Tuesday, May 19, 2009


“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever” Psalm 107:1

In all the sad and difficult things that have been happening it is easy to lose sight of the goodness of God. It is so easy to stand back and ask ‘How can a good God allow such bad things?’ Very easy to query the goodness of God in the face of such ‘badness’.

But let us not forget the bible says “God is good” not that “good is God”. What that means is that good deeds do not define God. God defines good. Being good is not an attribute we ascribe to God. Good is God’s nature. That is who He is. Good is not a character, it is a person. IT IS GOD!

We define good by human standards but good can only be defined by God. Whatever God does is good because it is His nature; He cannot do anything but good; He cannot be anything else but good! HE IS GOOD!

Now I’m not saying those deaths are good things or that God killed my uncle and friends. No! Those things happened as a result of the ripple effects of the fall and they will continue to happen until we grow into the fullness of Christ and overcome death.

What I am saying is that no matter what happens, no matter how bad things seem, no matter the pervasive evil in the world, God is a good God and whatever He does is good so the only way to determine the goodness of something is to ask the question – “Did God do it?” if the answer is Yes, then that thing is a good thing.

I am convinced of the goodness of God. In the midst of so much heartache and tears, I have no doubt that my God is good. I serve a good God. I have a good Father. Even when He does things I don’t understand and because of my shortsightedness I cannot see the good right now, I still know it is good because “GOD IS GOOD” and because “we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose” Rom 8:28.

So I worship my God and thank Him for all His goodness. I honor Him and bless His holy name. There is none like Him in all the earth and above and below. He is my God and my Father. My Good God and My Good Father!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort them that are in any affliction, through the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” 2 Cor 1:3&4

Last month was a heavy month for me. While still grappling with the loss of my uncle, I was faced with my friends’ loss of their little baby. I had yet to deal with that when I lost another friend. A young man who just got married late last year. As if that was not enough, I got news of the death of a co-volunteer on Nabuur. She died in a car crash.

I felt battered on every side. I could not understand anything again. I was operating on auto-pilot. I felt each loss keenly but could not give in to my grief because I had to be strong for others. I had to be strong for my mother, aunty and cousins who had lost a brother, husband and father; I had to be strong for my friends who were mourning the sudden death of their precious baby. I had to be strong for my friend’s young wife and the work on Nabuur had to continue.

I was floundering on an emotional tightrope and I knew it. I felt brittle and could feel I was close to shattering. I put on a brave face during the day and lay awake dry eyed at night. This continued till sometime last week when I entered my bathroom one morning to take a shower and suddenly started shaking. Tremors racked my whole body and I could not stop the shivering.

I sat on the floor, wrapped my arms around myself and tried to control the shaking. I could not.

I don’t know how long I sat there till finally I raised my head and looked out the window. I said “Jesus……..” and that was all it took. It felt as if someone wrapped giant warm arms around me and at that moment the tears I’d held back for so many days broke free.

I snuggled into those arms and wept out the pain, anger and sadness. My whole body heaved as I sobbed. I cried for the lives cut short. I cried for loved ones left behind to mourn and I cried for myself. I opened my heart up to the Holy Spirit, snuggled into My Father’s arms, held on to Jesus and allowed them to comfort me.

There is still anger, pain and sadness and there still will be for a long time but now I don’t run from it. I run to my heavenly family with it and they gather round and hold me in comfort. The more I allow myself to be comforted, the better I’m able to comfort those around me. And little by little, we are healing.

I still don’t understand why all these happened and I still don’t know when it will all stop but I do understand and know comfort. The kind of comfort only God can give. The kind of comfort that makes me a comfort to others. And I am grateful for it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you” – 1 Thess 5:18

My dear friend had her much longed for, much desired baby. She and her husband had suffered through three miscarriages. I have seen the hope and joy whenever she discovers she’s pregnant and the despair and heartache when she loses the pregnancy. I have prayed with them and for them. And I have never seen them lose their faith.

Then this pregnancy. It was a difficult pregnancy from the word go. She spent more time in the hospital than home; more time in bed than out. But as each successive month crept by and the pregnancy held steady, our hope and joy increased.

When I got the call that she had put to bed, I screamed and danced a jig round my room. I cannot remember how I got to the hospital, I just found myself there. The joy on her face was confirmation that all those weeks in bed had been worth it. Everybody was euphoric. If any couple deserves to be and should be parents, it was them!

Four days later, their baby died.

For the first time, I saw my friend shattered. It was a blow too much for my strong, gentle, believing friend. She broke down. As she wept in my arms, I looked at her husband; he was numb. He seemed incapable of words or movement. I didn’t know what to say to either of them. I could only cry with them.

Then I heard one of the ladies who had come to comfort them say quietly “In everything give thanks”.

I felt a flash of anger. No, RAGE!

Give thanks for what! The miscarriages?; the long uncomfortable weeks in bed?; raising their hopes then dashing it?; dangling a baby in front of them and snatching it right back?

I saw nothing to give thanks about and no reason to thank God in anything that had just happened.

But just as quickly as it came, the anger left.

We are not told to find a reason to give thanks. Neither are we told there has to be a reason for thanksgiving. As simple and as difficult as it is, we are just told to ‘give thanks for that is the will of God to us’.

Just Give Thanks.

Oh, but how hard! How hard it is to give thanks in a situation like this. It is so hard!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


“The last enemy that shall be abolished is death.” 1 Cor 15:26

I wrote this two days after we laid my uncle to rest. He was sixty two years old and looking forward to the arrival of his first grandchild. We had no warning. No sign. He went to bed hale and hearty and never woke up again. It hit the whole family hard.

I have lost a lot of people over the course of my life. I lost my dear friend who helped me to Christ; I’ve lost a brother, friends, cousins, grandparents, aunties, uncles, colleagues, acquaintances. It has never gotten easier. I have asked ‘Why?” a lot of times.

But looking on as my Uncle was being interred, I asked another question. I asked “When?”

When will we overcome death?

I do not believe we are to wait till resurrection to become immortal. No! I believe it is something we are to become while on earth. Adam was not created to die. He was created to live forever. He lost it. Immortality was one of the things Christ came to restore back to us.

When Christ died on earth, He also rose on earth. In flesh and blood. He did not get to heaven before overcoming death. He overcame death then ascended to heaven. Why then have we accepted death as our lot in life?

Resurrection is not an event. It is a person – CHRIST! “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life” –John 11:25

As long as we have Christ in us, we have resurrection in us. We are to be indestructible as He is. But if we do not understand that we will continue to be subject to death. “I said, Ye are gods, And all of you sons of the Most High. Nevertheless ye shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes” –Psalm 82:6&7

I agree that that is not a day’s job. Just as we are to grow into fullness so also we are to grow into immortality. We have to overcome a lot of things before we get to overcoming death. It is after all, the Last Enemy. Many of us will die physically before that is achieved. I understand that.

But standing by the grave and bidding my beloved uncle goodbye, it is hard for me to accept.

I can only ask, “WHEN?”