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.

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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.

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