This evening on our last day in Crete i’m stood by the beach watching my amazing husband teach our two children how to skim stones. Nothing extraordinary about that-except this is the scene that almost wasn’t as almost this time last year we were all taken out by a pretty horrific car accident. Thanking God for his healing power, which restores both body and mind.

One of my favourite things this holiday apart from literally the holiday itself- which has been heaven on a plate- has been watching my little son conquer his fear of the sea.  When we first arrived here he screamed each time he was put in the middle of the waves- ever  the lover if order and structure, his little heart couldn’t understand why it would be fun for him to be put in the middle of such unpredictable waters that almost always knocked him right back in his backside as soon as he was able to stand.

And yet tonight, here he is,  confident  as ever, screaming right in the face if the raging waves. If ever there was a picture to illustrate  wgat restoration looks like, THIS is it..right  now. In THIS moment. But he didn’t get to this moment on his own. Behind THIS moment has been  a patient  father who  has encouraged him every  time  he made it close  to the waters and held him close each time the fear became too overwhelming. Who  cheered his every progress  no matter  how small  and high fived each show of bravery.

Little by little he’s been coached into strength, moving  closer to courage. and  as he stands here now, fearless in the face of  what used to make him  crippled with fear, this victory is his. But as much as it is his, it is mostly his father’s. You see his father knows something that my little boy is yet to learn; with every agonising step he took, he was never once on his own.

Whenever he fell, there were the strong arms of his father, ready to catch him should he fail or fall. And catch him they did. Time and time again. Just like they caught me. And just like they can catch you. It’s ok to be afraid. But if you lean into him as you try, your father God will begin to make you stronger. Before long you’ll even begin to feel brave enough to show courage where you had none. And eventually you, too, will become fearless. Today, whatever your circumstances, dare to trust in these arms. They Will catch you. Even if you fall.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10