Matthew 6:27, 30.
“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
When my dad died, my home was in turmoil. My world shattered, and I had no hope, or so I thought at that time. Our standard of living took a downward spiral after his death, and the strain on my poor mother who had to care for four children on a teacher’s salary in Ghana was immense. Of all the things we went through at the time, the one thing that stands out to me the most is my grandmother’s despondency. She had been the bedrock of the family for so long. But the Lord had failed her, or so it seemed. She would sit in the white plastic chair on the veranda and sing the hymn “Where is our God in whom we trust”.
All these events meant that I had a heavy load on my shoulders, a load I had put there all by myself. I felt I had to be “Savior” for my family. I wanted to excel in all I did, to make my family proud. And it didn’t help much that brother was setting too good of an example by being the perfect first born. I set goals for myself and planned my life to the last detail. And for a while, everything went according to plan and I was indeed my own success story. And then senior year happened. In my “book of plans”, nothing was falling into its rightful place. I was applying to hundreds of companies but I was greeted daily by rejection emails. My Nexus advisor told me that my proposed Nexus track could no longer be approved. My thesis was proving so difficult to write that I had to drop it altogether. I had to withdraw from a class (one of my worst fears in college and a no-no in my book of plans) because I just couldn’t “get it”. I thought I was letting everybody down, so I had to work overtime now. You see, I am used to the culture of “doing”. My mother worked so hard to raise us, my brother worked his behind off in school, and it didn’t help that I was in America where everyone was in a rush to go do something great. Everything in my world evolved around movement and happenings. I felt had to do something in order to achieve something. But God reminded me, THE LORD ENJOYS GIVING HIS LOVED ONES REST (Psalm 127:2). I had all these plans in my head – the ideal me, but I had to experience the words of Solomon the hard way, “You can make many plans, but the Lords purpose will prevail” Proverbs 19:21. In all my busyness, in trying to live my life, I had pushed the Lord out. I was so focused on having my own way that I had convinced myself it was His way too. And then when I hit my lowest, at the end of senior year, I thought He had deserted me. I thought I had failed. Like my grandmother, I felt He was nowhere to be seen when I needed Him most.
But no, God was teaching me something. “Be still and know that I am God” He says – Psalm 46:10. I had to learn to be still; to wait upon Him. I had to understand that it wasn’t always hustle and bustle. My efforts didn’t get me this far, He did. And He had to stop me in my tracks before I believed my efforts could get me where He wants me to be. In one of Elijah’s down moments, when he was escaping from Queen Jezebel, he probably also said the words “where is our God in whom we trust”. But God showed Himself in the least expected way (1 Kings 19). Honestly, I still am not totally at the place where I throw everything to Him and trust Him completely to make it work. My friends know me to worry, but God is greater than my worries, and I have started believing that. When nothing is happening, it doesn’t mean God has deserted you. It is then that you need to be quiet and listen:
1 Kings 19:11-13New Living Translation (NLT)
11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
Author: Awo Agyapong
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