People were running frantically and chaotically with overnight bags in their hands, some with infants too. Three wheeler taxis were being hailed at an unusual rate. The small space was being packed with people and people. Tremors had been felt. Following the Indonesian earthquake, the Indian Ocean Tsunami warning system sent out alerts to the North, East and South coastal residents of Sri Lanka. Announcements were made through loud speakers urging the people to evacuate and spare their lives.
However, the matron and I were as calm as ever despite having felt the tremors at the pharmacy, whereby the glass shelves were rattling persistently. We were walking back to the elders’ home which was on the coast! All were heading the opposite direction and without stopping, warned us in the middle of their tension. Phone lines were jammed. In fact a few of my friends were trying to call me out of concern but apparently hadn’t been able to get through to me. (Yes, their phone calls and thus their love touched my heart.) The rainbows and the message that I had typed just that morning kept our hearts at peace; we knew there will be no destroying of our lives. God’s peace transcended our understanding. In fact the Indian Ocean from where we watched it mirrored that peace – it was calm unlike the violent waves it boasted the previous day. Ultimately no tsunami waves even came close to the pearl of the Indian Ocean. In the event of all of this, many spent the cash they didn’t have to travel to a safe zone. There were stories where food preparations for the Sinhala / Tamil New Year had perished in the meantime.
We often look at circumstances or analyse them through our own understanding, with the limited wisdom of man. Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign” (Matthew 16:2). How often do we search for miraculous signs to reveal His will to us? I know I’m guilty of this!
- How does it make you feel that Jesus calls us ‘wicked and adulterous’ when we do this?
The world will tell us, “What we see is what we get”. However, with God that is not necessarily so. In fact I wonder whether there is any story in the Bible where it’s obvious that the promise is being fulfilled and that smoothly too! However, I can reel off many stories where the situation turned to the opposite direction of the promise before being fulfilled many years later.
“They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons,
till what he foretold came to pass,
till what the word of the LORD proved him true” (Psalm 105:18-19)
Joseph was sold as a slave. Psalm 105:16-17 tells us the LORD called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food; and He sent a man before them – Joseph, sold as a slave. Just compare verse 18 with what Joseph had foretold! His two dreams had shown him that he would rule over not only his siblings but his parents too (Genesis 37:5-9). Although Joseph’s father rebuked him, he kept the matter in mind too (Genesis 37:10-11). The one who believed he was called to reign over his family ended up with his feet bruised with shackles and his neck put in irons! Whoa! I wonder what went on through his mind at that moment. The Bible doesn’t record any disbelief on his part. Yet, the shackles and irons were only for a while – only “till what he foretold came to pass, till what the word of the LORD proved him true”. I’m sure Joseph’s brothers had a hearty laugh when they sold him as a slave and thought that would put an end to all possibilities of Joseph reigning over them!
When Jesus heard of Lazarus’ sickness, He said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). God allowed Lazarus to die before Jesus raised him from the dead. (Yes, it was also pointing to the future of what was to happen – Jesus being raised from the dead after three days). God was glorified.
Do not fret when things are going in the opposite direction to the promise.
God is mightier than any human scheme or that of the enemy. Nothing can stop His perfect plan for our lives other than our lack of faith and thus disobedience. If things go smoothly and in an obvious fashion along the way of nature, it will not be seen as a miracle that God has performed. When the impossible happens, only God would be glorified – no man can take credit for it!
What Joseph foretold came to pass, the word of the LORD proved him true…
Take heart with these words and what God has promised will come to pass…