The Simple Life, Walking with God

Ever Ready


Who would have known that a shaking was around the corner?

Last Sunday 26.4.2020 started on a high. It was dull outside but my heart was light and joyful in me. I woke up later than usual but was still the first in the house to get up and about so I focused on breakfast. It was odd that I was cooking so early because my people and I eat after ten but I did it all the same. The young king called to say I had a missed call but I decided to finish before I dealt with the call.

Returning that call changed my life for good…

My other brother Paul, gone…

There are few people I know who are full of love and concern with such purity of heart and he is one of them.

There are few people who the world knows to be steadfast and committed to their faith in every sphere of life…he is one of them

There are few people; whose arrival or presence changed the atmosphere in the room…he is one of them

His dedication to the call of God in his life was undeniable

His commitment to showcase and be all God called him to be was evident

His love for his family, friends and the world, was clear

He was one of those special ones

Don’t think for a minute he was an angel ha!!

He was all man, with successes, failings and faults

He made mistakes in life and crossed paths

Yet the softness of his heart and the depth of his wisdom made him stand out

Very few men (here I mean male gender) are like this brother

Unafraid to try and fail, unbeaten in tenacity, setting out to accomplish every task assigned

Unafraid to walk paths uncharted, unmoved that he is alone on the way as long as God has sent him

He was an anchor in stormy seas, a great captain with eyes fixed on God

He kept his word and spoke his truth, keeping his destination in sight

He led teams through stormy seas, thick forests, dry deserts, calm seas, lush gardens and stillness

He understood that each one has a set assignment, destination, connection and output for God and he kept his eyes on his prize

He spoke of things with certainty because he knew his God and his path was set in Him

He navigated life at work in the banking sector, on ministry assignment, in his fitness pursuits, with friends and family with a cheeky smile, laughing eyes, warm heart, firm tone, steadfast belief that God has a plan that can be trusted

He raised the standards of every team he worked with and taught many to seek God and walk with Him in faith, life, work and passion

Image by The Real Photogenic

This week has changed me because once again I have been reminded that Jehovah my maker, gave me X number of days to become a certain person and complete and set task, reach a certain set of people and bring Him honour and glory

It reminded me that only the Maker knows the actual number of days He set, how many I have lived and how many are left.

It reminded me that no matter how hard I try, if I leave the path He has set for me, I will fail

So I set my gaze again as flint, on He who hovered over the waters of the deep, who created a pleasant place for me to live, who moulded me as the soil and breathed into me the breath of life, who set me on this earth in a community and allowed life and its challenges to shape and shift me.

I set my gaze on Him who knows the end from the beginning and is determined that I become that His word may be revealed and lived out. I set my gaze as flint on He who begun the good work in me and will be faithful to complete it in me.

I choose trust that though I miss my big brother Paul, he has run and finished his race therefore he has rested. I know that since I am still here I have a ways to go, more to become and still more to accomplish with and in God. So I raise my eyes to the heavens even as I allow the tears to fall and say,

“Indeed my Father, You know what is best for us. You know the times and seasons. You know how long we each have. You know that we can become if we decide to hold onto you.

I ask for grace to stand on your WORD every moment of every day. I pray for your healing in our inner man. I pray for your peace that passes all understanding to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

I pray that Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth, in my life, in this nation and the world at large as it is in heaven.

Papa, you are the balm that heals our hearts; the love that casts out all fear; the joy that strengthens; the peace that passes all understanding; the all sufficient grace; the everlasting covenant keeper; the one true God, the friend who sticks closer than a brother; the healer; the redeemer; the ever present help in times of plenty and trouble. I choose to be ever ready, waiting for your WORD.”

The Simple Life

Growing


I really want to hold your hand

I want to hide you in my arms

I want to protect you from the hardship

Yet I know I can’t.

