AS you may be aware, yesterday is Prince Charles’s 65th birthday. It is also happens to be my son’s birthday. So may I take this opportunity to wish them both a very Happy Birthday.

Now on a line with ‘predictable’ at one end and ‘unpredictable’ at the other, birthdays must be right at the ‘predictable’ end.

After all, we and our parents know from the day we are born that for the rest of our life our birthdays will occur on a particular day each year without fail and that generally that day will be a very happy one and our friends and family will celebrate that day with us.

But I suppose right at the other end of the scale would be those ‘where did that come from?’ moments – the sudden, unexpected news.

A death of a friend or family member, an unexpected health issue, the possibility of redundancy, an accident. We have a choice in these times, of course.

We either allow the circumstances to bring us down or we choose to rise above them, however hard that may be.

For those of us who trust Jesus, we know that no matter what’s thrown at us, God is in control. We choose, therefore, to focus on the knowledge that God loves us and knows and cares about our life’s circumstances.

On days when I doubt, I come back to the cross as the ultimate proof of God’s love. He died for me, he proved His love.

Romans 8:28 says: “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

If you’re in a hard place right now, can I encourage you to say a prayer? It doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be formal, It doesn’t even have to be coherent! If you talk to God he’ll be listening, because he’s waiting right now. And who knows how he might answer in return?

ROB SILK Chipping Campden Baptist Church