As a believer we are living a life filled with hope and faith that God’s ultimate plan and purpose for our lives will come to pass. Our expectations revolves around the very promises in God’s word, that our future will be prosperous and that only goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
In a world where pain and heartache is surrounding us, we are desperately praying that God will hear our humble cry and intervene in the suffering and agony of those that are overwhelmed with trauma and dilemma. Our empathy is genuine, but yet we cannot fully comprehend the misery that many people have to bear, and sadly many are crushed by the relentless blows of life.
Then, just when I least expect it, like a massive tsunami, tragedy comes my way and my whole world comes crushing down. The sudden death of a loved one, the letter from my manager informing me that I have been retrenched, the betrayal in a relationship, false accusations from my best friend, summons delivered in name for bad debt, and the list is endless.
Our human nature is to seek a logical explanation, even though our spirit man is God conscious and aware that He is in control. Yet still we break down in tears and scream from our inner most being, “God, I am your child, why does these things happen to me?” We pose to God millions of valid reasons why we think that we do not deserve to be at the receiving end of pain, disappointments, abandonment, rejection, betrayal, lost, abuse and suffering! It is in the midst of engulfing emotions of fear; uncertainty and hopelessness where depression and anxiety makes us look upon ourselves as victims and failures. “What have I done to deserve this?” “Will I ever get through this?” How will I survive this?”
Everybody at some stage has been going through hell and high waters and we have stood in the presence of God with tears in our eyes and ask God why? King Hezekiah he was the recipient of bad news, and he wept before God, defending his case as to why he did not deserve to die yet! Ask Hannah how she had to bear the tormenting provocation from a Peninnah, because she was barren. Job with an irrefutable character lost it all and had all the reason to ask why? Jesus Himself had not the bitter cup spared from Him!
Is there a lesson in all of this? Yes there is! God in His infinite wisdom and unconditional love, allows seasons to enter our lives that might cause pain and discomfort, but it is all for the good. At that stage it is so difficult to see the good in the bad, but God promise that all things works together for the good for those who loves Him and are called according to His purpose! Storms don’t last forever! For every winter there is a summer! The challenge is to endure and to keep the faith in spite of the difficulties. Even though the process is painful, it is the end results that will make it all worth the while.
We advance through our adversity, we are promoted in our pain, and we are build in our battles! The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot keep us. His grace is sufficient for me! On the 6th April 1993, in a small town Clanwilliam,my whole world came tumbling down when in my Matric year we lost our house at a public auction. On this day I witness my father crying like a child, as he experience utter failure as a husband and father, because he could not come up with enough money to pay the bank the arrears on the house. My worst fear was where we will go to from here as we had no other place to go to. My mother made it clear that she is leaving with my younger brother and sister and my older brother and my younger brother and I will have to stay with my father. Even the night before the auction we had a prayer meeting in the house, hoping that God will miraculously come through for us, after all, our family is serving Him. Our prayer wasn’t answered that night. We lost the place we called home and we faced an uncertain future. I accepted that my fate was not to complete my final school year. Little did we know that this tragedy is a set up!
We had to vacate and move out of town, as a famer offered our family shelter in a isolated house on his farm about 15km out of town. No toilet, no tabs, no bathroom, no electricity with our closest neighbours 3 km away from us. Being accustomed to all the luxury of a modern day house, here we found ourselves set back into a primitive setup. How would we survive? What an embarrassment to us as God’s children who proudly and passionately proclaimed the gospel in open air services, telling to community what a good God we are serving, but look now! Everybody knew us as believers, how do we face them! The only way for us to survive was to pull together as a family.
Then to make things worse, the car we had broke and there was no transport for my parents to get to their workplace, and that forced them to walk the gruesome stretch of 30km a day from the farm to the town and back where they worked! Sometimes they would be lucky if they get a lift, but most of the time at 5 o’clock in the cold winter’s morning, the two of them sets off to make a living, so that their 5 children can have a future. With tears in her eyes and unbearable pain shooting from her feet up her legs, my mom would ask the question, why Lord?
Little did we know that God was up to something! For 6 months God purposefully placed us in a place of isolation, because he had to prepare us for the blessing that he has laid up for us and for the testimony that we will share for His glory. Our characters were shaped and our attitudes moulded. The very farm of despair became the mission field of hope where we saw how God touched the lives of many families. This humble experience in the beginning, turned out to be our preparation ground. We made it, as a family! We came out gold! God’s purpose prevailed.
Today when I look back and see how he has blessed our family, it amazes me how God can use a bad experience and turn it into a life changing experience for His glory. Whatever comes your way, no matter how bad and painful, don’t lose hope and don’t give up! You will be surprise at what God has in store for you. He has our best interest at heart, and will never put more on us than what you can bear! Most of all he is preparing the person in you for His purpose and though it is not easy, it is surely worth it! So next time you go through a bad situation, and before you ask why, just know that it is only for a season as your best is yet to come!