Dear Friends,

One of my favourite letters in the New Testament is 2 Corinthians.  It’s a letter that speaks about the encouragement that we can receive from our gracious and compassionate God. People who fight battles and carry burdens are the best candidates to receive blessings.  That’s what Paul told the downhearted Corinthians, that God the Father is the Father of all mercies, who can pour his grace into their lives.  
The Church at Corinth often felt troubled and perplexed just as believers do today.  There is a tremendous promise in  2 Corinthians 4:17, ‘For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all’.
God can turn our trials into triumphs, as we remember what God does for us; that He is able to handle our trials and transform them so that they work out for our good and His glory.
A certain cathedral in Europe was famous for the large magnificent stained glass window that was located behind the altar, high above the sanctuary.  One day a violent wind- storm shattered that beautiful window into a thousand pieces.  The Church caretaker was hesitant to discard the fragments, so he put them in a box and stored them in the basement of the Cathedral.  Shortly after the storm, a man who had heard about the damage asked for and received the broken pieces of glass. About two years later, he invited the caretaker to visit him in the nearby village.  When the caretaker arrived the man explained that he was a craftsman and that he had something to show him. When the craftsman unveiled his work, the visitor was astonished to see a lovely window fashioned from the broken fragments.  It was even more beautiful than the original.  Often our plans or accomplishments go the way of that stained glass window- they are destroyed by the storms of unexpected circumstances.  When this happens we cannot understand why.  We wonder what good it is for us to face suffering, disappointment or struggles.  God has something better planned for us.  He sometimes allows our plans and dreams to be broken. Then out of the shattered pieces He brings out the fulfilment of His will, which is far better than anything we could have devised.  This is how God works in us and for us.  Let him work through your life to be an encouragement to others.

Your Pastor and Friend

Gary Collier