Monday, June 4, 2012
I’ve got a lot of mixed feeling swirling within me today.
On the 4th of June 1994, my husband and I started the first off our businesses with next to nothing... and I mean that literally. Reflecting on how far we have come, the territories we have conquered, the challenges we have surmounted and the prospects that lie ahead; I am eternally grateful to God for His clear work of grace and favour that has been in operation in our lives. No one can explain enough how a medical parasitologist and a microbiologist could end up running different businesses successfully within a rather technical industry.
We started with no experience, no resources, no contacts/connections, nothing - save for some basic intelligence (which we can’t even credit to ourselves) and the hand of God in our lives – even before we ever made a full commitment to Him. Yes, the Lord has been good to us. He has blessed the works of our hands. Primarily though, He has revealed that these blessings have a Kingdom focus, a heavenly mandate. Our prosperity has a purpose. Our enterprise is a platform to promote the work of the Kingdom. Today, I am reminded of this and today, I rededicate my business to the Lord.
Today, we launched a project designed to take us to the next level – a project for which God Himself woke me out of my deep sleep and revealed the name to me in that odd hour of the night. Today as we shared the vision and mandate with our people, I couldn’t help but pray that in every other area of our endeavour, the Lord would speak with the same clarity always. I asked myself why His voice was so clear in this instance. The knowing I have since had in my spirit is that it is because I have yielded my daily walk in the business world fully to Him. I pray for the strength and grace to make this just as true in every other area of my life.
On the 4th of June 1996, exactly 2years later to the day; the Lord blessed us with our first son. He is 16years old today. From birth he was a beautiful and peaceful child. He smiled ever so freely, his every sound almost a song. Looking back on his life so far, I am even more grateful to God for His blessings upon my life. I have always said that God knew I didn’t have the heart to deal with a troublesome child and so He gave me the most peaceful, loving introduction to motherhood ever. Calm; quiet; mature; witty; loving; frugal; artistic; academic; sporty; an organiser; a leader – wonderful traits that in this child that clearly have nothing to do with how great we have been as parents. And the best part? He set the pace for all his siblings to follow. Ah yes! The Lord has surely been good to me in many ways. I am so thankful that I can make boast in my God. God knows, that of myself and in myself, I am nothing! I choose to be zero! I choose Him to be all!
Today, the 4th of June 2012 however, I am also heavy of heart. Yesterday we received devastating news of a plane crash. Deep within me I immediately knew I would know some of the passengers and surely I did. With every new call or email my heart sank further still. Children orphaned; parents devastated; homes in turmoil! What do you say to a widowed mother who lost her two children? What do you say to a husband who loses his wife and new baby boy? How can you comprehend not being able to find their corpses? How do you comprehend the unidentifiable charred remains that are supposed to be your loved ones? How do you reconcile the unpreparedness of the ‘emergency’ response agency? How do you handle this unimaginable horror? My heart grieves intensely for the affected families. I lift them in prayer, trusting the Lord Himself to be their shield.
I remember being incredibly upset yesterday as I tuned from one station to the other, trying to get an update on the crash. The stations were all running their usual programming. There were music shows; talk shows; sitcoms, etc running. Nothing to show the devastation except for an occasional newsflash scrolled at the bottom of the screen. As always when death strikes, I found myself thinking how the earth does not tremble. No, life simply goes on! For those of us affected, time simply stops in that place of immeasurable pain, but for the rest of the world life really and truly just goes on. A painful irony, but an irony nonetheless! We are left to our grief and alas...eventually we must go on also.
We received several calls and texts from people who know how much my husband is in the air and especially on that route. I realise how I could so easily have been widowed. Just last week he had to make a sudden trip to Abuja – one of those ‘I’ll be back tomorrow’ trips. How many of those that died yesterday said those same words to their loved ones? My first thought was to convince him to put it off to this last weekend, but for some reason it ministered to my spirit that I should just let him be. What if I didn’t heed the voice of the Holy Spirit within me? How easily it could have been me, sis! How easily indeed but for the grace of God!
All I see in all this is another reminder from God that there is more to life than this present earthly state. I am reminded yet again that we need to stay heaven-focused sis. Death can come at anytime and to anyone. Regardless of how much time the living might spend debating whether a death was timely or untimely; an attack of the devil or God-ordained; guess what? The dead remain dead! The minute there is a separation, our true selves in spirit form are either drawn into the eternal pit of darkness or into the eternal light of God’s love. I say constantly that while the prospect of hell is extremely daunting, more frightening to me is the prospect of not being in a place where I can experience the fullness of the measure of God’s love for me.
Today, 4th June 2012, I hurt and yet I am joyful. I choose to intentionally turn my pain inwards and rejoice in the salvation of my soul. I choose to recommit to heaven-mindedness, a renewed focus on the things of the Kingdom. I choose to be reminded yet again that I do not know my when, I do not know my how; but I know that one day I will surely be called out of this body. I choose to remind myself that my loved ones will grieve; that there will be many a sigh; but if I keep my sights on Him, in death I will indeed be with my Lord in heaven.... in the fullness of His warm embrace. This is my deepest desire.
My precious sister, today I ask you to recommit with me to living a life that is heaven-minded; to teaching your children and loved ones that we need to focus on living right for God. We will never know when that trumpet will sound... but by the help of the Holy Spirit and in full submission to the Lord, we can be sure our final song will be ‘Oh death, where is thy victory?’’. Keep your focus on heaven sis. In thought, word or deed, allow the Lord to guide you and you will surely make it.
Be blessed...............for you surely are!
WORD FOR THE WEEK
34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God
5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
1st CORINTHIANS 1:
25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,
28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).