Flintstone

I had a dear lady walk in my office the other day and say firmly to me that she had told her sister to make sure she got pregnant before she got married. She was livid that she had waited to get married before taking in, and now it was so difficult for her to take in. ‘Sister’ she insisted, ‘if I had tried it before my wedding I would be pregnant now… Doing the right thing does not pay off please!’

Then just yesterday a dear friend of mine sent me a bbm message, ‘Ulu how long will you tell me ‘he lost you’ when a guy walks out of my life? Will I ever be happy? I am so scared about the future’

And so this morning while I sat still in that quiet place, in that place where my own doubts get dissolved, as I thought of things I had to do, higher ground to attain, I asked myself the big questions:

What is my proof that it is worth it?

What is my proof that I shouldn’t just throw in the towel and go the popular way?

I needed to be absolutely sure why. Because you see, those days will come.

Those days when you face so much opposition that you sit and ask, ‘Is it really working? I’ve prayed so hard about this, I’ve spoken the Word I know and things don’t seem to be changing’

Those days when you feel you have done all you know to do. Yet the bills are still piled up; yet you’ve seen proof yet again that you are not yet pregnant; yet another promotion list is out and your name is glaringly absent; yet another day has come and you don’t have a proper job to go to; yet another day just ended without your projected turnover; yet another month’s rent is due and you don’t even know where to get your gas money from let alone rent money, yet… yet… yet… yet…

151c074a37876d03d5115b6a6154a57eWhile I type, I have my earphones plugged in. After the last line, right on the money this song by Jesus Culture started playing:

♫ You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night
But joy comes in the morning

And when the oceans rage
I don’t have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
Your love never fails
‘Cause You make all things work together for my good♬

You see, honestly, I don’t even know the specifics of your situation.

I don’t know how much you desire it, how much you have prayed, trusted, believed, declared. But there is one thing I do know:

There is NOTHING you are facing right now that is new, nothing that is ‘you-specific’, nothing that came into being just because of you. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

So this morning after I asked those questions, I dropped my devotional and really started talking to myself.

I reminded myself that like a soldier positioned to guard a city gate, there’s no room for slumber. These are simply not the times to allow a brief moment of discouragement; these are not the times to allow lethargy or anything that seems like it take our minds off the Word.

God’s Word is true, and God’s word works EVERY-TIME, no matter the situation, the continent, the colour, the race… His Word works, always.

Sure, many oceans may be raging in your life right now; sure, the doctor’s report looks grimmer than death; sure in spite of how much you believed and prayed your loved one passed on to the other side… BUT all these things don’t change the fact that the One with whom we have to do, the One who spoke the Word we hold on to is dependable.

He stays the same through the ages; there may be pain now, things may look really uncomfortable, you were so sure you would get married or have your baby or get that promotion at work or any of those other things that may be trying to steal your joy right now. It didn’t happen like you thought but you simply can’t stop trusting God. Believe me you are not the first to trust God for something He guaranteed you is yours. And in all the cases we know of, He stood true to His Word. Why then should He change with you?

Remember Joseph, locked away in prison; his present hour reality a far cry from His God-given dreams. The issues he faced were simply an aberration from the picture God had shown him. Would it ever really happen the way God had shown him? Would his dreams ever come to be?

Oh, remember Mary… ‘Blessed are you among women’ the angel had told her. But as she wept inconsolably, watching each nail pierce her son’s hand. Watching the soldiers do unspeakable things to her son. As she watched him give up the ghost, the baby boy she had suckled, her dear child she had weaned and taught to speak, it must have been hard for her to reconcile the picture she had and the one in front of her. She certainly did not look blessed among women…

Remember Abraham walking around every day repeating names for himself and Sarah that God had given them. Names that literally made people think they were crazy. It was difficult enough being barren. But to have to say it daily to everyone’s hearing that you were not, that must have been the most painful part. Why not say Abram and Sara till it physically manifested? Why not do what people felt acceptable? This speaking consistently with God business was embarrassing…

So it may be with you now, you feel like quitting. You think you’ve prayed too much, you think it’s more fun ‘on the other side’ the other side of mediocrity, the other side of letting things just happen, the other side of chance, the comme ci, comme ça side where anything goes, the side that everyone seems to be on…

Therefore I set my face like flint,
confident that I’ll never regret this… (Isaiah 50:7 The MSG)

I smile when I read this, I smile to realise God saw into your situation and how you may think sticking with His word and His principles won’t pay you off in the end and you may start to regret… I smile to realise He had that recorded years ago before we even came on the scene because He knew how you may have all those questions you’ve rolled over in your mind like morsels of food these past days…

And so I want to remind you:

That your next door neighbour is not the yardstick.

That your colleague is not the yard stick.

That lady paying her bills by being all over the place is not your yardstick.

