Side by Side

The recent snow and frost brings beautiful frosty patterns, snow that’s deep and crisp and even. On Tuesday I was sitting by a log fire in a local pub… the classic Christmas cards showing a Victorian snow scene where all are warm, merry and bright.

In contrast the treacherous conditions have caused numerous road traffic accidents… elderly folk with restricted mobility dare not venture out… there are worries about heating and fuel bills…

Beauty and comfort side by side with difficulties and problems

…reading about St David (Welsh patron saint) – entering his monasteries:

‘Whoever desired this saintly way of life and sought to enter the company of the brethren had first to remain for ten days outside the doors of the monastery, as if rejected and reduced to silence by words of abuse. If he exercised patience and stood there until the tenth day he was admitted…’

…reading ‘James’ in my Bible: ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds…’ He says that trials are good because they develop our patience, perseverance, and maturity.

Trials, troubles, suffering… side by side with patience, perseverance, strength…

‘Side by side’ means: ‘in a line next to each other, close together and facing the same direction.’ A ‘side-by-side vehicle’ (SSV) is ‘an off-road vehicle with at least two side-by-side seats…’.

The season of Advent emphasises peace, joy, love, faith, hope. The Christmas narrative tells of the birth of a baby, promises kept, light in a dark world, God’s presence.

It also tells of an unexpected teenage pregnancy, homelessness, rejection, discomfort, innocent children murdered, uncertainty, pain, God’s apparent absence.  

This Christmas there will be the joy… celebration, food, presents, warmth, belonging, family traditions, love…

There will be sadness… those who’ve lost loved ones this year… the Ukrainian families I met last Saturday… those who feel the guilt of not providing as they think they should.

Joy and sadness… close together… facing the same direction… travelling side by side.

2 thoughts on “Side by Side

  1. Amen Malcolm! The joy/sadness duplicity of life is all part of His soverign plan.

    I rejoice in the joys and pray in the sadness, knowing the ultimate, forever joy of Glory soon awaits.

    There but for His underserved grace, mercy and love sit I huddled and hungry in a dark Ukrainian bomb shelter. Those bothers and sisters have my prayers for the peace and comfort only He can bring to their souls.

    Thanks for sharing Malcolm. Be blessed brother, and …

    Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!


    1. Thanks Fred. It is this mixture that makes life what it is. For me it deepens my faith – for all the reasons you say, but also because there is so much I don’t understand. God bless you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: