And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12)
A gentle note to reader 🙂 This post is a follow-on to the one titled “The Call”- so it’s a good idea to read it first if you have not for an easier understanding of this.
The spiral my life was thrust into after the infamous phone call brought more and more questions to fore.I was anxious,confused,hot inside my ears-I was a bag of nerves. I was afraid.
I would like you, dear reader, to go back to your last day of normalcy and the days that followed to answer the questions below.
- At the moment of crisis, what really mattered to you?
- What urgencies faded into the shadows giving way to what was always important but never urgent?
- What is it that you have had to give up or give into because of the circumstances of adversity you now find yourself under? (For example…Have you had to cut your spending? Did you have to change your diet? Did you have to quit alcohol or smoking? Did you have to resign? Did you have to walk away from a relationship because there was more pain than love? Did you have to say any goodbyes-painful as those were? Did you even have the chance to say goodbye? Did you have that awkward conversation you had been putting off? Did you sign up for a class? Did you have to call in a favor from a sworn enemy? Did you have to move to another place? Did you call up an old relative you last saw three Christmases ago? Did you have to get onto chemotherapy? Did you have to fall to your knees and pray? )
- What has changed in your life as a result of the things you may need to give up or give into because of the adversity in your life now?
- Who do you really miss? Who has become really important now that your companion choices are slashed by less than half? Who are the people, and things you have had to live without?
In my own experience, I deeply missed my family. Suddenly they were all I wanted to see but could not. I did not miss emails. Not even whats-apps. Seriously. Matter of fact I never returned to face book afterwards. I could not and did not receive or respond to any chat messages for the next two months that followed.
I could not use a mobile phone except under safety instructions. Before all this happened I was always in a hurry to run off to work, always caught the tail end of family parties. Even though there was always a hot plate waiting for me when I arrived to say bye,I knew my family put up with my endless busyness because family is family.
Now, I could not even arrive late to any family do.
Adversity has a way of refining our perspective on life. It brings tears to our eyes that have both the power to relieve our weary souls and give us a new perspective on things at once.
At first, the shifting adversity brings can be daunting on the senses, but after a while, things –and people begin to find their new places after the turbulence. Turbulence has a way of reordering the sitting arrangement in your life. It has a way of throwing some people into the back seat and bringing others to the V.I.P reserved area. It separates buddies from brothers and friends from fans because we tend to get the two confused in the safety of normalcy.
Inspite of the storm, pay close attention to these shifts. Throughout the process of adversity, calm will return to different aspects of your life gradually. Take note of where the storms displace or move different people and priorities in your life. Then respect the new seating plan. Respect what emerges after the calm.
As you read this reflection,there may be people comimg to your memory. All the people who have come to your mind and heart are people who matter to you. They are GOD’s gift to you and you must make time for these people. As you wait in the hallway for your breakthrough-how about you reach out to the ones the LORD brought to remembrance? Practice the overcomer’s habit of making time for the relationships that feed and sustain you. Feed what feeds you, like Bishop TD Jakes says.
So, send a WhatsApp text to your mum to see how she is. Better still, if you can, call her and hear her voice. Consider a face to face meet up with your sister if you last spoke on her birthday if she is one of those you remembered. These relationships will ground you and help you to remain sober if your world is falling apart. Treasure them!
Secondly, after things calmed down abit, I suddenly had so much time for and to myself. What were we going to do in the company of me, myself and I? What games would we play? It had been such a while! In fact, I don’t even know if we had even ever met, to begin with. I mean we had occasional flings but my life was crowded so I was always on the run to meet and hang with everybody else but me. But now, in this no wi-fi planet, all I had was myself. Life’s circumstances as sad and terrifying as they were had created a time of solitude that looking back, I am thankful for.
Your circumstances may have drawn you to yourself- or given you very few choices in terms of who you get to spend time with. Either way, the company you are in, including that of your own self, is no accident. GOD is the best events planner I know. He never messes up the guest list. Never.
Time to my self-forced me to slow down and look deeply into me. Not the casual glance I had become too familiar with. I had to stare into the deep of me and reconnect with myself. Who have you kept waiting all this time? Yourself? Your family? GOD? Into whose company is the adversity drawing you towards?
Most Importantly though, in the chaos and eventual calm that followed, I learned to do something I had started to take for granted.
I learned to pray.
And I began to call on the Name of the LORD again.
WHILE WE WAIT.
Father I thank you for every heart reading this right now. Thank you for their life and thank you for the situation in their life right now. Thank you for loving them so deeply that you sent a word to them even in this season of adversity. We thank you that we are never alone. We thank you that you allow adversity into our lives to strengthen and refine us for your purposes-and never to harm or punish us. Never. We thank you for walking with us through these dark days, for shielding us with your love even during the darkest of nights.
While we wait for you to change our circumstances, we choose to focus on what is good in this season. We thank you for the good habits we picked up and the bad we dropped. We thank you for the relationships you want us to protect and the ones you want us to release. We thank you that we are becoming better vessels for your purposes and glory.We thank you that through our own pain your light will shine through our lives to touch the world around us as we minister the hope that you have ministered to each of us In This Season.
We thank you that we have overcome by your unfailing Love.
In Jesus Name.