19 December 2011

Shake it off!

Yesterday we had a powerful sermon at Church. It is the kind that makes you want to change how it is that you view incidents in life. Made me feel re energised to end the year well too. It was a lesson well delivered.

Most of us have had a challenge of sorts in our life. The kind that makes you think that you are the first one to experience it. It might be pain of loss or separation. When this happens we get so disoriented and thoughts of quitting are not far off. We often wonder if God can be with us at such times. Mainly because people around us may not be so supportive of us.

It is comforting to know that God knows each one of us personally. He has it all planned out, the stuff that we encounter in our lives. And for those called by his name, he does not allow anything that will overwhelm us to happen. Yes challenges do happen but he is there with us. And since he is with us we can call on him to fight it out for us, to his glory. There is nothing more pleasing to God than when we can firmly say that we have made it thus far by his grace.

There is a Sunday school song that says that we serve a real big God. It is easy for kids to envision that. But for grownups, we often do not grasp the might of God. That is until he comes down and lifts us up of that hopeless situation, do we proclaim that we could not have done it without God. We realise that he allows trials in our lives so that when nothing else will work, when we have reached to the end of ourselves, he can step in and make a turnaround that leaves us convinced that indeed only he could have done it for us.

Often times in my life I have noticed that God uses silent reminders to get me back close to him. Times I do get caught up in stuff so that I do not spend enough time with him. It just goes to show that since I am his he is not about to let me wander off. God is possessive of those that are called by his name. I have often had him intervene in the most spectacular ways in my life.

So back to yesterday's sermon. A story is told of a farmer who had several donkeys on his farm. All of them were good donkeys that worked hard and he was proud of them. All except this one donkey. He was not so good looking and was often times lazy. He did not perform to the expectations of the farmer. But since he belonged to him the farmer decided to keep him just as well.

And so one day the farmer received news that one of his donkeys had fallen in a well. He was quick to enquire which one of them had fallen. On being told that it was the lazy one he was not so concerned about him. In fact he instructed his workers that since the donkey had decided to bury himself, they might as well aid him. And so the farmers and his workers, shovels at hand, took off to bury the donkey alive.

But something amazing happened! Each shovel of earth they threw in, the donkey would shake off, step on it and come up. And soon the farmer realised that instead of allowing himself to be buried alive the donkey was climbing higher and higher out of the well.

Often times in our lives people may write us off. They see no hope for us and go ahead to declare the same. But for us who have the Jesus on our side all may not be lost yet. It is when we are down to the last level that God gives us strength to Shake off whatever is pulling us down, step on it and rise up above it by his power. And so the next time you feel bogged down and discouraged just remember the story of that donkey. And do just what he did. Shake it off, Step on it and come out! With God on our side, we will do it.

May God give you grace to use this revelation in whatever situation in your life. And may you come out victorious all for the glory of his name.

Let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas and blessings in the new coming year!

06 December 2011

When God comes down.

I watched the movie the passion of the Christ yet again. Given, I have seen it many times before but this time I watched it for detail. I was convinced that there was something to learn in the way Jesus gave his life painfully for me. I watched the way he was popular while he performed miracles.  A crowd puller too.

It is amazing how one has a following when they have something to offer. Doesn't matter how one acquired it but the fact that there is something to offer  is a guarantee of a following. But watch for that same crowd when the going gets tough!

I noted that the crowd started thinning when he was in tribulation. He was left with his disciples and family. But even in the garden when he went to pray, his disciples slept! Later Peter denied him three times. But all along his journey to the cross his mother trailed him. She actually felt his pain at different levels of persecution. Ooh the calling of motherhood!

What actually stood out is that after all the mocking Jesus went through, after all the pain and distress, God showed up after all. And that is what stood out for me. Made me think that while all that was going on it seemed to those watching that all was lost. If God was his father then why didn't he save him from the pain? His mother was agonising all the way. Why would God let his own son go through so much pain for whatever cause? Few people believed he was was the son of God then.

It made me appreciate those who stand with me when things get rough. Could be emotionally or else, but I have seen God bring people in my live who are just right to help me deal the particular situation. Without whom it would be unbearable. And they come equipped really well for their purpose too. Sometimes when all is calm they stay on. But sometimes when their purpose is fulfilled they move on. Perhaps to yet another mission.

