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On your guard

Viewers prepare for a dramatic series finale, writes Andrew Stone

It has been impossible to predict what will come next

WITH record-breaking viewing figures, it has been described as the biggest new drama on British television for a decade. And tomorrow (Sunday 23 September)BBC One’s Bodyguard reaches its eagerly awaited conclusion.

Life for principal protection officer David Budd (Richard Madden), a former soldier now suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder, was already challenging before he was assigned to protect the home secretary, Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes). But since her death in a bomb attack, his life has been unravelling.

David wants to know who was responsible. The list of suspects includes a terror cell, the secret service, an organised crime cartel and even the prime minister. David’s investigations have put his own life on the line, because people have secrets that they want to keep under wraps, even if they were not behind the bomb that killed the MP.

That is, if the home secretary is actually dead. Viewers were shocked when one of the main characters was killed off halfway through the series. In the weeks since, the plotting and scheming in Bodyguard’s fictional political world have replaced real-world politicians and events on newspapers’ front pages. Speculation is rife that the drama’s writer Jed Mercurio has set the story up for a dramatic conclusion that will reveal Montague’s reported death to be ‘fake news’.

The storyline has had enough twists and turns to suggest that such an outcome would not be beyond the realms of possibility. A briefcase bomb was revealed not to have been in a briefcase, the police were spying on the secret service while the secret service spied on the police, and a would-be assassin turned out to be an old friend of the protection officer.

It has been impossible to predict what will come next – much to the viewing public’s delight.

Being surprised by the events of a TV drama makes watching it far more exciting. But it can be a different matter when something unexpected, and unwanted, suddenly happens in our lives – an unforeseen twist in a relationship, being fired from our work or the shellshock of an unwelcome health diagnosis.

We’re gripped with excitement watching a story’s hero struggle to cope with their circumstances, but we can be gripped with fear when we’re struggling to cope with our own.

At such times many people have found strength by turning to God. One biblical political leader called David, who faced death threats, plots to bring him down and military opposition, wrote: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped’ (Psalm 28:7 English Standard Version).

The help that David experienced is still available to people today, if they put their trust in God.

Letting God direct our lives does not mean that we no longer face challenges and difficulties. But it does mean that he will help us through whatever our problems may be.

That’s an offer of personal protection worth accepting.

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