Boiler Burst! On Friday our church weekend in Lochranza Youth Hostel promised Baltic conditions for at least one night. Our first cars ready to embark on the Arran ferry a call came through, “Youth Hostel Scotland has a warmer alternative in Stirling Youth Hostel.”

Often with God, when one door closes another opens. Sometimes it’s long time till it opens a jar to give us hope, while at other times it quickly opens wide. Even in the face of terminal illness or sudden death there is a door to be opened by God. Bedrock to Christian Faith is the belief that God wants the best for us, ‘His beloved children’, especially when all seems lost. Through life and death Jesus demonstrates that not even death can separate us from God’s Love; hard to believe if we’ve lived life under dark clouds of depression and disbelief.

So, if Jesus, the great Redeemer and Recycler can transform even death, a threatened weekend away is well within his reach to orchestrate something excellent out of our dashed plans. St Paul says, “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)

Former Glaswegian, Gallowgate gangster, Bill Gilvear taught me to take the ‘D’ from Disappointment and replace it with an ‘H’ – ‘His-Appointment’. It’s where I go, when dumped, duped or disappointed, to see God recycle and make something positive out of a negative. The desperate, dire death of Jesus, innocent Son of God murdered on a cross, was converted from the greatest injustice ever into the greatest ‘Plus’ Sign of Hope. We easily forget that ‘cross’ jewelry we wear is a symbol of awful ‘capital punishment’.

And so, YES, our weekend away in Stirling YH, next to the castle, set within gorgeous Stirlingshire scenery, was a triumph. What a wonderful mix of people from church and community all mucking in to celebrate God’s love for us in Christ, returning blessed to be a blessing. His Appointment!