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I want to shield you from the struggle

I want to close you in my heart

I want to closet you safely

Yet I know I can’t

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The struggle will build you

The process will change you

The tears will clarify you

You will grow

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The questions will add depth

The fear will be overcome

The drama will strengthen you

You will grow

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The conversations will push you

The honesty will blow things up

The depth will shock you

You will grow

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Do not fear the process

Do not give up on the way

Do not doubt the outcome

You will grow

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I can’t shield you

But I will walk wit you

I can’t hide you

But I will pray for you

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Even when I am far

Even when you don’t see me

Even when I am silent

Papa is there

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Even when it feels dark

Even when you feel alone

Even when nothing seems cool

Papa is there

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He is our HOPE

He is our STRENGTH

He is our ANCHOR

He is our ALL

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life, Walking with God

Deal & Stand Strong


Do you know that the heaviness & sadness you are feeling could be grief?

We often don’t associate grief with anything other than the loss of life but there is a lot of grief related to other things. We grieve the loss of a job, work, lifestyle, faith, hope, love, friends, networks, communities, weather etc. in different ways. Many times it isn’t large or noticeable enough for us to name it as grief, but it is just that.

Let me clarify. The deep longing for that joint in your old neighbourhood that stops you from settling in well in your new hood…that is grief. The inability to move on from the broken relationship or friendship that makes you compare, judge harshly or remain frozen with fear…that is grief. The terror that everyone who comes your way will leave you like your parents did when they died…that is grief. The anger at anyone doing better than you since you didn’t get that promotion or lost that job…that is grief. The laughter and bravado even when everything is falling apart…that is grief. There are so many causes of grief but the current containment measures have brought a rare kind of grief to light.

Many are grieving the loss of Choice.

There is a new set of rules in place. The chips won’t fall in the places we know. The cards are all down and we cannot see a way out. Nothing is the same as before and there is no road map to the future. There is fear at every turn, uncertainty at all other stops, hopelessness under ever cover and tight smiles behind every door. The truth is…many have just realised how limited their choices are and have always been.

Was it always this way? Likely! Did we ever see it as so? Never! Why? There was an illusion of a thousand choices but in reality there were very few. Think about it; educated or uneducated, employed or unemployed, unliked or liked, unfair or fair, safe or insecure, sweet or sour, bad or nice, dark or light and the list goes on. We rarely looked at those doing different as really having an option to succeed.

Did you ever think that you would be at home but someone with a lower income than you would be out and about? Did you ever think your weren’t an essential worker in your company, now you are home and the cleaner is there? Did you ever realise that you would be put into jail for being outside after 7 pm yet the nurse next door can come and go at will?

Life as we knew it has changed and so must we.

People in the credit arms of many banks are stranded because their work meant they were on the road meeting clients but unless they innovate quickly they will be out of jobs. There are no clients to visit, no loans to give, no payments to collect and no growth for their departments. Small businesses selling imported goods from China have no stock, dead stock or no sales because people are saving for food and other essentials. Cab drivers have fewer customers at lower fares and work shorter periods but must still make ends meet. Yet some of the young people around are tired and bored because they cannot party.

When will they realise that life has changed? When will they understand that they cannot go on the same way? Who will tell them no? Who will stop their extravagance? When will they understand that we get exactly what we put into life back so unless they focus on good inputs their outcomes will be a big mess? Will they ever understand the correlation between their mindset, their current station and the future possibilities? They must if they are to survive.

Things must change if we are to find hope.

When the Israelites went into captivity in Daniel 1, the king ordered that the educated and teachable young men of noble birth to be raised as the leaders for the next generation. Many qualified but only four have stories told about them, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, later called Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.

The thing that stood out for me is Daniel 1:8, But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…’ He made a conscious decision to remain true to who he knew he was no matter what. He went to pray even when he knew people were plotting against him to catch him at it so they could get him killed. He kept to his pattern regardless of which king was in place or whichever edict was declared.

He lost his ability to choose where to live, how to be educated, when to rise. He lost his freedom of movement. He lost his connection to the homeland. He lost access to his spiritual leaders, the scripture and community to fellowship with. He lost family and friends. He lost more than he ever thought possible but he never lost hope.

His hope for stability was in knowing whose he is and where he is going.

The hope for all of us is in knowing the things that anchor us. Am I harping on the need to know why you are here and what season it is? Absolutely! Why? There is no other way forward. If a man is only here to make money and be able to travel, he has nothing to lean on now. If a pastor only has tithe and offering as his support, he is baseless right now. If a mother has only her children and they are separated right now, she is restless and fearful. If a child only had the coming transition to the next level of education, he or she is lost for sure.

