From: “Dora Dilibat” [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, 4 January 2013 7:43 AM
To: Vera Silicat Mrs
Subject: FW: New Address
Thank you so very much for your letter and the beautiful photographs. I look at them and my feet ache to climb your hills, my eyes to scan the valleys and the vistas that surround your new home. I am tempted to envy you your situation on the Midlands Meander with the majestic Drakensberg in the background, the magnificent Dam bringing water to your home, the Horseshoe Falls on your doorstep.
But I do realise that is only one aspect of the situation where you live.
Central West Slopes and Plains is an accurate description of the place where we live. Not table-top flat: there are rolling rises and declines, and further afield there are small hills and shallow valleys with rivers and creeks running through. But flat enough that when the heavy rains come and the rivers overflow, there is nothing to hold the waters back. When that happens, farms are flooded and cut off; and the same is true of the villages and towns situated near the rivers. Not that that is likely to be a problem in the foreseeable future – we are having a heat wave, and the meteorological forecast is for more of the same through the coming weeks.
There are fires raging to the north, the east, the south and the south-west of us. In one little town far to the south the temperatures rose from 38 degrees centigrade to 52 as the fire swept through leaving total devastation and ruin behind and within a half hour the temperature fell back to 37 degrees. Unimaginable. Fire treats all landscapes alike, roaring with equal ferocity across flat lands, through valleys and over mountains; but currently there are no fires threatening our home front.
Returning to your situation, yes, I do understand that your economy is a bit like our countryside – flat; that many families are struggling to survive, and that the political situation is also worrying. These are simple facts of life and if you look around you will find that there is no country in the world that doesn’t have similar troubles and threatened difficulties to face. This observation is not intended to make light of your concerns, only to bring them into some sort of perspective. When trials come it is very easy to feel alone. I wish I were closer to hold your hand, make you a cup of tea, and pray with you until your peace returns.
But I am not. However, although I cannot hold your hand or make you a cup of tea, you may be assured that I am praying both with you and for you. I know that in years gone by I would have plagued you for details in order to know exactly how you wanted me to agree with you in prayer, but you and I have both learned that that is entirely unnecessary. We have both learned to lean on the Holy Spirit of God to direct our prayers, and He knows even better than we do what are our needs, our strengths and our weaknesses.
Furthermore we both know that God loves us and has only good in store for us. The Bible assures us that there is nothing physical, nothing emotional, nothing spiritual that can separate us from His love or His goodwill. Of this we may be absolutely certain. Neither space nor time can separate us from God’s love and presence.
So when you pray, placing your hand in His hand; and when I pray, placing my hand in His hand, it is as though we are joining hands in agreement together, and the Word tells us that ‘when two of you shall agree on earth, touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.’ With this sort of assurance, Sister mine, we need never be afraid of being alone: the very God of heaven is with us, and He will direct us and protect us.
Sometime, whether in this life or the next, we will stand together in His presence. Nothing else will matter, not the sea, the mountain nor the wide, flat land, only that we are together with Him. I look forward to that time with a great expectation.
But for now,
All my love,
Scripture references: Romans 8 and Matthew 18:19
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