Once again it was Christmas in Hebron Hall. This Ladies weekend is always special, and every year the wonderful committee plan some special surprise for us.
We arrived to find beautiful Christmas trees adorning the place. And then Saturday morning I could not get out of our room because a row of Christmas stockings were strung across it, filled with loads of nick knacks which are still surprising us.
But for me the very special Christmas gift was the ministry. The joy of leaving our daily burdens and meeting up with so many friends of old and new, being spoiled with the excellent meals, and the lovely young people who served us, was all part of the of the blessing, but most of all the ministry.
Just being Sarah is an important part of her ministry. We loved hearing about her family, and especially we were touched to see a photo of a seven year old with her little sister, one arm held firmly behind her back, ashamed of her missing hand. Now she uses both arms as she plays the key board with confidence and skill, never seeking to hide it.
I’m sure Kevin (the Clown) did us good as we dissolved in laughter, even if we had already heard about his mother, leading up to his proclamation of God’s great love for us, but when Sarah announced her theme, Running the Race, and one session concerning the Marathon, I knew God had me in mind as he had moved Sarah to prepare her ministry.
Probably many of us had felt the same, but I can only share my story.
I had ben unwell of late. My beloved Brother in law would have told me I was suffering from de-o-bitis – (date of birth) – in other words ‘old age.’ I told my pastor that I felt I would have to give up my ministries, but he spoke a word from God, - though I didn’t not receive it as such at the time.
‘Pauline, I cannot allow you to do that,’ or words to that effect. I felt a little hurt, until God gave me a picture.
There I was, prostrate on the ground, having failed to make the winning post, while God’s servant was on his hands and knees, begging me to get up and assuring me that I could make it. Now here was Sarah with just the same message.
Perhaps the greatest ministry in this Well-Being conference was the worship. How we were lifted on wings as eagles, the refrains of these wonderful songs still echoing around in my head. We were so blessed by these two beautiful young women, whose whole lives are acts of worship.
But perhaps the message I hope I will never forget is this story Sarah shared.:- In London alone, with a few hours to spare, she slipped into this cheaper seat, just as the concert was about to begin. She was embarrassed that she was in view of those in the expensive seats until the conductor stepped up the podium. She was able to see the delight on his face, everything in his control. Those in the best seats saw only the back of his head, but she could see his face.We behold the face of our wonderful God. In the hard places, as well as the easy ones, let us remember that.