I first met this lady whom I call aunty, when I rented a room at her house. It wasn’t long before I became close with her and the maid.. and eventually I lived with them for free at a later date and have stayed often time to time during my nomadic stage. It often has been my place of refuge and stepping stone.
It has been a while since I left their house – yes, we have had our fair share of misunderstandings and conflicts but I thank God that our friendship is of God and stands. I enjoy talking to the maid who is in her early 50s on the phone. She had a hard life as a child, was orphaned and came in her late teens to work for aunty. There she came to know the Lord and stayed there since.
This lady is illiterate and obviously uneducated but her wisdom is obviously from God. To help her with her spiritual life, I bought her an audio Bible and continue to get Christian music and movie dvds for her. I’m always amazed at how much child like faith she has in God – the God that has carried her through and brought her thus far will not let her down or leave her.
Even when I feel low, I enjoy calling her. Having shared life experiences with her, I am amazed at how much she can understand my emotions and encourage me… She always tells me, “You have come through so much with God, you out of all people know that.. Yes, there may be fears now but I know you will conquer that through Him too”. Her affirmation goes a long way.
I recall a time when living there, God was calling me to what I would call ‘blindly’ and foolishly embark on a missions journey. In much fear and trembling, I was procrastinating even after God blessed me with the airfare. She would sit with me and empathise with the fears and yet tell me, “Yes, it doesn’t matter what others think, you go ahead and do it… crossing those fears and you know God has been with you all along and speaks to you”.
This illiterate maid ‘knew’ God even if she didn’t know many Scripture verses off by heart. Yet she has an instructed tongue to lift the weary.
Elijah was afraid after hearing Jezebel’s threat. He ran for his life, went into the wilderness and sat down under a broom tree. This was a prophet, a man to whom the word of the Lord came, a man who was God’s mouthpiece! He was afraid and asked that he might die. The angel touched him and fed him TWICE. and then he went on to Horeb, the mount of God. There, 40 days and nights later, he lodged in a CAVE. The word of the LORD came to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
God then told Elijah to meet with Him and once again – in a whisper this time – He asked the same question allowing Elijah to REPEAT his heart’s fears!
Do you think God didn’t know what was going on? I find it so encouraging that God gave time to Elijah, sent food to revive him and didn’t rebuke Elijah for not ‘trusting’ Him in this situation whereby Elijah had done what God had asked him to do! I find it uplifting that God didn’t try to remind him that He will protect Elijah from his life being taken away… Instead, God gives Elijah the opportunity to pour out his heart!! Isn’t that the FATHER heart of God? After that dialog, God then directs Elijah’s steps. He didn’t minimise Elijah’s feelings but rather allowed him to pour it out before giving him instructions.
We as humans do have our emotions.. and they are real given by God and there is no need to pretend they don’t exist. Our weariness isn’t always about lack of faith or lack of not knowing the truth…Elijah knew the truth and was worn out! it could be simply a time of rest being required or it could be a spiritual warfare going on in the spiritual realms that each other needs to intercede, stand in the gap.
Job’s friends got it right for the first few days. They travelled far to be with him in his hardship, they just sat with him quietly, showing their support and love. But then they ruined it all by speaking up, using God’s Word either out of context (to their understanding) or in an untimely manner… and God eventually dealt with the friends.
The words of affirmation instead of religious preaching makes others feel encouraged instead of being pounded on. The preaching may be said with right motives and be relevant to what is going on, but if not spoken with wisdom, it ends up not being a timely word as it is condescending or condemning to the hearer which pushes them into further misery or allows the enemy to taunt them in their weary state making them feel they aren’t able to or lack faith to continue on.
Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing – Proverbs 27:14
Love takes over.. Without love, love that steps into the other person’s shoes and extends GRACE, everything else is meaningless.
Paul sets the example to us when he uses the phrase, “just as you have been doing” a number of times in his letters.
May our talk be:
only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear – Ephesians 4:29
Let’s remember the acronymns, be S-I-L-E-N-T and L-I-S-T-E-N and then don’t ignore but SHOW love and seek God’s wisdom to know how to respond – JUST AS YOU ARE ALREADY DOING 🙂