrote, “Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives, but God is not helpless amongst the ruins.”

So yes, it would’ve been nice if God had just teleported me 10 years to this moment and I could’ve skipped the toughest decade of my life.

But if that would have happened, then I wouldn’t be who I am today…broken for sure, but hopefully more like Jesus. Carrying scars – absolutely! But I’ve chosen to follow the One whose hands are eternally scarred by nails that staked Him to a splintered cross (for me – for us all!).

Scars tell the story of what we have overcome! And not even the scars of death will keep us from the eternal love of God.

So keep holding on friends! Let’s love better. Let’s slow down and listen well. Let’s honour and speak well. And most of all, let’s keep holding on to the God who promised to never let go of us! The God who holds us as we wrestle with joy and pain – and live in the midst of miracle and mystery!