It is ok to feel the sense of loss and there’s no need to pretend all is well when there’s grief. Just don’t get stuck there. Rail, scream, cry and let it out. Lean on a friend and pour it out. Call on your Father in heaven and have it out with him. Then get back up and walk on dealing step by step. Take a step every day to deal with it, take a bite of the grief and digest it bit by bit. Make a pact with yourself to process the realities and feelings leaving nothing to chance therefore growing into true faith.

You can deal and stand strong through any season.

You don’t need the whole world on your side when you have a clear word from and stand in God. He will lead and guide you to the right people at the right time in the right combination to help you stand. He will also make you the right person, at the right time, in the right place and combination to help another stand. Like Daniel, when you have faced the challenge and connected to the reality of God, nothing will ever be impossible again.

You are assigned to this season to become an example of walking with God and changing your corner of the world. Make the choice to acknowledge where you are, deal with the situation and remain standing on His word for it sanctifies and strengthens because it is truth.

Shalom.

Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com
The Simple Life, Walking with God

The WORD


Know the Word God gave you; 
BELIEVE; 
Speak that word every day; 
Pray the word; 
Depend on the word; 
Defend the word. 
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To contend for the word, 
Be the one who stands their ground 
STAND until the word comes to pass. 
Do not be deceived it will not be easy 
Yet it is simple; 
Just STAND. 
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Stand and don’t cede ground.
Stand in faith 
BELIEVE He is true
KNOW His Word never fails 
I t is simple;
Just STAND
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Know the Word God gave you;
BELIEVE it thoroughly;
Speak it every day;
Pray the Word;
Depend on the Word;
Defend the Word.
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The WORD produces 
The WORD performs 
The WORD changes 
The WORD fortifies
The WORD fertilises
Depend on the Word
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The WORD is reliable
The WORD is living 
The WORD is active
The WORD is a sword
The WORD is a divider 
Depend on the Word

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life, Walking with God

The Unveiling


You know the saying that we give birth to ourselves? I encountered its fullness yesterday.

The young king is a master planner like me and boy oh boy, he is better than I was at his age. He is so good and has been quietly scheming about my birthday for two weeks. On Tuesday he says, ‘Don’t worry about dinner today and I will also take care of the kitchen tomorrow.’ Now who wouldn’t want a break from the kitchen?

We got up for an early morning class that didn’t work, so I went back to sleep. I now know he was glad I slept because he had time to put the rest of his plan to work. Aki, these young ones watch and learn more from that than conversations. I had a call at noon so I got up after 11, caught up with my sister and prepped for the call. That call…wow…it was absolutely brilliant, maybe one day I will tell the full story.

After the call was done, the king says, ‘Your lunch is in the sitting room,’ and I find my favourite meal ready and waiting…for those who have never tasted matoke and groundnut sauce; I have no words. As I settle down, and take the first bite, a birthday message begins to play on the TV. This young man sent a request to specific people asking them to send me a birthday video and he even gave them a timeline of submission.

Honestly, I thought something was afoot but decided not to think about it.

The seamless nature of the day including sending his grandmother to do his shopping for my gift ahead of time, the right beverages at the right time, participating in a call with family, the arrival of a chocolate fudge cake and dinner, got me thinking. If a soon to be thirteen year old can do things with such precision, what of my Father in heaven?

Before He knit me in my mother’s womb He knew that in 2020, there would be a time of sheltering and containment during my birthday season and I would need a creative young king around to pull off some serious magic. He knew that I would be so consumed with seeking direction for the year to come that there would be enough space and covering for the young king to manoeuvre and accomplish his assignment. He knew what would be needed and ensured I’d trained the young king with firmness and diligence, refusing to back down when things got hard.

Surely God has a plan for everything.

The current situation of containment was carefully planned by God and he’d been preparing me. The story my life has to tell is tied to me being at peace in God no matter the situation. The course of my life and all the challenges therein has begun to make sense yet I know there is still more to understand. So I have to be in school with God for the rest of my days.

