By Rev David Jones
Euro 2016 kicks off this week with Wales’ debut in the competition just a few days away. This will be the third time that France has hosted the competition and hopes and expectations for the Welsh team are at an all-time high.
Wales last qualified for the World Cup in 1958 and were knocked out by Brazil in the quarter-finals when Pele scored in the 66th minute. Manager of the time John Murphy always held that if John Charles had not been injured earlier in the competition his team might well have gone much further and even possibly have won! Who knows? Now, all these years later an invigorated team who with four wins and two draws topped their group qualified for Euro 2016 in style. We all know that there’s going to be fierce competition with many top flight nations among the opposition so there’s everything to play for as the Welsh team kick off against Slovakia on Saturday.
There’s no doubt that Welsh football has reached a standing on the world scene which has not been seen since 1958 There have been many years of disappointment as hopes for qualification were snapped away. Now Chris Coleman’s young team take Wales to another level as we as a nation get behind the Welsh squad and wish them well.
Such emotions may well sum up our own lives. There may have been times of disappointment with no light at the end of a long tunnel. After all, when we’re not sure how problems are going to turn out we often go through every emotion from anxiety, and fear to relief and even elation when things do change – so we must never lose hope that they will. The Bible tells us that God neither slumbers nor sleeps. He is ever near to us when things are going well but even more so when the pressures and uncertainties of life suddenly come upon. To borrow from a great football anthem ‘We never walk alone’ and with that assurance we’ll always be on the winning side!
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