You just know when a gift is heaven-sent!
After a hectically busy December and an even busier January, my husband and I planned a short break away for March. As colleagues were going to be going away at the same time, we had to bring our holiday forward – to February month-end. Now month-end is not a good time to go away, but we managed to sort everything that needed to be sorted. Meanwhile everyone is telling me to go away and really rest.
But how can you rest when boxes go astray – Grudem’s Systematic Theology that all the colleges and students are waiting for! – and shipments come in that can’t be processed due to invoice errors? So then I start the take-myself-in-hand talks: “Don’t worry about things you can’t control”; “The Lord is in control of all things”; “Commit all to the Lord and leave it there”. I know all these truths in my head, but the body tension denies that I have really accepted them.
Then there was Mafube Mountain Retreat! Here is a place tucked away 26km away from Clarens where you have no choice but to unwind. Chris and Hilary were wonderful hosts and the whole setting said: “Come ye and rest awhile.” Every day we would walk in the mountains, enjoying the views and the vast variety of flora. Not being very fit, we huffed and puffed up the mountainside, but it was worth it. One day we had our picnic overlooking the South African mountains and fields and the next day we overlooked the Lesotho highlands. Added to the beauty of the place was the silence and peace. We were up where the eagles soar and delighted in watching them. The Isaiah metaphor was not lost on me. All this was just what I needed!
After a hot and tiring we walk could swim and relax on the patio. As we read our books we hear a commotion – a robin is doing a song and dance for his lady-friend. He jumps almost a metre off the ground to gain her attention, but she just walks on, totally unimpressed. Fortunately for us he is not put off by her cold heart and repeats the performance for the camera.
In the late afternoon we walked to the dam and ate blackberries off the wild bushes, before enjoying a row on the dam at dusk. We watched the birds wing their way home and heard hundreds of red bishops discuss the days happenings in the reeds. All this bird activity brings home the care the Lord has of his creation and the special care he has of us. There are many beautiful places in South Africa, but this little retreat was the right place at the right time for us. It was God’s gift, for which we were ware and grateful every day. The beauty of our land does not surpass the beauty of God’s care for his people. May he enable us to know it and live like we believe it more and more every day.
Event: On Saturday 7th March, lecturers from the Bible Institute of S.A. once again make their annual pilgrimage to Gauteng to offer a few lectures. I found the lectures thoroughly worthwhile last year. Everybody is welcome. See details below. (Please reply to the organisers, not to me.) I will be offering a book table at this event.
Extras: Bold I Approach is the name of the Mathias media interactive bible study on prayer. A customer ordered more than he needed, so we now have 30 extra copies. These make ideal group study books and are only R35 each.
Stock delay: Our sincere apologies for the delay of some stock due to supplier or shipping hitches. Grudem’s, which should have arrived last week as mentioned above, is being flown out and should arrive on Tuesday. I will do my best to have it processed and available by Wednesday. Similarly with other delayed stock.
Yours in the Lord’s service