Bringing hope to life beyond COVID 19

I have every reason to thank God in this season. It has been confirmed through multiple tests: my husband and I are now corona free! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!😊😊😊

Truly this illness was not unto death for us, but to give a testimony of the goodness and greatness of God.

*Happy dance* We celebrate the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord!

So what next? Where do we go from here?

There is still much left to be done. I am reminded of a story I once heard about a hummingbird, told by a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from Kenya, the late Wangari Maathai. The short version follows below:

This is my challenge now that the worst is over for me. What can I do to help others around me to get through this? Who can I help, and how, with the little that I have?

I want to be that little hummingbird in my community, in this generation. I can start here in this blog by sharing some encouragement and hope, and hopefully add more good things as I go. If one person smiles and gets to know the love of God and the freedom in Jesus through my words, that’s enough for me 💕

It may be a big dream but I believe that together we can make the world a happier, more positive and unified place. One person at a time. One step at a time.

In what ways are people helping each other around you during these difficult times? What big or small thing has made you smile today?

Isolating faith

I recently learnt about this idea, isolating faith. It was explained to me as a point that comes in one’s walk of faith where God has to separate you to continue building you as a believer.

It sounds like a strange thing, a least it did to me at first. But when I looked deeper in the Bible, I saw that this often happens. One example that comes to mind is Abraham (initially called Abram), often credited as the father of faith. God told Abraham to leave all he knew to follow him.

The Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you”

Genesis 12:1

The following two verses in Genesis 12 (read more here) continue talking about how God will make Abraham into a great nation. Reading all the verses together, one can see that isolating faith is the first step towards God’s promises for our lives.

Lightbulb moment – isolating faith opens the door to great promises!

The only problem is that life doesn’t often happen this way. I find that when God asks me to separate by doing things differently, leaving some habits, stepping out even when I am afraid, the promise that will come after is not clear until I actually do what I need to do.

Isolating faith for me is often God saying, “Obey first, then I will show you the benefits of obedience.”

God continually raises us to be better. He raises us to demonstrate the fruits of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. He raises us to use our gifts and talents in a way that pleases him and makes the world a better place. But to get there, we will experience isolating faith. Great things never happen if we continue doing the same old things in the same old way.

Isolating faith: This is God’s way of calling us to our next level!

My encouragement today for the next time this moment of isolating faith comes your way – embrace it. No eye has seen, no ear has heard or mind understood what God has in store for you! He is in it, to win it, for you.

All you need to do is take that step of faith. What lies on the other side of that step is amazing!

Hope Beyond COVID 19

Before I faced the COVID 19 virus (my husband and I both have it as mentioned in a previous post), thinking about the virus and all the devastation it is causing was creating a sense of anxiety and panic for me.

The impact that this virus has had on both those who get it, and those who are affected emotionally and economically cannot be understated. Some of us go through the physical pain of the virus in our body, some of us go through the emotional and mental anguish of watching loved ones suffer, some of us go through the economic devastation of having jobs terminated, uncertainty of where the next meal will come from or what the future will be after this pandemic. The most unfortunate of us go through all of the above, sometimes all together.

This pandemic has affected us all, either physically, emotionally or economically. Sometimes in all the above ways.

But even then, just like in the days of Elijah when God was not in the mighty wind, massive earthquake or blazing fire, sometimes what we need to re-ignite hope is a still, small voice.

Sometimes God comes through the chaos in the form of a still, small voice.

I am no longer afraid or anxious despite the chaos and uncertainty COVID 19 has introduced. We can, and we will rebuild again. God created us with so many gifts and abilities that we have not even began to understand. Sometimes we have to be shaken to the core to release those gifts. He is ready to equip us with great strength and resilience to keep moving despite everything this virus throws at us. All we have to do is ask. Ask him to help us to look beyond the chaos and the pain and to help us see that he has been there with us all along, carrying us when we couldn’t walk.

God will give us strength, hope and strategies to move on beyond COVID 19. This I believe without a doubt.

Joy in the journey

My husband and I tested positive for COVID this week. It has been a hard reality to come to terms with, especially because we have two small children, but it is the reality we are living in now.

Is it difficult? Yes. Is it physically and mentally draining? Yes. And yet, somehow, there is joy in the journey.

God never allows anything in a believers life that does not work together for good. Even as some moments have led us to question if tomorrow will come, we have continued to see God’s very present hand in our lives. Our friends and family have rallied around us, supporting us physically, mentally and emotionally. It has been a time of strengthening and deepening bonds. A time that reminds us of what really matters – family, friendship, love. These are the things that are bringing us joy during this journey.

And so we continue on this journey. Every day takes us a step closer to beating the virus. Every day we are reminded of how precious life and the people around us are. Every day we will continue thanking God for the joy he is bringing during this journey.

The Season of Blindness

I have been known to be a planner by the people in my life. In the past, asking me where my career was headed, or the grand plans I had to buy a car or a home would have yielded immediate answers, “In five years, I will be at level X in my career”, “By the end of this year I will have saved up to buy a new car.” This is not me anymore.

What changed?

God came and interrupted my life.

