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Saturday, 21 April 2012

Trusting GOD when life goes wrong ..

For a few days, I have been reflecting on a Yoruba proverb seen on a friend's FB wall .. 'Orisa, bi o le gbemi, se mi bi o se ba mi'. It is a traditional proverb that is an invocation to an idol - 'Idol, if you cannot help me, then at least return me to the state I was in when you arrived on the scene. I know I asked for your help but do not make my situation worse with your meddling.'

In the Old Testament, the Shunammite woman said something very similar to Elisha when her young son died unexpectedly. 'Did I ask God for a child? When you came here and asked me what I wanted, did I not tell you, do not play with my emotions? Do not tell GOD to give me my heart's desire only to have Him take it away afterwards?'

This cry comes from an honest heart. How often do our hearts cry out to GOD (even if our voices do not), saying, - 'Why did you step into my situation if things are only going to get worse? Please if you can't help me, at least restore me to my previous state which was better than this current messed-up state in which you have left me.'

Why did You give me a long-awaited, much loved child who has now suddenly died aged 12? Why have I miscarried my twin pregnancy in the 7th month of this pregnancy after tearful pain-filled years of trying to get pregnant? Why has my relationship ended painfully? Why has my marriage ended despite Your asking me to hang on for 15 difficult years? Why are my children rebellious despite my bringing them up with love and discipline? Why did my friend die despite everyone trusting You for healing? Why am I overlooked at work and mocked for my honesty? Why is it the more I try to love my wife like You say, the more she despises me? Why is my husband brutal and uncaring despite my submitting as much as I can? Why has my spouse cheated on me despite my loving them with all my heart? Why have I come down with an incurable illness despite living a healthy lifestyle and doing everything right? Why did my wonderful husband die in his 30's leaving me with 3 young kids despite our loving You and serving You faithfully? Why is it that the more I believe and hold into Your promises, the worse my life gets? A litany of whys.

The children of Israel asked GOD the same thing when they got to Marah and the waters were bitter. Neither they, their children or livestock could drink it. Dying of thirst in the hot baking desert, they cried out to GOD and grumbled bitterly - 'Why bring us into the desert to kill us with thirst? We were better off in Egypt. Okay, we might have been slaves but we got our 3 square meals a day with plenty of water.'

There are no glib answers. We all have places of 'whys' in our lives. In pain our hearts will sometimes say - ''Are You really there LORD, and if You are, do You really care?'

But faith speaks differently. Faith says - 'Will GOD bring on labour pains and not bring to birth? Will GOD forget our weeping in the night? Will GOD ignore your holding unto Him despite the utter hopelessness around you? Is GOD uncaring and removed from your situation? Removed from my situation? Are we simply chess pieces He moves around on a whim? Or are we beloved children whose lives He orders and plans carefully every step of the way?'

Hold on. Hold on even if tears blind your eyes. Hold unto GOD even as it hurts and your fingers ache and cramp from hanging on. Hold unto your Father and refuse to let go. Hold unto your maker and storm Heavens gates until your voice is well known there. The Shunammite woman REFUSED to leave Elisha until he intervened in her situation. That ultra resolute lady had only one agenda - if Elisha's GOD had truly given her that son, then Elisha's GOD was going to raise her dead son from the grave. Gosh, her faith blows me away!

'Orisha, bi o le gbemi, se mi bi o se bami.' This is not who our GOD is. He is not an uncaring powerless idol. GOD alone can turn the situations of our lives around. He gives us beauty for ashes, He restores new for old, a spirit of praise for the garment of heaviness, joy in the morning after the long night of weeping.

Hold unto GOD and never ever ever let go. He will either restore, or He will give brand new or He will resurrect. When GOD promises, He makes good no matter how much time passes between the promise and the fulfilment. For the child that died, He gave David and Bathsheba another child, Solomon, considered to be one of the greatest kings in the world's history. Despite being a young childless widow who was also a Moabitess (and therefore seemingly cut off from the promises of GOD), Ruth got a new brilliant loving husband in Boaz, a lovely son, AND also became the ancestress of Jesus Christ. After fleeing Saul's hatred for over 10 years, David finally became King as GOD promised. After 13 years of slavery and then imprisonment for a rape he did not commit, Joseph was made Prime Minister of Egypt. His family bowed down to him like in the dream he had dreamt as a child. Abraham and Sarah finally had Isaac 25 years after GOD gave them the promise of a son, despite her barrenness and his um *inability to get it up any longer* *giggle*. And the Shunammite woman described above? She got her son back from the dead. Elisha's GOD resurrected him.

GOD does not ever forget us. We are written in the palms of His hands. His word to us is He loves and cares for us always.

Trust GOD always.


Biblical References:
2Kings 4: 8 -36
Exodus 3: 22 - 27

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