In the name of the King: Jesus

Jambo and Happy Easter to you!

So it’s the wee hours of Sunday morning as I post this. Just finished streaming the Easter Worship Experience and it was quite the experience. I also went to church on Good Friday to hear the Good News; that Christ is RISEN. That HE lives. And just hearing that again was super heartwarming. You see, my ulcers have been bugging me for the past week but I promised myself earlier in the week, that ulcers or not, I was not going to miss that service. And I’m glad I went. I got to hear about 9 testimonies of healing and breakthroughs during the prayer and fasting period leading up to Easter. Which was definitely uplifting. Like a reminder to keep going, never give up, because His love never fails. Physical reminders that He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all I could ever ask or imagine.

And that got me reminiscing about the faith I had as a child. I used to feel like I had that faith that could move mountains. I remember a specific time when I was about 4 or 5 years old, and I had been admitted to Aga Khan hospital with my mum for about a week. Can’t remember if it was the time I had convulsions or if it was malaria, but either way, I remember having a really bad fever. And I hated the food, which was terrible, because it was hospital food. But I think my dad used to bring my mum Steers and I used to steal some of it and in exchange mum would convince me to have some of that dreadful hospital food. I digress. But anyway, what I remember most from that ‘sleepover’ is that every night, before I slept, I would ask mum to pray for me to get well soon. But first, we used to sing a very simple song called WINNER.

Winner eh eh eh
Winner
Winner eh eh eh
Winner
Jesus you are a winner, winner
Battle, battle you win forever
Winner

And I remember singing that song over and over everyday and truly believing in the words. And eventually, I got better and I got to go home and watch cartoons. And 18 years later, I still believe it’s my faith that healed me. I don’t even remember what type of medicine I took. But I remember praying with mum, and singing that song. And to this day, when I get my really bad fever and I’m too dizzy and weak, I usually call mum to my room regardless of the hour and I ask her to pray for me. And sometimes, we still sing that very simple song. And I always wake up with my fever gone. No medicine. Just faith.

But for some reason, I haven’t been applying this to my ulcers. I have been trying to prepare different types of herbal medicines for myself because that’s going to be my future career, but for the moment, I really don’t need to. But now mum is not here, I am in a strange land and no one is here to sing with me and pray for me. But I think what I had forgotten hitherto, is that I don’t need a proxy. I can still rely on my own faith. I can still pray for myself and sing and believe that I will get better because that’s exactly what I need to do.  I just need to trust Jehova Rapha, my healer. I need to trust that I can call on His name and I will be healed. Because that’s the power of His name. By His wounds, I am healed, just as it is written.

Isaiah 53

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

And that’s what I have been reminded this Easter. That Jesus did not leave us empty handed. He left us His legacy. He left us His name. A name above all other names. A name that breaks chains. A name that saves. He also left us a helper, and if I’m low on faith I can simply pray and ask for the faith I had as a child to be restored. Because sometimes, we need to set our eyes on things above, and release control of what’s below, because we are not alone. He was alone when He was crucified so that we may never feel alone again. Because He is risen. All we have to do is believe it and share the Good News, not just on Good Friday, but everyday that we can.

Easter is not about eggs or bunnies or mourning the death of Christ, because why mourn someone who is alive? Easter is a time of reflection, fully understanding the perfect sacrifice on Calvary for your life, bought at the highest price that you may be free. And if you need a reminder of just how badly He suffered for you, try watching Passion of the Christ again like I did.

When you can no longer stand, KNEEL

Jambo auxiliaries!

So I’ve said this before, I am a perfectionist. I seek perfection in everything I do. And if I cannot achieve it, I start to feel like a failure. From the outside world, I get praise for my mediocre work but on the inside, I feel disappointed for not having attained my personal standards of perfection. You would think that after 23 years, I might have started to accept my imperfections but my stubborn self is working against me. Lately, my coursework has become REAL. In a very interesting way, but I am just realizing how much harder I am going to have to work in order to reach my standards. And that’s the problem, isn’t it? This is all about me.

Years and years of report cards saying I have soo much more potential to do better. Which was true, because most of the time I wasn’t really trying. But now, uni life is waay different. Especially my uni. You actually have to work really hard for good grades, and sometimes, you may work really hard and still not get what you thought you would. So you work harder next time, because there is always a chance to make up for it. And you can always seek advice. Not medical, but you know, maybe you should take that bold step to admit that you need help from someone else. Which for me, is one of the hardest things to admit. But the thing about standing alone, is that it’s easier to fall. And that is a scientific fact. Something to do with the centre of gravity. Even the English agree, United we stand, Divided we fall. You would think Manchester United would be the top team in the league but I guess that’s the exception to the rule.

It feels good to open up though. Like a weight has been lifted off my chest. Like I now have a public disclaimer with (x) number of witnesses (x being you guys 😉 ). Why have I been feeling like this? Because I have been in denial and I haven’t told God what I have been feeling and so I have been suffering in silence. Which is completely unnecessary. There are numerous ways that He has used to encourage us. Like in Joshua chapter 1, He says it over and over, ‘Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, for I am with you wherever we go.’ He never leaves. We forget that He is there. It’s like when Peter forgot to look at Jesus and that’s when He started sinking. And sometimes, what seems like such a big deal to us is quite insignificant to the people we hope to please.

20160301_002747

And so, I dedicate this post to the people that wrote short notes to me during my year in ministry. I ended up reading them a couple of nights ago. Little snippets of encouragement, that helped me remember what’s important. And what I need to focus on. Not on my books as I have been wrongly doing, but on God Himself, that all these other things may fall in place. Because my biggest mistake has been not realizing the opportunity that I have to share Christ through my struggle. That I can still be a testimony for His Glory because He is life. Sometime ago, when I was going through similar situation, Pastor K shared this passage with me, and it’s given me a renewed and refreshing outlook on my situation.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Praise to the God of All Comfort
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

I am not alone… And neither are you.