All Black’s coach Steve Hansen made an unusual statement following the British and Irish Lions victory in the second test on Saturday. The Lions’ victory he said was ‘good for the game of rugby’ which was needed to increase the competition for the final test of the series this weekend. Fair comment, but could it be that the sending off of Sonny Bill Williams for the shoulder charge against Anthony Wilson and that 78th minute penalty by Owen Farrell continues to cause some concern in the New Zealand camp? After all, this shock defeat for the world champions was not the outcome expected and that as one commentator said the All Black coach must now be keen to find whatever positives from such a negative result. By contrast Lion’s Captain Sam Warburton’s measured and positive interview following the game was full of expectation for the final test and a credit to his maturity and captaincy of his now revitalised Lions team. Whatever the result of the final test the Lions have certainly ‘roared’ against a formidable All Black team and now there’s everything to play for!

In our own lives, we hope things will go well and our problems and concerns will have the outcomes we want but there’s no guarantee. Life can often be tough, especially when we’re not sure how the problems we have are going to turn out. It’s equally true that we live in a society and world where there is so much uncertainty and even fear for the future and the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy and terrorist attacks remind us of this. The game of life can be tough and often we are confronted with obstacles and difficulties which are as sudden and unexpected as anything that can happened in a highly charged rugby match. Where then are the positives?

They are in the Bible which tell us of God’s love for all of humanity and that we can know his love when we have faith and believe that we have a Father in heaven. Such care and compassion is ever near to us when things are going well but even more so when the pressures and uncertainties of life suddenly descend. The Bible tells us that every prayer is heard in heaven and although the way may be tough and there will be times when we feel that our prayers are not answered it’s the faith and confidence in a God who is love, which can positively impact our lives for good. Jesus said ‘I will be with you, even to the end of the age’ – that’s the hope which instills confidence for the future that God is on our side and that nothing can separate us from his love. The final test is at hand – all speed to the Lions!

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