They may have even told you, ‘I want to take you somewhere, err he’s not a witchdoctor, God just gave him ‘special powers’, and he will give you that child you need. You’ve waited long enough’ and the option seems so tempting, after all others are doing it painlessly. It seems so tempting because you think you have stuck to the Word so long and nothing has happened. And so the short cut seems to be the way to go.

Can I remind you today that the only foundation that truly lasts is the foundation built on the Word?

Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t settle for anything less.

I plead with you, be strong! Stay in the Word. SET YOUR FACE LIKE FLINT, be confident of this, you won’t regret it… You will testify; this isn’t going to end the way (in those times of panic) you’ve pictured it will end. It will end with you testifying of God’s faithfulness, it will end with you being proof that God is a rewarder of diligence.

Dig deeper, stand firmer, keep the word He has spoken to you about you (that your personal word) before your eyes. Say it out to yourself, keep it on your screen as you work, let it be before your eyes, on your dashboard, by your bedside, as your display image, as your status, continually playing in your ears, whichever way you choose.

Don’t waste precious time worrying or crying…

The word of God always works, it will work for you.

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Posted in God's grace, Non fiction, Purpose, The Name of Jesus, Trusting God for a baby, Waiting on God, Words of Encouragement, Worship | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

So happy being you :)

I was flipping channels the other night.

And then I happened on it.

Transfixed, eyes bulging with disbelief I watched as the story unfolded.

I prayed it was fiction, but as the plot thickened I realised it was real.

It was not an episode from NCIS; Ziva or McGee weren’t going to come on the scene. Their appearance would have made it a little less horrifying and I would have heaved a sigh of relief, thinking, ‘Horrid yes, but thank God it’s an act’

It was a true story, re-enacted on Investigation channel.

On and on it went, till the lives of two young women Kayla Henriques and Kamisha Richards were changed for-ever.

So appalled was I about it all that I went on Facebook immediately to look at the lives/Facebook accounts of these individuals. I was horrified. It was real, Kamisha Richards was actually gone.

What could have happened? How could a beautiful friendship have gone so bad, so sour leading to the murder of one person?

I looked at Kamisha Richards’ page painfully and all I could think was, she had left this world, in her prime. Barely 23. I was pained to say the least. She seemed like such a beautiful soul.

But there was a lot to be learned.

Almost everyone who analysed the story had one thing to say; she lost her life over a squabble for ’20 dollars’

Some said they would gladly have paid the 20 dollars refund to save her life. Very sadly though, it was too late.

And I realised it went beyond the refund or the lack of it. It had been pockets of random things that blew over when she asked for a refund.

For me it was a subtle reminder how we have to constantly guard our hearts. Especially in our affiliations…

Guard our hearts from the mindless competition, guard our hearts from the cantankerous spirit of envy that would want to swallow us up, albeit subtly.

From that sad feeling of ‘we started off together, yet look how far behind my life is’ or ‘look how blissful her marriage is’ or even ‘look how established she is at work’ or yet again ‘Christian Louboutin shoes? I can hardly afford airtime on my phone. What am I not doing right?’

From all those silent comparisons that throw you to the edge of despair, that make you feel you are worth less than you really are.

I reminded myself that no matter how long it lasts, NO negative situation is permanent. The only thing that lasts forever is His Word and what it says about you, about me.

I reminded myself that the person needing a 20 dollar lift today could very well be the one giving a million dollar lift to another tomorrow.

And it was a two way lesson for me – one person probably felt she had made more out of her life than the one who needed the lift, while the other felt she had made less.

It reminded me of how very true this scripture is:

‘‘Thank God in everything no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks, for this is the will of God for you…’’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

I realised it is impossible to live with any of those feelings – the feelings of superiority on the one hand, those ugly feelings of ‘I am superior to you because…’ or ‘I am inferior to him because…’ when we live constantly thankful. Thankful to the One who made it all possible. Constantly aware that without Him we are nothing.

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

(1 Corinthians 4:7)

I realised that everything you have and are today, (and I mean EVERYTHING) you could never have achieved on your own – a good marriage, well raised kids, a good job, a thriving ministry, a nine digit bank balance… everything you have and are, you are because of His grace. So why boast?0bcb87de1f8f109dee1e919adfcc3762Your marriage isn’t excellent because you are the best spouse on this earth J your kids aren’t so well behaved because they are home schooled, you don’t have that job because you have a Harvard certificate, no…. in fact if I asked you to be honest, you wouldn’t even know how to explain it all…

And if you sit on the other side of the fence, if you think your life is a far cry from what you think it should be, who told you your level of success is measured by what the neighbour next door has achieved? Be thankful and run your own race.

Don’t spoil another friendship/relationship, don’t let envy destroy what you and your friends share, be truly thankful for the successes in your friends’ lives, genuinely celebrate with them and most importantly, be thankful for who and where you are. Count your blessings and be truly grateful for who you are and where you are today. You are not in a competition with anyone else, be the best you God made you to be. Outdo your best yesterday… Run your own race…

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