The story is told of a young Welsh boy, who on his 13th birthday was sent down the coal mine. One day he had been a pupil at school, the next at work. His mother packed his 'snap' in a tin box to protect it from mice and a quart pint bottle with a screw top, full of cold tea with milk and sugar. As she gave it to him she said, 'Remember, Jesus is always with you, even down the pit.'
He was assigned to an experienced miner and taken underground to an exhausted district where the work places were deserted. They had taken many twists and turns and he had lost all sense of direction. The ground was covered with a thick layer of coal dust and he was set to work. He hung his lamp on a nail and the older man checked it and swapped it with his own which he explained was much better.
He began work slowly and after a bit his lamp started flickering and then went out. He had never known darkness like it. He could see nothing. What was he to do? He would just have to wait. He felt a surge of self pity but pulled himself together and decided to try to carry on working in the dark by feeling. He felt frightened. He was hungry. He ate his 'snap' and drank his tea and recalled what his mother had said. He started to sing a hymn. He knew plenty. He sang all his favourites more than once and was just singing 'Up from the grave He arose' when the older miner returned. 'What happened to your lamp?' he said. 'You know,' said the boy, and they returned to the pit cage.
He was asked about his first day and whether he had been scared on his own in the dark. 'I was scared,' he said, 'but I wasn't on my own.' 'Not on your own?'another miner said. 'Of course not,' said the boy, 'Jesus was with me.'
Whatever 2018 holds for us, let us remember that Jesus is always with us, as He promised:- 'Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.' Hebrews 13:5