I sit on this side of the New Year certain of a few things:

  1. The only thing that will get me through this phase of life and every phase to come is the WORD of God. The written word of scripture and the spoken word from revelation and meditation.
  2. There are people destined to walk with and hold me to account therefore I must, yes must, seek to know them by The Spirit, connect with them and walk in truth and honesty. FAMILY.
  3. There is no room for double mindedness only discipline, devotion and commitment. I must set my heart and mind to accomplish all that God has set out for me regardless of the things that will come. FOCUS and FIDELITY.
  4. There is path that only I can follow to attain and become. There is a way my life will to become that is guided, girded and founded in God. PROCESS
  5. Nothing is random, nothing is a mistake, it is all carefully planned and orchestrated by the Master of all things, Adonai. I must depend on him in totality because all things are working together for my good. TRUST.
  6. There are things I haven’t done before and places I haven’t been that now must be conquered for Him. Therefore I must step out on every instruction no matter who or what in the knowledge that though it is a new path, it is ordained by God to bring Him glory. BOLDNESS

I am sure where you are in your walk or if you are encouraged or discouraged. All I know is that there is a way our lives have changed and there is no normal to go back to. Find time in this season of sheltering and containment to clarify who you are and how you must be from now onward, then walk in it.

Shalom

Sunrise over Lake Nakuru by Samuel Phillips

The Simple Life, Walking with God

Stand


The word of God is our roots,

The word of God is our anchor,

The word of God is our strong tower.

The word of God stands

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Child of God, take a deep breath and be still.

Hear the voice of God.

Turn your ear to Him

Listen to hear, really hear

Take the time to understand.

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Understand the word,

Understand the call,

Understand the assignment,

Understand the position,

Understand the posture,

Understand the process.

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The word of God must be heard;

The word of God must be taken to heart

The word of God must lived out.

The word of God is transformational

The word of God changes our minds,

The word of God shifts our hearts,

The word of God gives us strength to go on

The word of God should never be taken lightly.

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KNOW the Word God gave you;

BELIEVE the word God gave you;

SPEAK that word every day;

PRAY the word every day;

DEPEND on the word God gave you;

 DEFEND the word.

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CONTEND for the word,

Stand your ground until it is established.

Do not be deceived it will be easy

Know that it is simple;

Simply STAND.

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STAND and don’t cede ground.

STAND don’t give in

STAND don’t lose hope

STAND in faith

STAND because He will prevail

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The Simple Life, Walking with God

Listening & Shifting


Earlier this year I wrote a post called ‘Unsettled’ that has come back to me so heavily today that I went back to read it. The crux of the post is that God messed with my life and took out everything I had allowed to take greater importance than Him.

I now know it was highlighted today because my heart is once again unsettled. In the midst of the current state of affairs, it is easy to be shifted into panic mode or extreme busyness or deep stillness and each on must choose. Up until today, I thought my choices were balanced but now it is clear they were slowly getting out of whack.

I needed to rethink it all

My work has increased since life changed because my people have time to write and think and develop and I am a supporting piece to their growth. It has also increased because doors that were slightly ajar have swung open and the foundations of these collaborations need to be laid and laid well. I have also been grappling with the fact that I need to hear before I move but the pressure to keep running has been steadily rising until today when like a police man at the traffic lights, Papa said, ‘STOP!’

This afternoon, after a marathon morning of meetings, webinars, online posts and pending work, I asked myself, ‘Will any of these things die or self-destruct if I put them down for a bit?’ The answer was no, so I put it all away. I placed my phone down, put my work on hold and took a two hour timeout. Yes, two hours. I just needed to recalibrate urgently because internally I was churning and unsettled.

You see, every time I am unsettled it means several things:

Papa needs to say something or clarify something

A change is afoot

I am off track and running the race on my own.

The one that scares me the most is the last one because I never want to be caught running the race myself. Why? I have done it before and it is never pretty. So I needed to grind life to a stop for a bit. I stretched out on my bed in the middle of the afternoon listening to music and trying to be still but my mind wouldn’t stop racing for a while. It took a little time, but eventually it all slowed to a stop.

All the things I was doing and working on were adding value to others and meeting my assigned role but the intensity they generated was throwing me off guard and balance. If I had been paying more careful attention, I would have noticed earlier how things were being reassigned and realigned because a change needed to be made. My mind needed to shift.

Those moments of stillness changed something in me.

