By Christine Munene
Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you.
You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’
It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak!
I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’
I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”
These words best describe the lessons I learned in 2018.
Our business was taking a hit like most businesses in Kenya and eventually operations shut down in October 2018.
The year 2018 is one I will remember as the year that God revealed one weakness he needed me to get rid of “self-reliance” and He charted a course for me to wholly depend on Him and not myself.
I could relate with Job’s words in the above verses to some extent.
I really battled with God; I questioned Him and His care for me!
I was angry with Him and did not understand why He was not coming through like said He would. After all, He can do ‘all things’.
Why was he taking so long to open a way for financial provision?
The better part of 2018, well the first half at least saw me engage in many running battles in my heart and mind with God and to a certain extent with people too.
What I decided to do however was to keep praying and reading His word. To stay connected with God despite my internal battles.
The main reason I was agitated was that I used to provide for myself, based on my ability to fix things in my life and not depend on anyone else, to handle my business and get things done! Also, I had the ability to help others in my family from time to time and friends around me financially. When my savings ran out and I was not able to do so, the experience punctured my pride deeply!
It was very difficult to let others know what I was going through and I found it difficult to articulate why I was not able to attend some church or family events. What was more difficult was accepting financial help from time to time. It put me in a very vulnerable position, one I was not used to at all. I was used to helping others, not the other way round!
As the year progressed God remained very faithful, it’s like He overlooked my anger towards Him.
One day it hit me, “but Christine, not one day have you slept out in the cold, your landlord has not kicked you out, you are not in arrears in rent payment! You prayed for a patient Landlord or landlady and God said yes! Also, remember Christine, you did tell God you wanted to try a different path work-wise, you did talk to your boss about changing from a full-time to a part-time position so as to pursue other endeavours. So why are you so angry at God? Has He not answered your prayers? Even if it’s not in the way you thought he would.” I thought.
From then on it felt like fish scales were removed from the eyes of my mind and heart! (If there is such a thing)
My perspective changed and I was able to see what a blessing God had been in my life. I was so sorry about my attitude before God. I am grateful that He forgave me when I sort His forgiveness.
Sure there were rough days, some more than others and I lost some weight too, yet each day God provided for my needs in His own special way.
As the year came to an end I was able to see the weak areas in my life and how God used this situation to help me seek Him as my deliverer. My attitude turned to that of praise and thanksgiving! He remained faithful.
He turned my mindset from Christine relying on herself to sort herself out, to Christine relying on God to take her through each day, each challenge and indeed each situation.
In the words of Paul, “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”.
I am learning that the strength and ability to go through each situation is found in Christ, indeed I know what it feels like to have and to lack. It is easier now to give; I understand it more now than I did in the past.
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen. Philippians 4:19
I am learning each day that God has always been the source of my supply. It was never the job I had, nor the ability I had to handle my business or all the things I relied on in the past to get me by…
God showed me and continues to show me that He was and will always be the source of ALL that I need. He is the supplier.
I have learned and continue to learn to take God at His word. What He says He means it. He is faithful, even when am not, He remains true to Himself and His word.
I am still learning, I still have areas that need a lot of refining, yet like it was with Job I can say, “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes”.
The writer is a member of ICOC Nairobi, Singles Ministry