The Heart of the Christian Story.

When the oceans rise and thunders roar,I will soar with you above the storm,father you are king over the floods,I will be still know you are God

Such beautiful lyrics from Hillsong.“I will be still,know you are God”…Let’s do a reality check,shall we?…How many of us are ‘still’ in the midst of the storms of life?

There have been seasons in my life where my faith has been completely shaken.Is that stillness?I doubt,but in these moments I almost always feel His presence so strong and real.It puzzles me!…Question is, do these seasons leave us bitter or better,weaker or stronger?

Let’s look at an example…

There was a blameless and upright man who feared God and shunned evil.This man lived in the land of Uz…guess who this is…Job!(That’s right).He was a wealthy man; 7 sons and 3 daughters,7000 sheep,3000 camels,500 yoke of oxen(an equivalent of 1000 oxen),500 donkeys and a large number of servants.

Job’s estimated value of livestock assets was approximately $5,290 000(Ksh 529M)!!Including his Sons and daughters, he lost all these!…See his reaction in Job 1:21, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;May the name of the Lord be praised”… One word to describe this would be,SOBERING.

As if that was not enough,Job was plagued by sores all over his body and he still maintained his integrity.The wife incited him to curse God and die but see what Job says in Job 2:10, “You are talking like a foolish woman.Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?”Wow!…God did restore double for his trouble at the end of it all(Job 42:10,12).

Our expectations are,as long as we live lives that are upright and blameless, faithful in giving tithes and following God’s principles to the latter,then we are exempt from trouble,but that is not the case.When we get to a point where we understand this then like Hillsong,we can boldly say, “Find rest my soul in Christ alone,know His power in quietness and trust

Oh my soul…

Note the words in bold;Quietness and trust.Afar off be murmuring and complaining,afar off be wining and cursing in the midst of a storm,but…In quietness and trust oh my soul, know His power and find rest.

David himself experienced such moments of loneliness and discouragement but see how he goes about it, “Why are you downcast oh my soul?Why so disturbed within me?Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him my saviour and my God” (Psalms 43:5)

God remains to be the saviour and God in the toughest of times.He does not change with changing times.He remains the same!On bended knees, go before Him in your broken state, your discouraged state, your at-the-verge-of-giving-up state and ask Him to ‘take the wheel’

 Enough of going through life burdened with guilt and shame.Enough of pretending we are just fine and doing great when deep down we are shuttered and broken.Enough of this! God is calling us to, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls,for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30)

He is calling all;Pastor and heathen, slave and free,black and white,young and old,man and woman,girl and boy,prostitute and faithful and in exchange for our weariness and heavyladenness,He gives us rest…In the midst of the storms of life.Amen!

Come to me…

A call to Christianity is not synonymous to a call to a life of rest.Absolutely not!…Infact at the heart of Christianity is suffering… “Oh Viv, that‘s so saddistyou might think, but no it is not. It is the truth of the matter.Job and Jesus can attest to this…Jonah too!…Guess what,it is not to harm us or keep us under, but to make us stronger and above all to glorify God.

 There is a book I totally love by Tim Keller called Walking with God through Pain and Suffering (Please get this book).Tim says, “You don’t really know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have”… How does this intertwine with all this?

Let‘s go back to Job.After all he went through,he boldly declared, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you”…He experienced both sides of God;The God who gives and takes away(Job 1:21),the God who kills and makes alive(1 Sam 2:6).At the end of it all,God got the glory!…Praise God!

Put your hope in God for I will yet Praise him my Saviour and my God

If you have not taken away anything from this write-up,please take this to the bank,

“While Christianity was able to agree with pagan writers that inordinate attachment to earthly goods can lead to unnecessary pain and grief, it also taught that the answer to this was not to love things less but to love God more than anything else. Only when our greatest love is God,a love we cannot lose even in death can we face all things with peace. Grief was not to be eliminated but seasoned and buoyed up with love and hope.” Tim Keller.

The beauty of Christianity is to thrive in love and hope,in the midst of a storm,such that we can boldly say,“When the oceans rise and thunders roar,I will soar with you above the storm, Father you are King over the floods.I will be still,know you are God”

Have a fantastic week filled with love and hope.

Peace.

Photos:Courtesy

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