Thursday, February 21, 2013

That Encounter (that may or may not have happened)

Thank you Lord for giving me a roof over my head and plenty of food to eat, thank you that I got a chance to go to school without ever worrying about fees or whether or not I’d have the ability to understand what I was being taught. Thank you for a more than stable home life. Thank you for giving me amazing parents and siblings who loved me from day 1. Thank you that my father was a great man in a world where great men, great fathers are hard to find. Thank you that I have a sister to look up to. Thank you that my mum cares about every aspect of my life and would do anything to help me succeed in whatever I wanted. Thank you for her generous spirit. Thank you for the life she has sacrificed and afforded to give me. Thank you for my health. Thank you for the beautiful friendships you have made available to me at every season of my life. Thank you for putting me in this beautiful country with millions of different, eccentric, wonderful personalities. Thank you for this election and every candidate running and the regions they represent. Thank you that when I thought we wouldn’t make it out of the last election’s violence, we did and you’ve given us 5 wonderful years of peace. Thank you for creating me exactly the way you did. Thank you for sending you son to die on the cross to pay the ransom for my sinful nature. Thank you for loving me and putting love in me. Thank you that you’ve never taken that love away. Thank you for forgiving me when I couldn’t forgive myself. Thank you for talking to me and having relationship with me every single day. Thank you for giving me a dream of a future I could hope for. Thank you for giving me this opportunity at the exact right time. Thank you for giving me new mercies each morning and grace to help me exactly when I need it every single day.

Today, I woke up feeling low…a continuation of yesterday’s “off” mood. I didn’t go to one class and spent the morning in bed watching TV. I finally woke up to go to my 2nd class only because we had a test scheduled otherwise I’d probably have stayed in bed all day.

I’m on the bus and all this hopelessness comes upon me and I get this thought, “I don’t think we should go” and I spend the rest of the trip thinking whether that was from God, me or the devil. I get to town and I’m just complaining to God thinking, “If I’ve prayed for a 30k shillings phone and you can’t even give that to me, how am I supposed to trust you to take me to Redding, where the rent is approximately  that much a month? Are you even real? Maybe I should be praying, God if you’re real, get me a phone?!” I was basically a spoiled little brat and if someone I was in a relationship with had said the things I was saying to me, I’d be hurt and a little furious. I’d like to say it wasn’t really about the phone, but it was. Basically I’ve spent so much time complaining and telling God all the things He hasn’t done for me that I expect Him to do if He was real.

I got an email last night about how sometimes people write out the script of their testimony out of a bad situation or whatever and hand God His lines, like, "Here God, learn your part, we're going on camera in 5" and if He doesn't then we get upset and lash out at Him for not sticking to our plan.

Anyway, I get to class and my test was cancelled so I head back home and randomly decide to stop at one of those phone stores with a window display and I’m standing there thinking about the phone I’d want and how much it was, then this guy walks up behind me and He says, “nisaidie madam nisaidie” (help me madam, help me) there was a guy standing next to me so I was obviously the only madam being referred to and I totally ignored him and kept looking at my dream phone. I turn to leave and he’s in front of me and starts saying, “nilikuwa kwa ajali…” (i was in an accident...)and before he finishes, I walk away, and I’m so ashamed to admit this, very rudely.

As I walk I’m thinking, “I only have 150 bob in my pocket, that’s barely enough to cover my fare for tomorrow". Then I start thinking, “Wait, what are the odds this guy would come up to me, just me not the guys standing next to me, and what are the odds it would be when I’m standing looking at the phone I want God to GIVE me?” and I’m like, “Crud! That was Jesus” Not Jesus literally, but that was God perfectly setting up a scenario to bless me and I was acting like a brat!

So I walk back, literally I’d only walked 5 steps away from the shop and when I get back, the guy wasn’t there anymore, I walked around and looked and he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. I know, you’ll tell me the guy wasn't as injured as he claimed he was and probably just ran off, but I’m just not feeling like that was what happened. 

Whether or not it was a “divine encounter” God definitely became more real for me in those 2 minutes. I spend so much time saying, I can’t give money to beggars because they don’t deserve it, why don’t they look for something to sell or something to do to earn money, I’m a hustler too, they’re probably using it for drugs and a million other excuses which are all summed up by “They don’t deserve it.” However, the fact of the matter is, all that God’s given me, all that I expect or demand that He give me, I don’t deserve any of it either. It may not technically be the same, but spiritually it’s exactly the same. 

If God gives me when I don’t deserve it, then who am I to judge someone else’s am circumstances and say they don’t deserve my help. In fact it’s the least God is asking of me, just money. There’ll come a time when He’ll probably ask me for more, time, energy, effort and so on.

I went home feeling horrible. I’d basically looked Jesus in the face and walked away and the verses below came to mind to cement it even more:

Matt 25:31 (NET Bible) “When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? 40 And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was a stranger and you did not receive me as a guest, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not give you whatever you needed?' 45 Then he will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ 46 And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

I’m sitting on the bus feeling horrible and then I get this reassurance that thankfully I didn’t completely blow it. You know, not all the times you hear from God or get a new revelation will the end result be laughter and elevation. Sometimes, His lessons are sobering, but the point isn’t to steal our joy, kill our spirit or destroy our relationship with Him. The point is to show us another aspect of our lives we need to work on in order to come into the fullness of life He promised us. You want proof, this matatu pulled up next to us – read the words on the back.

God of A Second Chance

I believe more than anything I’m going where He told me I would go. Will it be easy? No. I’m going to have to get past this selfishness of mine, and being so self-involved that I don’t realize somebody else is going through something bigger than me. I’m going to have to realize I’m never going to feel like I deserve anything He gives me or puts in someone else’s hands to give me. It’s because He loves me. Same way when I can, I should give to show Christ’s love. 

When I receive, I should thank God and use whatever I’ve received for His glory. I might think it’s humility to accept, but the truth is that it’s pride – I don’t want people to have pity on me. It’s robbing glory from God and it’s wrong. I have no control with what people will do with whatever I give them. All I can do is pray for every cent I receive and ask for increase and that it’s used for God’s glory and not for evil.

In the kingdom, if you want to give, you have to receive.


No comments:

Post a Comment