Okay, so I’m not professing to be an expert…definitely not a politician…and perhaps I’m naive in MANY aspects of life. But I only have what I perceive to be true. For me, what God shares with me is true. That’s all I have and all I cling to (naively) sometimes.
Why do I stick to this outlook? All the times I clung to His Word, words and guidance…it proved to be true (although sometimes only EVENTUALLY) and it proved ENOUGH.
So it stays. His opinion stays in my heart and it stays the thing I simply CAN’T let go of.
And what is it He’s refusing me to give up on now? Hope. Hope for this country, South Africa. Hope for my family in this country.
For some reason, He keeps on telling me to believe in South Africa.
How it Started
It started in 1994 when we all collected canned food in fear of civil war and chaos just before the election. That chaos didn’t happen, did it?
That cemented it for me: God had a plan for this country. So, for the next 20 years I firmly believed it and proclaimed it.
I also saw and became part of so many movements that fought for truth, for justice, for people’s rights, for reconciliation, for people’s healing and for God’s plan in this land. I KNEW He was busy with something and I believed: He has a plan to bring the best out of us. And we were all made for a time like this.
As I’m writing, I realise it’s important to remember that this plan is not focused on giving people comfort or glory. It’s so He can have the glory and that more people can find Him. That’s always the goal.
Back to my story: Now, I will be naive if I don’t admit certain things changed…got worse…have become scary over the last 20 years.
My Second Encouragement
I state again: I’m no political expert. But even I knew when a certain political figure got fired that it spelled bad news for us.
Bad news in terms of corruption and fighting for the rights of the common people. I find hope when I see good people still fight for what is right in corrupt environments. When they get beaten down, I do falter in my faith.
So, one morning I woke up. My husband saw it on the news. He told me. I burst into tears. In a moment, my fears became bigger than my 20 year long faith and trust. I was scared.
And then it came. For NO reason my husband read a scripture (not something he would necessarily do and he wasn’t aware I was crying fearfully) that told me not to fear. Forgive me, I can’t remember the specific verse, only that in that SPECIFIC moment God reminded me He is bigger than whatever is going on in parliament.
And my faith took hold again.
My Recent Reminder
Fast forward a few months and the news isn’t necessarily getting any better. I wake up this week. Fear grips me.
I only see chaos in parliament, corruption in the police force and hate between cultures. Leaders cheat us out of our money and it doesn’t seem that we can really bring them to justice.
Yes, I’m thankful certain role players (even international agencies) got outed and I’m a firm believer that those were miracles in themselves. But are we really moving in the right direction yet? And let’s not start on how scary it is to think of the fear farmers live in.
So my day starts with these thoughts. Perhaps because I heard about it a lot this past week. My heart flips…fear is on top again instead of faith.
My God is the only place I can run to. Something drives me to go seek His face early in the morning. (I admit, I’m not always so diligent). I pray. For our home, my day…but also passionately, fearfully, for our country. Begging for the yoke to be lifted all of our shoulders. All cultures. All races. We need peace.
And God answers. Instantly.
The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,
8 but with an overwhelming flood
… he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.
“Although they have allies and are numerous,
they will be destroyed and pass away.
…13 Now I will break their yoke from your neck
and tear your shackles away.”
He will act. He is in charge. He sees.
I realize that Moses never saw the promised land. I have no guarantee that I will see our country in peace and utter victory. But I don’t know what happens after I’m gone. His promise fulfilled? That’s the possibility.
What I don’t want is that that victory takes longer because I don’t do my share in His plan.
Because here’s the other thing I believe: While He wants to give us release, He also expects us to do our part: Being God fearing people, following His values, living love. That’s our part in all of this.
Because I WAS created for a time like this. And my actions can bring the change He speaks of, whether it happens now or 20 or 50 years down the line.
I know it’s easier said than done, but I want to commit to His bigger plan, rather than my fearful one.
I CAN pray. I can do good to all around me, reminding more and more people that we’re not all bad, that race doesn’t have to matter, that we can decide to do good, rather than evil.
I see miracle stories. Reconciliation happens in small ways. Someone offers to buy another’s bread at a till, of you discuss racial differences with someone from a different culture (lovingly, not defensively). Someone writes a song about hope (oh, how I admire our artists who proclaim hope). People live moral lives based on wisdom, instead of taking the easy road. We keep on praying for the right leaders who are doing a tough job fighting corruption. These, to me, are the miracles…the steps in the right direction.
It’s what He calls me to do. Along with believing, not fearing. Not being naive, but realising our values, our prayers, our actions determine where this country ends up.
And I STILL believe there’s hope. Because He says so.