President's Reflections

Vice President’s Reflection – June/July 2021

One of my favourite ‘go to’ books for prayer and meditation is entitled, High Mountains Deep Valleys edited by Rowland Croucher and Grace Tomlinson. I initially was attracted, no doubt by the title, having grown up in North East Victoria in sight of the majestic mountains and deep valleys of the High Country. The author encourages the reader to ‘linger with the Lord in serious reflection … be still … prepared to listen and receive’.

Such words of comfort, solitude and silence from the precious Word of God and other sources such as this book, bring wisdom and comfort to our fears. The fear of change, of isolation, the inability to physically hug and embrace our loved ones, and the sense of a loss of identity to name just a few but experienced living with COVID in our lives.

Jerome K. Jerome wrote that, ‘a new life begins for us every second, so go forth joyously to meet it. Press on! You walk better with your eyes before you than with them cast behind!’ Our Lord and Saviour says, ‘Fear not! I am always with you even to the end of time’. We, too, can be encouraged by this promise, sustained in his shelter, where we live and breathe and have our very existence (Psalm 125). An old Irish proverb (adapted) states that, ‘It is in the shelter of (the Lord) and each other that the people live!’ I know that I have accepted fear as a part of my life now, I am learning to go ahead despite the pounding of my heart at times and the uncertainty of what tomorrow may bring. Wisdom comes quietly, in words of solitude and silence. ‘Be still! and know that I am God!’

The high mountains, the deep valleys in my reflections? I was able recently to travel back to Victoria’s High Country following the lifting of restrictions, and there they were! The towering mountains with those sharp escarpments, covered in dense eucalypt forest and pine plantations! My soul felt nourished and refreshed! Memories flooded in of a happy childhood spent in this environment, despite also remembering the ‘dreaded annual snow trip’ from our farm to Mt Buffalo, where I had to sit in the back of Dad’s ute with my cousins, suffering motion sickness all the way there and back!

Ruth West describes our life journey in this way. ‘Our way is not soft grass, it’s a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upward, forwards, towards the sun’ … towards, as we know full well, our heavenly home. Standing on the very top of the Falls Creek area on my journey back to the High Country, I marvelled at the beauty of the clouds and sky, giving thanks to that Man who long ago hung and gave his all, on a wooden cross, on a lonely hill outside a city wall, so that I might enjoy the freedom of his forgiveness and his promise of an eternal inheritance that can never spoil, perish, or fade away. Despite all the rocks and hazards we will experience in our journey through life, everything works for good with those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose Romans 8:28.

To him be the glory!

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Editorial Team