My prayers of despair to God included a complaint that if this was the job He wanted me to do, then perhaps he could have prepared me better.
My wife and I have been Christians since the age of 16. We were both brought up in loving but non-church going families. We were sent to Sunday school up until the age of 11 but it wasn't until we started to attend St Gabriel's in Easton that we discovered what it meant to be followers of Jesus.
We both gave our lives to the Lord on the same night after a Billy Graham film called
The Shadow of the Boomerang
This decision meant that from that day I vowed to allow Jesus to be the Lord of everything - who to marry, which career to follow, where to live, along with all of the everyday decisions. There have been many good and wonderful times as well as darkness and difficulties.
I retired in 2007 with some ideas in mind as to how to be useful to God with the extra time He was giving me. This was seemingly going well until my life was turned upside down.
In January 2012 my wife of 40 plus years was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. A real shock as she was only 64.
I did not see myself as a full-time carer; it is not a natural gift of mine. I had throughout my Christian life been an activist and all this would have to stop as I was about to become a 24/7 carer. My prayers of despair to God included a complaint that if this was the job He wanted me to do, then perhaps he could have prepared me better.
One day whilst praying in this fashion He showed me something about His omniscience. He said that He knew that Myra would get this disease way back before we were married and He actually chose me to look after His daughter when she fell ill. This humbling revelation stopped my complaint and left me in awe of Him. I now know and have experienced His grace in the most amazing of ways. He has given me patience beyond my natural ability; wisdom to deal with unexpected problems and the ability to bite my tongue when wrongly accused by my beloved of doing something wrong.
All I can say is that the Lord has come to us in our distress through the deep joy of knowing Him; through the love of our family and the compassion of our Christian brothers and sisters.
I don't know what the future holds. But I know it is in His hands and that one day I will get my wife back, that I will one day be able to hold a conversation with her once more. This is our hope and this is surely the Good News about which we so often speak.
Martin Brown goes to Christ Church Downend
In time spent in prayer, God's nature is revealed and we can learn about our own lives.
When the future is unknown, how does hope guide you?
Is there strength you can ask for to help with the unexpected perhaps for something that happened recently or a long time ago?
The hope were given is beyond life and death.