Monday, January 16, 2006

God is ever present in dark times

New year resolutions are not my thing for life is like a flood with seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months pouring into others without any hiccups. I look back into 2005 and my experience is better characterised by oxymorons: white-darkness; bitter-sweet; melancholy-gladness & bleeding laughter. My country (yes I feel a certain ownership of Botswana, for our national anthem is right: "This land is a gift from God; An inheritance from our fore-fathers") has experienced some of the worst nightmares badly termed passion killings. "Passion killings"? It is hard to imagine any murder which occurs without a certain degree of passion: a swelling of emotions! A famous footballer (and a policeman) star killed his girlfriend; a 77 year old man killed his wife in her late 60's and her daughter in her 40's. Reasons remain a mystery. Many young men killed their "lovers" in some of the most gruesome ways ever recorded anywhere in 2005 - stuff of horror movies! Botswana was also hit by a massive drought leaving Gaborone dam 17% full (or is it 17% empty?). These were the dark, bitter, melancholic & bleeding times.

Inspite of all this, God always raises up the standard against the enemy. That is a fact! At the end of 2005, the rains came - not simple showers - but rains that flooded the land. I knew as I do now that troubles don't last always and joy comes at the break of dawn. Forever, dawn will follow the darkness of the night. Crucifiction was followed by resurrection; Peter's 3 times denial of Jesus was followed by his robust preaching and defence of the gospel; Paul's persecution of the church was subsequently followed by an apostolic work of establishing churches in Greece and many places. Hard times are never eternal - God intervenes and turns things around.

In 2005, I took a step of faith and moved from Brighton to Johannesburg where God has been working on me in different ways since. I love Brighton - but I love God more. My move was in response to his plan and purpose for my life. The church plant in Gaborone is right on God's schedule. It will not start a minute early nor a minute late. God will build his own church in Botswana - not me nor any other!

I stand in awe that God would call me his own. Grace is not only scandalous it is ridiculous: criminals evade punishment & are saved for free! 'I stand amazed when I realised your love for me is beyond all measure Lord.'

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