These are the days of shifting and the adjustments will keep being made until I am running efficiently by God’s plan and standard not mine. I rest assured that I am not yet at peak and so I must recalibrate more often. So I have settled it in my heart that adjustment is part of my new normal. Moments to stop, breathe deeply, listen and change direction will be many more. I must keep on this track and run this race well.

What is making your mind race at this time? What is making your anxious? Do you realise nothing is ever going to be like it was before? Nothing will ever be the same so we must discover our new normal and hold onto that. Yet even though that discovery is harder than most of us thought possible it is possible and must be pursued.

So off I go to keep listening and shifting. You are free to join me.

Shalom

Photo by Paula on Pexels.com
THE CHRISTIAN WALK, Walking with God

Contend For The WORD


What is your environment like? Is there pressure and fear? Do you have enough food to eat or are you worried? Is it hard to have your children home all the time and not be able to work as much? Are you uncertain of the days ahead? Do you have a mask? Do you have running water? Are the guards well? Are your children getting mad with being cooped up? The possible list of questions is endless for sure.

The last week has been full of conversations about coping and adjusting. They have been about what we are losing, what is changing, what we can control, what is out of control, what we fear most and how we could change things. The conversations often end hanging because there are no guaranteed answers or known outcomes.

Let me set the context first.

When we look at life today, it is nothing like the life we knew before March 3rd 2020. In Kenya, we have a dusk to dawn curfew that many have ridiculed and containment measures on four major counties. One commentator in Europe asked if it spreads at night and many laughed it off. What many didn’t know was that there are too many people who cannot be catered for if we do a total lockdown. I don’t have the economic facts or actual numbers but I know what I see on the streets.

In my daily life, I am on the move in public vehicles like many Kenyans. I walk the streets and I listen to conversations (maybe I eavesdrop a little). I see the people walking past my home in the morning and evening looking for work. I hear the boda guys talking about how work has changed. If my estimates are right, more than 60% of Kenyans live in the informal settlements or are poor in the rural areas. That is approximately thirty million people. Can you imagine trying to feed all those people daily? Thirty million mouths every day for the duration of the pandemic. It isn’t sustainable!!

Staggering perspective I know, it floored me.

I was staggered too. It made me look at the matatu conductor, the boda guy, the mama mboga on the street, the maize guy on the corner, the watchman, the gardener or house keeper. Most of them earn less than Kshs 10,000 a month and they literally live from hand to mouth in small houses without the capacity to stock food or even social distance. Many believe that this pandemic is the makings of the rich and don’t take the government measures seriously. But it gets worse.

There are children sitting at home without access to WiFi or steady internet who cannot continue with school. Their parents don’t have the ability to access any the online learning platforms and they probably don’t have enough homework and assignments to keep them going or on track until schools resume. What happens when they get back to school and are behind but have to catch up before the November exams? What happens to this part of the community? Who will stand for them?

I am asking myself, if there is a word God has spoken over this nation that we can stand on? Is there a promise that we can build our lives about? Is there a way of escape into the arms of God that we will find is we connect to His truth? Is there a way out of here?

There is always an option…Contend for the WORD.

A call has gone out over and over for repentance and recommitment to God for real. It has been a call to RETURN. What do we return to?

‘Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.’ Jude 3.

The above verse talks about contending for the faith but it struck me a little differently. It came to me as contend for the word.

What word has God spoken to you or I that we can hold onto? Do you know it by heart? Do you have the scripture to stand on? Do you understand the fullness that your life must produce based on the word over you and your nation? Oh that we would know the word and live it out. Oh that we would be committed and true to that word?

The word of God is our roots, our anchor, and our strong tower.

Child of God, take a deep breath and be still. Be still because it is only in the stillness that you will hear the voice of God. He is waiting for you to turn your ear to Him and listen. Listen to hear, really hear, and then take the time to understand. Understand what? Understand the word, the call, the assignment, the position, the posture, the process. The word of God isn’t just to be heard; it is to be taken to heart and lived out.

The word of God is transformational because it changes our minds, it shifts our hearts, it gives us strength to go on yet it should never be taken lightly. I had said contend for the word earlier because receiving the word is only the first level. The contention will come when we stand to ensure the word comes to pass. Things in life will come together to stop the word hence the contention. People will stand in our way and ridicule the word hence the contention. You might doubt the word, hence the contention.

