I came out of church on this Sunday morning liberated, free from a burden I picked up from time to time. This time it was for good. It just felt different.

I wanted to celebrate somehow and so, turning away from my home I drove to one of the two islands nearby. This was not the one with the park and the beach, but the one with the boats.

As I suspected on this day between Christmas and New Year, it was busy. People were strolling, eating ice cream, going to and fro in boats of all descriptions – motor boats and canoes, ocean-going vessels and paddle skis. People enjoying themselves.

It was fascinating, as always, watching people. I strolled around to where I could see the water and there, under a leafy tree, outside the shop that offers the most decadent chocolate I have ever had, was a free table.

It was too much for me. I went in to order a hot chocolate and took a couple of photos of the scene as I waited.

Then it came.

Gently steaming in its glass with its wooden spoon coated in chocolate and decorated with miniscule marshmallows. I breathed in the aroma, as my mouth watered in anticipation. I knew it would be too hot to drink so I exercised all the control I could muster as I waited for it to cool a little.

As I did so, I wrote about life’s incidents and paused every now and again to look at the view.

The first sip was an explosion of flavour. Was this what it would be like at the heavenly banquet? Can life get better than this?

If I have to begin a new chapter in my life, there can be few places in the world that are more beautiful. And the song of my heart soars to my God who brought me here. Perhaps He did not have indulgent hot chocolate specifically in mind – but I count it as a blessing in my new life.

Boats, sunshine, cormorants, a family of fluffy goslings, a shade tree and hot chocolate!

What a life!

What a God!

About Mandy Hackland

My love in life is to encourage others to deepen their relationship with God. I write devotional material, stories and small group studies with that in mind. I live in South Africa and also love spending time in the bush, bird watching and walking. I have moved to the coast and am enjoying the green spaces and beautiful vistas that surround me, reminding me of God's grace every day.
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