Water on Thirsty Ground

Today a friend took us for a drive to the mountains on the island of Zaykynthos. As we drove out we noticed heavy smoke billowing from a hill near the town of Keri. Forest fires broke out. The wildfire in progress on the island of Zakynthos has led authorities to evacuate some exposed houses on the village of Keri, in the southern part of the island, as well as 120 tourists staying at a hotel there.

The tourists were taken by bus to another hotel, in the nearby resort of Kalamaki.

The fire service said 10 of the 12 fires burning on Zakynthos are still unchecked, with high winds making it difficult to control the flames. A fire brigade commander says they have consumed mostly forests and olive groves so far.

Later we were having lunch in a small village on the coast. We watched as two aeroplanes dipped down to the sea and picked up water. Then they circled around to take the water and dump it on the fire fronts.

A short time later a helicopter arrived, hovered over the sea and filled a large container with water and flew off to fight the fire.

Before my eyes I was seeing the fulfilment of a verse I had read before my holiday.

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land,” Isaiah 44 v 3

‭‭This verse refers to the promise of God pouring out the Holy Spirit on anyone who is thirsty for the things of God.

Search and Rescue.

Last evening I returned on the ferry from Strangford to Portaferry.  It was a dark, cold and blustery night.  I was comfortable in my warm car and looking forward to a glowing coal fire back home.  The men who keep the ferry service going are to be commended for their endurance in these winter months.

Portaferry is usually quiet, but this evening as the boat pulled into port, green and red lights were flashing and sirens were going off at the lifeboat house.  Someone instructed the ferry to wait offshore.  There was an emergency at sea and the lifeboat had to be launched.  More brave men headed off seaward into the dark in answer to some distress call.  The ferry docked safely.  We all secretly hoped others would be safe tonight and prayed.

An hour later I noticed an helicopter overhead and the lifeboat in the lough.  Both has search lights scanning the water below.  A vehicle had blue lights flashing.  Brendan and I went down to the shore.  A police vehicle stopped with us and told us a flair at sea had been reported earlier.  The lifeboat responded as did a rescue helicopter from Dublin, to help search the sea for anyone in danger.

It was dramatic to see the large search light scanning the lough.  A large area of the water lit up in the dark.  Someone in danger would be glad of this light shining on them.  Life or death.  The  helicopter remained for some time.  What a good job the men on the rescue services do. They are willing to give of their time and skills to help others.

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Dramas often happen in our life that cause fear and anxiety.  Sometimes it seems we are on a stormy sea when troubles come.   I needed rescued five years ago.  I had fourth stage cancer.  I was dying.  I went through dark days but God brought me through them.  Jesus shone his light on me and rescued me up out of the sea of despair and death.  Jesus is the light of the world.  He healed me and gave me new life.  He will rescue you.  He is searching for you with his light.

I slept late this morning.  Oh how sweet sleep is when one awakes rested and secure.  My  husband brought me my breakfast in bed!

The room was brighter than normal.  The sunlight was shining on Strangford Lough.  The light from the sun and its reflection on the water brightened up our home and gave added warmth.  We have our own micro climate.  The weather reports on the radio don’t seem to apply to us.

What a good day to wake up to.  The drama of the previous evening was forgotten.  A brighter light shone this morning.  I checked the BBC news.  There was no report of people being rescued or anyone missing.

The moon will be as bright as the sun, and the sun will be seven times brighter—like the light of seven days in one!  So it will be when the LORD begins to heal his people and cure the wounds he gave them. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭30‬:‭26‬ NLT)

There is a saying,”The darkest hour is just before dawn”.   Only believe.  Hang in there.  Light and rescue are on the way.