There will be a day when the very word God spoke isn’t coming forth and the onslaught around you seems more than you can bear, that is the day to contend for the word. When you can’t see the end of the tunnel and your heart, mind and body are weary, that is the day to contend for the world.

Know the Word God gave you; BELIEVE; Speak that word every day; Pray the word; Depend on the word; Defend the word. To contend for the word, let it be that you are the one who stands their ground until the word comes to pass. Do not be deceived it will be easy yet it is simple; just STAND. Stand and don’t cede ground.

Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com
The Simple Life

Alone


The crowds are large

The people many

The needs great

The conversation lively

But my heart is lonely

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The sky is blue

The wind is cool

The sun is just right

The birds are singing

But my heart is lonely

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The rain has fallen

The seeds have sprouted

The plants have grown

The fruit is harvested

Yet my heart is lonely

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I’m laughing in public

I’m chatting with people

I’m making progress at work

I’m teaching the wore

Yet my heart is lonely

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My heart isn’t just lonely

It’s broken, scattered

It’s blown to smithereens

Its pulzerised

There’s nothing there

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You have forsaken me

I am adrift at sea

There’s no land around me

No sight of a tree

Just water everywhere

I am alone

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You have deserted me

I am in the desert

In the scorching sun

Low on water

With mirages all around

I am alone

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You have abandoned me

I am by the roadside

Not a vehicle in sight

Those that pass speed by

Not a glance my way

I am alone

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I have no food

I have no water

I have no shelter

I have no family

I have no work

I am alone

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I have nowhere to go

I have nothing to do

I have no one to talk to

I have no hope to hold on to

I have no reason to believe

I am alone

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Then I hear it

A rustle in the air

A shift in the atmosphere

A stillness in the silence

Like a warm wind blew through

I am no longer alone

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I was no longer alone

There in the room it all changed

Peace descended like a warm rain

Calm wrapped me like a blanket

My heart began to settle

I am no longer alone

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I am still at the bottom

And the only way is up

I am still unsure how to move

But strength is coming soon

Though I am still grasping

I am no longer alone

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I am learning my Father cares

I am learning He has a plan

I am learning nothing is wasted

I am learning it all works

I am learning He is enough

I am no longer alone

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I am not alone

God is with me

I am not alone

Grace is abundant

I am not alone

Strength is rising

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I am not alone

My Father is watching

I am not alone

Jesus is with me

I am not alone

The Spirit is teaching

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I am not alone

I will never be alone

I am learning to press in

I am growing in faith

I am no longer alone

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The Simple Life

Flat Footed & Unaware


The last few weeks have been critical for everyone one of us. Do you remember when you first heard about it? When did you first really pay attention to it? Did you think it would get to you? Did you ever think things would get this bad? You know what? Most of us ignored Covid19 until it was on our doorsteps. For many of us, it was just another thing out there.

This is bigger than many of us realise.

We are either in lock down, quarantine or under curfew depending on where you are in the world and your state of health. Nothing could have prepared most of us for this. When it was in a country across the world in some remote part, most of us didn’t even pay attention to it. It is only when it got to Europe  and begun spreading across the world that we paid attention. Isn’t that ironic?

When the impact was seen on the ‘first world’ nations the world took notice. When nations instituted lock downs, shut downs, quarantines, the world took notice. When the numbers of the dead blew through the roof, the world took notice. When economic stimulus programs begun being crafted in wealthy nations, the world took notice. Why is that?

The seemingly invincible have been touched and affected.

Many people still haven’t even realised the truth or gravity of the situation. On a local level the reality of the possible economic impact is now beginning to bite. We have almost sixty percent of our nation informally employed and living on a knife edge of poverty. Expand your mind beyond those in the informal settlements; there are many, many more people at stake.

Think of the Uber driver living in Umoja, the young professional in her first job, the young associate in your company, the man in an junior position in your company, the manager daily grinding to meet social expectations, the middle manager addicted to shopping and high life. The young person caught up in the glitz and glam that is the social media culture. The child accustomed to asking for anything and getting it. Now all their lives and lifestyles are at risk or crumbled.

There are still more things to think about.

