Hey there! How are you all doing?
I hope you and your families have all been doing well in God’s many graces.
As for me, I am filled with joy and just grateful to God for each day that I experience the gift of life, and more-so seeing yet another month.
The month of April was an especially lovely one for me. I had an escape from my normal routine, and went for a staycation; though nothing fancy like visiting famous landmarks or anything like that, but something I would personally classify as better. An up-country getaway, just being surrounded by green stunning vegetation all over and beautiful nature.
I have always been a sucker for such kinds of places and it was amazing how God brought about this moment. Every single moment, turned out to be extremely humbling and deep as I began understanding the purpose of God in my life these past few months. All things begun coming together in God’s own way, and seeing them exactly as He intended.
So, I have been surrounded by green all around for the better part of the month, and hopefully this will lead up all the way to May.
I have been hiding away in a serene place tucked away somewhere on this earth, and it has been a truly beautiful and humbling time hanging out with my mum, my sister, the insects in the wild, and some animals.
At the beginning of this escapade, I burnt my index finger with steam while cooking chapati and experienced awfully excruciating pain. In fact, it is not entirely healed but I trust that in time, it will be all better.
This is how it looks at the moment….very much healed compared to how it was at the beginning. (If you can notice the swelling of the index finger)
This also made me appreciate those little blessings that you never really, really, really notice — like having fingers that are working well and are able to help you lift things, wash clothes or dishes, many other activities and particularly for me, to write.
Now, my mum loves gardening and I think I borrowed that from her. She had been wanting to do some landscaping around the compound and I wanted to help her. Well, to be honest, I wasn’t doing much of any helping because of my finger, instead, I just kept her company as she was getting rid of the weeds around the compound.
Just outside the house before you get to the gardened area, there is a lot of rubble stone; there were also several weeds and maize plants sprouting everywhere before my mum and I plucked them all out. I only took these two maize plants for blog purposes, (notice the little one shooting.)
This was happening because some maize seeds had fallen on the rubble stone like these ones below.
I opted to help her pluck them out with my left hand since my right-hand index finger was swollen. Before I began, I figured it would be quite the work since the roots appeared to be quite deep. As I began plucking them out, I noticed the weeds were a bit harder to pluck because the roots were slightly firmer than the maize plant ones. I was shocked at how shallow the maize plant roots were, because I plucked them out as though I was plucking off chicken feathers straight out of hot water.
While doing this exercise, I suddenly thought of the parable of the sower that Jesus taught about and said to myself, “truly, this is true.”
5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.
6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.
8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
The maize seeds had accidentally been scattered on the rubble stone and they had begun sprouting. From the outside, they appeared attractive to the eye but as soon as I began to uproot them, they were exactly as Jesus had described the seeds that fell on the rocky ground, — shallow.
This category Jesus said, are those who received the word of God with joy, but they, having no root; believed for a while but in the time of temptation they fall away.
11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
Focusing on the rocky ground, Jesus says, they are those who when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
What did Jesus mean by time of temptation? I believe He meant the earthly enticements, allurements and even the tribulations faced while here on earth. And indeed, there are many temptations we face in this life that cause us to lose hope, and turn away from God’s word.
To be honest, as I was later meditating on this parable in depth while in bed at night, I saw myself. You know, I have no idea where I at times get the notion that I have this solid unshakable faith. But God is always graciously prepared to remind me that He knows me better than I know myself. For it only needed a first degree burn to remind me how “solid in faith” I was; and this made me truly see my dust nature and my feeble frame.
When my finger began swelling, I began to panic, though my panic was in the form of calling out the name Jesus, I was nonetheless nervous and worried about the swelling. The whole finger was almost double it’s normal size and I had never seen any of my fingers in this shape.
In the midst of all this, I also begun thinking about the suffering of Jesus as they nailed His hands and feet to the cross, and as they crowned His head with thorns. What pain He must have endured, not mentioning the flogging He underwent; yet, here I was staring at my swollen finger, wondering about its disfigured state.
Here I was with my solid faith wondering when the pain and the swelling would end. How interesting, as human beings we really shun suffering and pain. We dislike to feel any pain, yet that was the cup our Lord was handed by God; and He carried it with endurance because He loved us.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
Truly, I acknowledge that I need Jesus in every single area in my life, though I honestly confess that I never run to Him in times of extreme panic. I read another book by Charles Swindoll this time around on Paul, and highlighted a place that really struck home; shedding light to my panic behaviours.
And I also noticed that when I do run to Him, most times I find that I am faithless and still anxious. Therefore, I do honestly pray that He would increase my faith and work with me each day as we walk together on this pilgrimage while here on earth. That way, I may be counted among those who fall on good ground and with great patience, bring forth much fruit.
I am far from perfect, I have many flaws, weaknesses and shortcomings but God is able.
I’ll leave that here for now, but I wouldn’t want to go without reminding us that even as the world experiences much confusion, agitation, and so many things causing people’s hearts to fail them for fear and terror, God is desiring that His children have rest and hope in Him despite the circumstances.
Jesus said, that when we see these kinds of things that are happening in the world today coming to pass, we should look up because our redemption draws nigh. Therefore, we do have hope that in the midst of all this chaos, He is on the throne and He is coming back for us.