I realize that sounds overly spiritual coming from a normal person just trying to make their way in this life, but this is exactly what is happening to me in this moment. I made a decision a few weeks ago to start a fast, and now at day 17 of 21, it is quite clear to me that my life, as I had planned it is about to change.

I had all these grand plans of what my life would become, and how I would achieve these plans, but God has made it clear that things will not unfold as I had thought. I am learning to trust God through the blindness, even when I cannot see the end. Even when I cannot see beyond a step in front of me. He is calling me to be still before him in these troubled times.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”.

Psalm 46:10

I may not even hold the job I now have at the end of the year, and that’s okay. I may not even be relying on the skills and expertise that I have developed over my career this time next year, and that’s okay. He has me in his hands, and he will work it out, for his glory.

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still”

Exodus 14:14

And so in this season of blindness, where I cannot see what comes next, I choose to trust Him. He who formed me in my mothers womb, and has a grand plan for my life and this earth will bring it to fruition. I choose to trust, and to stand in the gap for anyone who is like me. Anyone who cannot see what comes next. Anyone whose life has been turned upside down by COVID 19 and all the challenges that it has brought. I will be here praying for you in this season of blindness, and God will cross us over to the other side.

An encouragement note….

My hope and prayer for all who read this post today is that you will remember:

You are precious and you are loved.

Even when times are tough and there seems to be no end to the trouble in sight, someone is watching over you, and he will carry you through.

So be encouraged and take heart. God has got you, and he is not about to let go.

And when times are tough, he will send little reminders like this one to let you know that he loves you with an everlasting love.

He loves you now, he has always loved you, and he will always love you.

When God comes through for you

And David encouraged himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6)

Sometimes life hands you a bad day that only you can understand. I had one such day today. To give a little background, words carry a lot of weight in my life. I am the type of person who is likely to remember an offhand word that was said to me for many months (or years) after it was spoken. Now this is normally a good thing when positive words are spoken. When the words are negative. Probably not so much.

Back to my story. Here I was prepping for an important client meeting in the afternoon, of which my manager was to give important feedback and additional information on before the meeting. We had agreed on having a call earlier in the day so that by the time we got to the afternoon meeting, I would be ready with all the answers to the potential questions the client would have. As fate would have it, my manager was not in the country so we needed to connect via internet and this was the one day that all internet systems were offline. This meant that all the pre-reads I had prepared for my manager earlier on went undelivered and unread, and by the time we managed to connect and have the call, everyone was frustrated and very few positive things were said.

So here I was, about to go face my client, literally feeling like David with two stones in my hand. Only that, unlike David, my spirit had already been crushed by the conversation with my boss and if I had my way, I would have cancelled that meeting and gone home to nurse my wounds. Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with a legitimately acceptable excuse to cancel the meeting half an hour before and so on I went, with a sinking heart and legs feeling like lead.

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As I was about to walk in God reminded me of something I had read during my devotional the night before. Reading the story of how the Israelites were delivered from Egypt, God had reassured Moses that he would be with him and that the Israelites would believe him when he told them that God spoke to him through the burning bush. And that was my reassurance, God would be with me. Someway, somehow he would get me through. And he did. All the questions the client asked, I was able to answer and together we built a solution that would meet their needs.

Isn’t God amazing? Sometimes all he needs is for us to be there as willing vessels and he will do the rest.

I’ve learned that sometimes we just need to encourage ourselves in the Lord like David did and he will give wisdom and strength to get through seemingly impossible situations.

A Tribute to my King

Time seems to stand still,
As I take a moment to feel,
The peace that comes from doing your will,
And reward for keeping it real.

You created me,
Out of dust and ashes you molded me,
And now I can see,
How you want things to be.

Candles

I lay my life in your hand,
Like a little grain of sand,
As you lead me to the promised land,
On your promises I will forever stand.

I thank you for all my blessings,
For your warmth love and good tidings,
In your house I’ll always be praising,
As I follow and you keep on leading!

Psalms 107:1
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good;
His love endures forever

The Beautiful Exchange

What a beautiful exchange
His beauty for our ashes
His hope for our fear
His joy for our sadness
He gave his awesome amazing grace.

He took us
Broken, bruised and crushed
And covered us with his righteousness
A bruised reed he shall not break.

What shall we say then?
If God is for us? Who can be against us?
By his power, we shall overcome!

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The Tattered Bible

I once found myself wondering why anyone would keep a tattered bible.

Don’t get me wrong, as one who tries to maintain a bible reading habit, I have my own beloved bible that is more than a decade old. It’s just that I like well maintained things. If my bible was to significantly tear, I would most likely get it repaired or store it for use on special occasions only.

One of my great aunts has such a bible. There is nothing special about the workmanship of that particular bible. It is basically a bible you would find in any bookstore. I have been tempted on several occasions to replace it but something in me always said no.

So I dug a little deeper.

It took me a few days to figure out why that bible means so much to her. On its pages, there are notes next to passages that guide her. There are tear stains on psalms she read when she was going through difficult times in her life. There are creases and tears on pages she has read over and over, wisdom she shared with us over the years. There are names next to verses she prays over her loved ones. In short, those are the pages of her life. The words on those pages have been her solace, her protection, her hope and her joy.

Wouldn’t it be great if our bibles were the pages of our lives?

Bible

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