But the most amazing thing happens when God steps in a situation. Not to say that he was not there all along. When God comes down all changes for the better. It might have been a hopeless situation but he turns it around. He does it in such a drastic way that anyone watching is left with no doubt that he has done it. All testify that no one else could have done it but God! What wonder to behold the hand of God in someones life. Even better to experience it! It leaves one with no doubt that God is at work.

I have witnessed situations in my life and of people around me that leave no doubt that God does come  down to rescue and save. That God is in the business of reaching out to his people. Often times such are people who have not lost the faith. Those that keep hoping and trusting in him. I have found it very useful for me to claim God's promises in my life. For God is a promise keeper too.

And so when Jesus accomplished his mission on the cross, an immense  manifestation of God was seen. Darkness spread all over the land. The earth shook too. It was God's way of affirming that he was in control. That with the mission accomplished, was his time to come down. Times it appears like it is too late in our lives for God to do anything. But yet if he wants to accomplish something then we just have to wait on his time. Might be painful, overbearing too. But until his purpose in our lives is done then we just have to bear. And when he does show up we are able to see the meaning of that phase in our lives. It also serves to build our faith and testify to others of the might of God.

Don't give up on God, coz he wont give up on you. Those lyrics of a popular praise song. It is true that no matter what the situation may be, God is in control of it and at the right time he will come down to save and restore. Might seem unbearable but he is still there. Working behind the scenes so that it turns out just right for you. And when all is set he will make it all beautiful in his time. What a wonderful God he is. How comforting to know that he will come down and save me in times of trouble and sorrow.

01 December 2011

He reigns!

Anyone who has ever been in a situation whereby only God can save you will identify with me. It has been a gruelling time for me. It has been a time when there is no need of telling anyone what it is that bothers you. Because sincerely, no one can fit in your shoes. The last two weeks have been my time in the garden. Let me explain.

I listened to a favourite televangelist speak about the seasons of our lives. He spoke about night seasons. About God of my tight places. I needed that message at that time. Jesus went through three phases agonising the cross. Started out with the wilderness experience. If you have been through that one you know. I identify with the loneliness because it is a time of alienation. A time when you look around and realise that most of your friends are gone. For me, several years ago,  it was a time that God used very well to prove to me that he does supply all my needs. It was a very useful lesson on depending on him.

Then came the garden experience this last two weeks. Jesus went through this the night before crucifixion. He reached out to those closest to him to pray with him in the garden. Yes, they were loyal and went along with him. But pray they didn't. He found them asleep! The garden experience is one where by all around you seems to be going on well. Those around you may sense that all is not well with you. But know little else. I smiled through my garden experience these last two weeks. But inside I was falling apart. Literally.

It is tough acting like all is well when you just want to stand on a rooftop and scream. I took this time to challenge God. I asked him questions no one else could answer. I spoke to him, literally. It has not been easy these two weeks. At some point I would cry so hard my eyes all puffed up. Then I would wash my face and put on a smile. I hang on to God's promises, my lifeline. Tough time, that.

Alas, the light is shining. It is always darkest just before dawn. I know for sure that storms in our lives serve to make us strong. The calm that follows is something to treasure. Then again, how can we be victors when we have not been at war. It is only one who has come out of battle that he knows the taste of victory. And appreciates it well. I know that my tears were not in vain. I know that  God is fighting my battles for me. It may not be through a method I am familiar with but he is. I am convinced because I am beginning to see some light.

There is a peace that comes in knowing that God is in control. Being who he is, the creator of the universe, he knows all that will happen in our lives. He is so mighty that with him on our side we need not worry. But sometimes we do. Because all could seem so dark. But he is in control. Sitting on his throne. I know for sure that he is God of promise. It is claiming the promise that at times is agonising.

Am more convinced now that there is power in prayer. I have witnessed so much change when I pray. I also know that God treasures our earnest petitions. They are what moves his heart to move obstacles in our lives. Yes, this day, I am convinced more than ever that he is more than able. I carry a great testimony of God's faithfulness. And strength. With him all things are possible. Nothing, not even our tears are in vain.