Trinity students and staff who participated in the Kokoda challenge were highlighted in the Assembly this week. To see the number of students who came forward made me proud. Not every student walked the full 96 kilometres of bush track in mountainous, muddy terrain through the cold and rainy night but they all walked a very substantial distance. I can only imagine the aching muscles and blistering feet that greeted them the following day. How wonderful to achieve what they did in the face of such a challenge!
There is a lesson in that about life. Success in life involves facing challenges, overcoming fears, learning new skills, working hard and persevering. Life is not all smooth footpaths and sunny skies. We also have to contend with the dark, rain, ruts, rocks, steep hills and deep valleys.
The Christian faith paints a very realistic picture of life. Although most of us enjoy a relatively easy life, we still face hardship, hard work, fear, obstacles, massive challenges and loss. The Bible sees this as normal. Isaiah didn’t say, “If” but “When”. What the Bible says is that God walks with us. We are never alone! We will get through it and in some way be able to see a blessing.
“Do not be afraid…
When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you;
your troubles will not overwhelm you.
When you pass through fire, you will not be burned;
the hard trials that come will not hurt you.” Isaiah 43:1-3
Pastor Michael Alfson