Monday, April 27, 2009

Your Designer Cross

If you are anything like my friend, Bola, then your favourite pendant is a cross. I can tell you free of charge that the only time a cross looks cute is when you wear it as a pendant. If you have to carry it, it is anything but cute.

Everybody has a made-to-fit cross. They come in different materials and sizes and are delivered at different seasons of life. These crosses could be made of wood, bronze, iron, silver or gold. Some crosses are crudely finished and others are tastefully finished but they all have some common denominators. They represent shame, pain, reproach and humiliation.

Some crosses are less obvious than others. We talk about some crosses openly and some we carry in the innermost recessions of our hearts. There are some crosses we are touchy about and there are some we have gotten so accustomed to that we don’t even remember they exist.

For every kind of cross, Jesus set a precedence. As God-head as He is, He submissively carried His cross. At the point where He couldn’t take one more step with it, God saw from heaven and sent Him help in the person of Simon from Cyrene.

Only God knows the extent we can cope with our various crosses. He can choose to intervene at some point and he can choose otherwise. If He chooses not to relieve you of a particular cross, He will make His grace available to you. Peter is a living witness to this. He recorded in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 that:

“Concerning this thing, I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me and He said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness”

Concerning your designer cross, God’s response could be Jesus’ style or Peter’s style. Any how, Jesus was the first person who, blamelessly, carried a cross and may I submit to you that He did a fantastic job of it. If that is the case, who else but Him has the sole right to say “I’ve been there, done that and have sole distributorship for the t-shirts”

The t-shirts in question are not plain. Inscribed on each one are these words…”TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME”. (Mark 8:34)

If you noticed, He did not say follow your pastor, parents, clairvoyants or any human being whatsoever. This is because He knows that the amour of flesh will fail you even when that was not the intention.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

P.S...It Comes With Fine Prints

I vividly remember the day I gave my life to Christ. It was an indescribable experience…simply “euphojoyous” (trust me to make up words). Words cannot adequately describe that experience.

I did not get serious with God because of any challenges, it was a decision born out of a deep longing and hunger for God. Looking back now, I’m convinced someone somewhere was praying for my salvation.

Even though I knew very little about the word of God, my heart towards Him was pure and genuine. God pampered me silly. It was a season when everything I touched turned to gold. The people in my fellowship group said that my mouth was very close to God’s ears because He answered all my prayers.

As far as I was concerned, relationship with God was strawberry for breakfast, frilly curtains, permanent twinkle in my eyes and loads of giggles. It was simply pure and undiluted bliss!

I should have known better. I should have known there were some fine and invisible prints.

The fine prints had it that I would have accommodation problem for 6 years during which I would squat in 18 different places including people’s stores with no toilet or bathroom facilities..

Part of the fine prints stated that career-wise, it will take over 15 years to achieve what ideally I should have achieved in 3 years.

Of curse, I didn’t see the part that stipulated that I would nurse my brother through a two- year battle with lung problem.

It was written in fine prints that I would spend 12 years praying for another brother who was hopelessly prodigal.

A paragraph in the fine prints had it that I was going to pray for healing for my father but instead have him die in my arms.

The finest of the prints was that I would nurse my mother through cancer and then loose her to stroke.

If I had seen the fine prints, read through and understood them, do you think I would have signed on? My answer is NO…spelt NO and pronounced NO!!!.

God knew that if I saw the fine prints, there’s no way on this mother earth I would have given Him any time of the day.

It is not recorded any where in the bible that God is a fair God but it is recorded that He is a just God. It is also recorded that a soldier does not go to war at his own expense. In my case, God was my sponsor. Though there were times I felt like an unloved step child, God was there and He walked me through every painful step. The times when I was too weary to catch up with Him, He carried me.

Because God is the author of my fine prints, He made grace available for me to outlast the challenges.

If you are in right standing with God and your life is senseless at the moment, could it be that you are living out your own fine prints?
If your issues are fine-print-related, surely… even if you sway, even if you are stretched thin and transparent, even if you are bent over, God will never allow you to break. How do I know? I know because, the bible records that God will never put more on you than you can bear and that for every trial, He will make a way of escape.
If you have never experienced a "fine print" season, I have this to say to you...keep living and also, remember to save this blog because, you will need it some day.
Happy Resurection Sunday

Monday, April 6, 2009

Its Ok to say "I Don't Know"

I know a good-looking, godly and very gifted gentle man. He is what I’ll call a 3-G guy. Each time I see him, my heart breaks afresh. Uju, but you just said he is a 3-G guy (good-looking, godly and gifted). What is heartbreaking about him? I guess I forgot to mention that he is blind!

Whenever he’s seated ahead of me in church, I loose focus because my mind goes into an over drive. I ask God tons of questions; I try to reason out why God has not restored this guy’s sight. I try to get into the guys head and think like him. I sit there and wonder…

Would he have preferred to be ugly but have his sight?
Would he have preferred to be an average Joe, with no form of giftedness but have his sight?
Would he have preferred to be very poor but have his sight?

I sit there and my thought goes like…“but God all power belongs to you”, “all it will take is one touch from you”, “but you know that more than any thing, this guy would love to have his sight restored” etc.

In between trying to focus on the sermon, I sit there and agonize over this guy’s situation.
The irony of it all is that this guy’s situation seems to be lost on him.

Why would God bless a man this much and not give him sight? The truth is that I DO NOT KNOW.

Usually, when we come toe to toe with any situation that defies all our theology, we do some or all of the following:

pretend that we know what God is up to

try to make excuses for Him

offer some baseless explanation to justify why God appears to be “slack” concerning His promises.

use some clich├ęs that we don’t even believe.

Let me mess up your theology just a bit.
You don’t know what God is up to. You don’t have to make excuses for Him. You are a mere mortal dealing with an infinite God so, you can never justify most things that He does.

My suggest is… quit trying to understand God but if you dared, be my guest and start with these:

His thoughts are not your thoughts
His ways are not your ways
As far as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than your ways and His thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:8-9)

Let’s face it; God will not always reveal everything to you. Things will not always work out the way you want. Everybody will not live in a mansion. Some people will never have their own children. There are people who will never be healed. Just pause for a moment and look at Mathew 26: 11…"for you will have the poor with you always” (ouch!)

If God is infinite, has His throne in heaven, uses the earth as his footstool and you are a part of the earth, then you are part of His footstool and that logically means you are under his feet (no offense meant, please). Now if you are under the feet of an infinite God, is it possible that you can see beyond his toes?

God is so all-together-glorious that just a glimpse of his feet provides mind-blowing revelation and illumination. No matter how anointed, prolific or spiritually knowledgeable anyone is, all the person can see is just one very minute portion of God. No one can know God in His totality or understand everything He does.

When things don’t make sense it is very Ok to admit that you don’t know what God is up to or if He is up to anything in the first place. It doesn’t make you less spiritual or faithless.