Thursday, July 19, 2012
Humbled by His favor
Trying to figure out where I am coming from? I will explain sis. But first, let me ask you to take a minute and join me in praising the One who is Himself fullness of joy; the source of our life and strength. Join me in praising the One who I boldly declare as the very Essence of my being. Join me to honour the One Who is no respecter of persons; Who daily loads us with benefits; Whose mercies are new every morning; Who says we should open our mouths and He will fill it. Yes Lord, we worship You!
So here it is. My first son is off to school overseas in a couple of months. The entire happenings around his admission into the school of our choice, the clarity from God about the choice of this school in the first place; the scholarship he received from the school; our ability to pay his fees; and the issuance of his student visa in 5weeks instead of the usual 5months; all of it.....every single step of the way showed clearly that the hand of God was with us.
Don’t ask me why, but I had somehow relaxed about the rest of the family applying for our accompanying visas. Somewhere at the back of my mind, I had tucked away some information I received very early in the year about it taking about 10-15 working days to get a visitor’s visa into that country. I totally didn’t recall that as the summer holidays approached, the number of applications would increase and the timelines would be extended. I had the winds literally taken out of my sails when I submitted our family application only to be asked to sign a form acknowledging and accepting that the process would take at least 45days and could be more. I can’t begin to describe the immediate inner turmoil within me as I submitted our papers.
I had come home feeling very dejected but as I shared the challenge with my family, I was reminded in my spirit that when we put in my son’s student visa application, I had two constant prayer points – that the visa would be issued to him, and that the visa should be issued promptly in a way that would astound everyone. I reminded myself that God came through for me then, and I chose to stay in the place of trust that He would do it again concerning the rest of us. ‘21 days’ dropped in my spirit and I immediately claimed and continued to confess that God would bring forth our visas approvals in 21days.
To put this into perspective for you sis, not having these visas meant we would have had to put our son on a plane all the way to a country I had personally never been to. Can you imagine the emotional upheaval of having your first child leave home, to another continent altogether....and you are not even able to see him safely there? Wow! I had been literally walking around with my heart in my hands just thinking about this possibility. I had shared my concerns about it with my sistas, even while doing my utmost best to keep my confessions positive. In the end... God! Yes, God...... He came through for me as surely as He will always come through for you sis.
In a dream last week, I was stirred up several times by the Spirit of the Lord to go and check my computer screen. There was some data scribbled on my screen and as I peered more intently, I realised that it was a list of our names and passport numbers and beside each was written ‘Approved’. I woke up and claimed this dream as my confirmation from God. First thing in the morning, I checked the embassy website only to find the applications were still being processed. Again, by the grace of God I held unto my confession only – to be truthful, this time around I qualified it by declaring that I would accept whatever was the will of God concerning these visas. I refused to speak the doubt that tried to creep in. I found the strength by His grace, to ask God to take away the fear and confusion and to give me His peace regardless of the outcome. Difficult as I must confess it was, I chose to trust God despite the wave of emotions I had to deal with at that time.
Now there was a bit of a complication. My children were required to be at the American embassy in a few days in order to renew their American visas. That meant that we needed to withdraw their passports yesterday in order to ensure we would have them in hand by next week. I had been advised to send an email if we needed to withdraw our passports, but that morning the Holy Spirit ministered to me to check the embassy site. I noted there that you could come physically if you lived within the vicinity so I opted not to send the mail but rather then asked my husband to go physically to the embassy. As he left, my heart was beyond heavy, but I chose to all over again to submit totally and trust that God’s will had been done. On his arrival at the embassy my husband was told they were just about to begin processing the applications that were received in April - we had submitted in June so it really looked hopeless. But God! He it is that is hope Himself. Yes, in Him there is no hopelessness! Nothing is impossible for Him, with Him and in Him!
So there my husband was, having been asked to wait. He had called to tell me about the several people who applied months earlier who were waiting with him to withdraw their documents. Then he told me about this one guy who also applied in June, came to withdraw and was then rather issued a visa. I immediately called my children into a prayer session. We reminded God that He is no respecter of persons and we asked God to do for us what He had done for this other guy. I asked my sistas to raise up a prayer and our collective prayers surely went from our lips to the throne-room of God. Four and a half hours later, barely keeping himself from losing his top at the seemingly unending delay in returning the children’s passport, my husband was called in to collect the entire package – only all our visas had been issued as was shown me in my dream, and .....within the 21days I had believed God for.
As my husband handed me the package, I burst into tears and cried for almost an hour at the awesomeness of our God sis. God says He sees our hearts. He hears our every cry. He knows our deepest desires. He is waiting and longing to be good to us. Nothing is too small for Him to attend to. All He asks is that we trust Him completely and refuse to give voice to the false evidence that the enemy constantly brings our way in that time of waiting.
I cried my eyes out because I knew and know without a shadow of doubt that I am not worthy of such favor....save for His love, mercy and grace that He has freely made available to me and to you. That same morning He had shown me Isaiah 59 verse 1; Isaiah 60 verses 1 and 11, but I didn’t see clearly until the end of the day that He was simply giving me a hint of what He had already purposed. He had already gone ahead to open my gates. He had completed the work and He just needed me to walk in it. My glory had truly come! I cried with an overwhelming joy because He made clear to me once again that He truly knows the end from the beginning and that He does work even the smallest of things out for our good. His constant Word to me throughout this year has been ‘Trust Me my child, I will help you’. Truly, He has helped me sis; He will surely help you.
Today I want to encourage you again my sister. I have shared this experience in so much detail in the hope that you will see what I clearly see. God is truly in every step! He is waiting to bless us in every area of our lives. He sees the heaviness in our hearts. He sees the expectations and desires. He sees the concerns and fears. He wants you and I to go back to and stay in that place of trust – not just in our hearts, but also in the confessions of our mouths. He wants us not to be blindsided by what appears to be, but to trust what we can only see with our spiritual eyes - that He is more than able! He wants us to allow Him do the work, to truly cast our cares upon Him and let Him be Lord over our every situation and circumstance.
I don’t know what it is you are trusting God for today sis. Whatever it is, please hold on to my testimony and know that He is able to do even greater works than this in your life. Let the Holy Spirit lead you, guide you and speak to you. Choose to, and be steadfast in your decision to trust Him implicitly and submit totally to His will. That is the place of His greatest favour and grace. I pray that like me, your testimony shall be ‘When the Lord turned around my captivity, I was like one who dreamed. Then my mouth was filled with laughter and my tongue with singing. Surely even the heathen shall say- The Lord has been good to me’. He will be good to you sis. He surely will!
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).