Last week we took little Rosie to Shrewsbury, a place I hadn’t been to before, other than for a fleeting visit one night several years ago. We went by train from Wolverhampton, as Rosie loves trains (I wonder where she gets that from?!), and we took a picnic as it was such a lovely day.
Wolverhampton station was its usual hustle bustle place, with people rushing around, as they went about their business, checking watches, platform screens, bags and generally panicking that they were not late for their next appointment. Shrewsbury station was similar, and as we headed for the lovely town, we passed many people heading to shops, groups visiting the castle, buskers performing to shoppers who passed by without stopping, caught-up with their own concerns, worries & deadlines. After walking through the town we came upon a wonderful parkland, “The Quarry”, at the heart of which lies “The Dingle”, a floral masterpiece created by world renowned gardener Percy Thrower, who served as Parks Superintendent for 28 years. It is a delightful sunken garden, landscaped with alpine borders, brilliant bedding plants and charming water features. It’s an oasis of colour andwater, contrasting to the bustling town yards away. We stopped for our picnic in “The Dingle”, and experienced it’s beauty, and above all the peace & tranquillity it brought, taking away for a few moments the fears, worries and concerns of our world of panic, dangers, hostilities, uncertainties, and adversities.
In Isaiah 43:1-7, God reminds the children of Israel that although they had been through great difficulties, fears & adversities, He was with them, providing protection, salvation & security against all difficult & frightening circumstances we face day by day. He reminded them, as He does to us today through the saving grace of Jesus, that he had created them (v1), that they were His (v2), that he would be with them (v2), that they were precious (v4), honoured (v4) called by name (v7), created for His glory (v7). The peace of the visit to “The Dingle” was soon over, but the peace God gives to us is for always, and is a peace which doesn’t come through the absence of trouble, but the peace that comes through our relationship with Jesus, which gives us security, safety and protection, despite fears of our circumstances.
John 14:27 (NIV) “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”