On Wednesday we vote.
For all my fellow South Africans, you know what I’m talking about. It’s election time and over the past few months I’ve often heard these words: “We’ll see what happens after the elections”.
That means people have put their career choices on hold or waited before buying a property. We’re all waiting. For what?
For many the crime rates, racial conflict and corruption in the country have become too much. Large numbers of people are heading out of the country. I’ll be honest and say: that’s us. We would love to emigrate if the right door opens.
But at the moment we’re here. And for many, it feels as if the pressure is rising.
For me, the question is: ‘What am I supposed to do as His ambassador?’ That should be my first thought before making any decision. I won’t proclaim that I always get it right, but I want to get it right this time.
So here are my thoughts.
It’s not too late to pray. I realise I haven’t spent enough hours praying for this country. Instead of becoming immobile because of guilt, (which so often happens, right?) I simply started.
But what would prayer consist of?
In God’s ever-perfect timing I recently discovered a book on prayer (The Happy Intercessor) while unpacking our guest room because my sister in law is coming to stay. What does Beni Johnson talk about in the first few pages? Praying for a city/region/situation.
There’s a hill behind our house and from the top I can see most of our city. I simply started praying for our area. THINKING about the plight of our country and city can leave me seeing only darkness and hopelessness. But those moments of praying for life, praying for the leadership and proclaiming Him as the God of the city left me with a different picture. Without even thinking I started asking Him to show me MY path in the future of the city. .
Here’s what happens when we PRAY instead of THINK (or COMPLAIN while gathered around the braai with friends): you tap into His thoughts.
Before, thinking of how I’m supposed to change my city simply left me feeling drained and depressed. But in conversation with Him you start seeing the divine way out of the situation.
Following close on the heels of this prayer and revelation you’ll find something else: hope.
Let’s be honest and say our country is in a pretty dire situation. There’s no saying when the power problems of Eskom will be sorted out. How will the country recover after so much corruption and money wasted? But that doesn’t mean that we’ll never thrive again. That doesn’t mean we can’t find a way of living together in peace (which is more important than being a rich country in my books anyway).
Yes it may take some time. But we’re already living the miracle of leaving apartheid behind. I will say it again: every time I start losing faith in the fact that God has a plan for South Africa, He encourages.
Note: Maybe His plan is different than what we imagine…so instead of hoping for riches, perhaps we should simply focus on getting along?
We came together in 1994 and we didn’t go down. We can do anything. No matter how long it takes. But we have to keep on hoping. Not hope based on our plans, but on His.
All for His glory. (That’s another new thought which I will write about sometime in future)
So, I’ve mentioned that my husband and I would love to emigrate. For me: I would love to simply travel the world and experience different parts of it. And yes, sometimes I think another country may offer my children a better future than what they’ll find here in SA.
These are thoughts many of us have.
But I’m aware that we may live right here at the southern part of Africa for the rest of our lives. And if that happens, it means He has a purpose for it.
I believe life is valuable because of His goals for our lives. If He places me in a country He wants me to play a role there.
Simply because I’m a believer doesn’t mean that I’m guaranteed an easy life. My prayers and my discussions with Him could lead to going overseas where life seems safer and there’s a better chance of finding work and good education…or I could find He has a purpose for me right here, to fight for His cause in SA:
- Fighting for justice in a country where many people & cultures are oppressed by their leaders or where they oppress each other
- Fighting for love between different cultures by living without prejudice or hate
- Fighting people’s negative talks by showing others how it can be done His way, not our way
- Fighting depression and hate by teaching others about the miracle of His healing, His type of forgiveness and the joy of serving Him
If that is His purpose for me, it would be an honorable purpose to pursue. And yes, I know I may even suffer as part of that journey. But where He’s taken me in the past has always been good (often hard, but with amazing outcomes), so once again I will submit to His bidding.
Yes, I’ve learnt that I can also make my own decisions and that He blesses where I decide to go. But in the big decisions of life, His prompts are always the best to adhere to instead of thinking MY way is the best way.
So, join me. Fight with your vote by picking someone worthy. Also fight where you are: Climb your own hills and mountains. Talk to Him about our cities, people and leaders. Let’s find our purposes in the communities around us, because it’s obvious that we can’t leave it up to our leaders to fix this country.
But we can make it better than it is now.
Will you fight with me?