God puts everything together in its place at its own time. I am finally realising what God’s timing means. While we wait, we need perspective, patience, and faith. Everything happens at its own time. And when it finally does everything finally makes sense. Without his perspective we cannot understand why we are waiting, to be able to rest and be at peace we need to look at everything from his perspective with spiritual eyes. He makes our paths straight (Proverbs 3:6)
Patience is needed. We don’t need to make another plan while we wait for God to show us the way. God does not help those who help themselves. We need to be patient and trust in him. When we seek our own ways, we end up getting exhausted emotionally, and mentally and we might not even hear God in the middle of our chaos. The most beautiful waiting period I ever experienced was when I waited in peace while seeking his face and going deeper in a relationship with him. The need doesn’t even matter anymore because he quenches the thirst. As we seek him more and more and we go deeper in relationship with him we become filled by him that nothing else in this world matters. We also become content with where we are and enjoy the present moment realising that the process not the ending is part of our growth and our experience with God. We shouldn’t miss it!
In this world you will face troubles but take heart I have overcome the world (John 16:33). This scripture is very comforting yet can be difficult to receive. To be told you will have troubles is not good. But the comforting part is we are told that we should not worry because everything we are yet to experience the lord has overcome. What it means is the Lord is with us and for us and during the trials and tribulations we can rest assured we are not alone. There is a strong conviction in my heart that believes that he will be there extending his arms to comfort us and give us strength to go through each day. He is for us and not against us. Now how does that link with “there is a time for everything” there is a time when we will feel at our lowest, and we are waiting to get out and we need to have faith 1) on the one who has overcome the world 2) not rush the process and let God do the work on us. Be it healing, restoration etc. We shouldn’t rush but we need to surrender our lives to God and let him take control. Allow God to work on you and to lead you.
All these experiences lead to a deeper intimate relationship with God. I am learning to seek his face and it shifts how I see God. Not just as one who I go to because I need a prayer answered but because I want a deeper relationship with him. It is refreshing and helps change how we see things.
I am sustained in you, put together in love. Every fabric of my being has been made with such clear thought that there is nothing misplaced. You are my maker; I turn to you when something inside of me is not working as it should. Whether I feel broken inside, sick, incomplete, or lost I will always run to my maker. You sustain me with your love, your unconditional love. Your arms are always open wide ready to embrace me. It may sometimes take long to realise it, but all I need to do is to run towards you and I am safe. When all else fails, all I have is you. You are the one constant in my life. I am sustained in you. I have got nothing left but you. You are the only thing and person I can hold on to without any fear of being let go, being rejected, and judged. You love me inside and out; every fibre of my being is filled with your love.
The walks we normally take, and our conversations fulfil me. Who am I without you? What will become of me without you? You are my creator, my best friend, and my Lord. Oh, how I love walking with you when you show me how vast and beautiful the earth is that you created. I am humbled by its beauty and long to visit it even more. Every sight of the earth just shows how majestic you are. If we cannot see it and embrace it then we ought to ask you to give us eyes to see the beauty that is in this world. Lord, invite more of your children to take this journey with you and experience the splendour of your beauty. I am sustained in you. When I turn to the north or the south your beauty remains, whether it is the sun setting or it’s rising it is just beautiful. In that beauty I see you, I hear you and I feel you. You are my God forever! I am sustained in you!
Life is lived experiences. I experience God through each lived experience. The song “Voice of God” says it well. I can hear the voice of God while I am chilling by the beach listening to the waves of the ocean. I can hear him while walking in the park, oh the joy that he fills me with. I think we often say “my favourite places to escape to are x, y and z” not realising they are our favourites because that’s where we hear and feel God the most. Even a non-believer experiences the same even though they might not believe that it is God, they just know it is something bigger than themselves.
