As I write this message I am hearing story after story and tribute after tribute regarding His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh who sadly died at Windsor Castle. Deeply respected and loved by the Queen, their family, the navy, the U.K., the commonwealth and many world leaders, he will be sincerely missed. Many, many times in the last couple of days the word used for the life and character of Prince Philip has been 'steadfast'. There has been such an honouring of this respected member of the royal family who has served so devotedly in every sphere he has been involved with, especially in his steadfast devotion to our Queen.
'Steadfast' is a word not frequently used in much of our recent vocabulary but I was interested enough to look up its definition. It means 'resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering'. A BBC news item described Prince Philip as 'a rock, a hero and one of a kind.' The Australian Prime Minister, in the middle of his tribute, said that Prince Philip was 'a man who was steadfast' in his life long service.
Human lives reflect aspects of the character of God. Frequently the Bible says that God is our rock, the one we can rely on, the one who is totally dependable. Over thousands of years God has been proclaimed as a steadfast and dependable rock throughout many, many generations. The biblical King David declared, 'The Lord is my rock, He is my stronghold'.
In these days when there is so much that is changing, one thing that we can be sure of is that God is a rock to all who take refuge in him.
I was talking to a very capable person recently who was expressing that he felt that he had no strong core at the centre of his life. It meant that he felt easily knocked off balance when things went wrong. God's promise to all of us is that we can have his strength in the deepest places of our hearts which enables us to know with certainty that we can rely on God who is our steadfast rock.
Hazel Marchment. (Basingstoke Community Churches).