Many years ago, being wealthy was defined to me as, ‘how long I can live my life at the same quality of life after I lose my ability to earn income.’ Think about it! Am I able to still feed myself and family, pay school fees, cover utilities, get to work and home daily etc? How long can I do so; a day, month, 6 months, 12 months, a few years? If I can only live a few months, I am effectively poor regardless of where I stay, how I dress, what I drive etc.

Many of us are so caught up in looking like we are successful that we don’t really interrogate our lives and set the right structures in place. I am not even going to go the economics way because there are may people talking about that and it doesn’t interest me at all. I want us to look at the personal level.

In reality, we live according to the patterns of our past.

The things we went through in the past shape our belief systems and actions in ways we don’t always think about. As a child, I always wondered about my mother’s behaviour. She worked hard and made us work too even though we didn’t really want to or like it. I loved going shopping with her because I am a curious mind and liked to see places so I was in the local market from a tender age.

I learnt to haggle, find good produce, carry heavy baskets and work among people of all walks of life. I also loved the quarterly trips to wholesale shops and supermarkets that took most of the Saturday followed by the cleaning and reorganising of the store. What I didn’t know at the time was that this was so because Mzee’s pay was sporadic but at least something came in at the end of every quarter.

Later it was easy for me to live out the pattern she set because it was well rehearsed.

As I grew older and took on more responsibility in the house, I assumed it was normal for everyone around to be taught these things but alas. By the age of 12 I was running the house because she was off sick and Mzee was working. I remember the shock on the faces of the market ladies the first day this little one went to the market alone followed by their protectiveness over me every time I went. It honed my bargain hunting skills that would server me in campus where I lived fabulously on very little. To be honest, I have carried on those habits to date.

Why is this important? The hard times we lived in taught me skills I could use later in life when things got tight. They came back to me when I got married and we had to figure things out on small incomes. They helped when my husband was retrenched and my income was low. They helped when the business was struggling and cashflow was low or non-existent. In all the challenging times, I had a point of reference, a playbook to adapt from, a set of skills I could pivot with.

The lessons taught me to keep my eyes open and never assume anything.

When Covid19 showed up in China, I was initially disinterested but it caught my attention as the numbers rose. As I watched, it became clear this wasn’t something we had known before and it was on an unprecedented scale. It was as if something other worldly was afoot and most people were looking the other way. Of particular interest was how unaware the body of believers was. Were there signs before this happened? Were there things the body of believers should have seen?  What should we have been looking at? How should we have adjusted our lives?

The reality is that, the solutions are not what we think or where we think they are. This was a call to be like Joseph and Daniel. A call to be so immersed in our relationship with God that He would whisper the truth of the days to come into our ears and we would respond and prepare as He instructed. That our sleep would be pebbled with dreams and visions and we would arise and implement them. That a way of escape would be provided.

Let us understand that there is always a way of escape with God.

To clarify, the way of escape isn’t that we will never have trouble, rather that He would give advance warning with an instruction to prepare and we would be diligent to follow the instruction. Obedience to those instructions would breed the grace to thrive and survive the days that are now here.

When Pharaoh had the dream and couldn’t find an interpreter, the cup bearer remembered the man who accurately interpreted his dream and spoke up for Joseph to his master even though it was many years later. In a matter of hours, Joseph left prison, showered, appeared before Pharaoh, interpreted the dream and begun working in preparation for its realisation. His years in the pits, fields, homes and prison had prepared him for the time and season he found himself in.

Joseph became the answer to the questions the nations were asking through God.

So I ask myself, if so many were unaware, what have they been doing? Now that things have changed, how are we preparing for life after Covid19? Please understand that this is a game changer; life has changed and nothing will ever be the same again. We will come out, yet not all of us. We will arise, yet not all of us. We will learn lessons, yet not all of us. A line has been drawn, each one must choose a path and walk in it. I have purposed to do and become whatever my Father says to me in this season because it is by obedience that the next instruction will come and I will rise into the fullness He has set out for me.

Understand that, this is business unusual and only those with a clear word, instruction or assignment will come out on top. There is a shift in the way the world functions and an even bigger shift in the way the kingdom functions. We cannot afford to be caught flat footed and unaware.

Press in, be still, listen, learn, understand and then go and ONLY what your Father says.

Shalom

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