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.