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When you’re heading for the rock face…

Sometimes it feels like you’re speeding straight into a rock face, full steam ahead.

Oh wait, in this case, it’s because we actually were.

Our small boat had been bouncing through the waves around Lagos, past tiny hidden beaches, with fire escape style steps from the clifftops right down to the sea. The driver kept ploughing ahead, narrowly missing unsuspecting kayakers as he assertively - almost gleefully - decided it was ‘our turn’.

We wove in and out of caves, bobbing on the sea as sun streamed in from holes in the rock ceiling above, a spotlight making the water gleam turquoise in an optical illusion of fluorescence.

Then, he started towards the rocks again, but this time, there was no cave. I looked around nervously as we sped towards what looked like a solid wall of stone. There were no openings here… so why was I still moving forward? Fear began to take me. The impact at this speed… that crunch could really hurt.

Then, just when I thought disaster was certain, I saw it. A tiny slit that only became visible at the very last moment. Even then it seemed far too small for our boat. It felt impossible, but to my relief and delight, where I had dreaded we would smash straight into jagged rocks, we instead slipped into a tiny cave, gliding in gracefully, without so much as a bump.

It wasn’t the biggest, most impressive of the caves we’d seen that day, but somehow, its mere existence made it an incredibly welcome sight.

All the time, our guide knew it was there, knew it was ok. We kept going (well, we had no choice really) when it looked like a hard wall of impenetrable rock. And by keeping going, even when it looked impossible, we found ourselves floating ahead, held safe in the clear gentle waves, ensconced in a cosy cave and ready to make our onward journey.

When you’re hoping for something, maybe striving towards something, there are times when it will look like a hard wall of rock before you. Maybe it looks like there are no openings and you question why you’re still moving forward, worried that the crash is really going to hurt.

But keep going.

You might just be surprised.

And even though the opening, when it comes, might not even seem much, welcome it anyway.

In those small things, there is hope.

This is what the Lord says—

he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters...

'Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

See I am doing a new thing!'

Isaiah 43:16, 18 & 19


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