I experienced God when I was up in the middle of the night working on my research assignment, I had a lot of those moments and I felt humbled, filled with joy and just blessed to feel him in that kind of a moment. It made me realise how indeed he gave us the gifts we have for his glory. When I do public speaking, either giving a speech or a presentation I cannot explain what happens, but a transformation happens. I zone out when I speak, like nothing else exist and my mind is also cleared of all thoughts. It is effortless! God gives us unique gifts and talents and it is sometimes shocking how they manifest. I also experience God when I write about my thoughts or revelations about life’s meaning. I experience God while reading a book and I get a revelation about it and sometimes just listening to a seminar or a sermon at church. I cannot explain the feeling, but it is some sort of way to guide my life’s direction. Music touches my soul, and it is my form of worship and expression of my love for him.
I can feel God when I am sad or about to give up,I feel his words of affirmation or comforting voice. One time in the middle of the night I had sleep paralysis, the worst kind I had ever experienced. I could swear the plan was that as soon as I wake up from the paralysis, I am going to call a friend and go sleep at her house because it was terrifying. But in the middle of it I called out his name, I prayed and when I woke up, I opened Psalm 110 and I was comforted by the scripture. I did not need to go anywhere, I continued to pray until I fell asleep. When I look back at the sad moments I cry because I begin to see how his grace has carried me through. I may not necessarily appreciate it when I am in the desert but when I look back, I am humbled by his grace.
Life is about experiences, every single one of them. I believe in trying out things and living out experiences in batches. My definition of life experiences may be different from yours, but I know the experiences which make me feel my most natural and liberated! I plan to optimise on the experiences which make me feel closer to God, it is my form of worship and intimacy with him. I want my story to be about the lived experiences and how I have experienced God in the moments. It is such a beautiful thing to have an intimate relationship with God. Even a 600 Km drive can be that moment you need just to be together. He makes me happy!
I have shared a snapshot of how I experience God, as I mature in the spirit the level of intimacy changes, but I hope it speaks to you and encourages you in your faith in God!
I was going through some of my old things when I was at home during the holidays when I came across a collection of name tags. One tag on it was Andisani (Degree type), a tag which basically differentiated me from other degree types in said meeting or gathering. Another one, Andisani (Name of University), Andisani (Company 1), and so on. While the feeling was quite nostalgic, and it was great to have kept all those records alive for myself I just wondered what those name tags truly represented. Name tags are given to us so we can represent an institution, an entity or so we can be easily be identifiable or grouped in a certain setting based on characteristics of the holder. Sometimes they can just bear the name of the holder, other times they also specify the designation of the holder or an institution represented, location or country etc.
The name tags I found in my collection made me realise that my entire journey from when I started engaging in extra-curricular activities came with tags. The tags would further segment me into another grouping when I proceeded from say a provincial to a national competition etc. And what that did was define a part of me even if it was for a moment. Other tags defined a part of me for an even longer time as a student belonging to a faculty, a graduate and as a working professional. Do we become boxed within those tags and become unable to think and want to experiment life outside of them? Can I walk in a room and introduce myself as nothing other than what my name tag suggests and truly share the hidden person behind the title without the listener wondering why I am not giving them what they are expecting? Or the conversation may deviate back to, so.. by the way can you tell me more about your line of business?
The problem is, as much as these name tags are meant to identify individuals they can also become our identity. When you go attend a conference as soon as you enter the room and introduce yourself to the next person, firstly whether or not you get approached is determined by what your tag says. Secondly the conversation is already limited to your title . Walking into a women’s conference the first thing I say is how I have often been labelled as, limiting the deep conversations we would have had if it was just a blank page and I was forced to engage at random. The tags can make us judge or only associate with people we believe are “relevant” and the rest are not as important to engage with missing out on engaging with people who are different from us and who might just be the fresh perspective we are looking for.
The labelling as a form of easily identifying us will never stop, which is fair. I mean we have an Identity document and drivers license which we often have to produce when making several applications, collecting parcels etc. When stopped by the police that drivers license which is your unique ID is your life line or death threat depending on your driving behaviour/ history. While we have to continue to have tags we can free our minds to think and explore beyond the words written on our name tags!