December 12, 2021
I have just been watching a wonderful inspirational movie on Netflix with my daughters about children who lived in an orphanage and overcame difficulties. I was so inspired realising that we can all conquer any insurmountable situation we face when we have God on our side. Despite their circumstances, these kids were happy and playful. This indicates that we need to adjust our attitude even when confronted with challenges.
Sadly, after this encouraging story I received news that my cousin has passed away, how awful! She was thirty-six years old, turning 37 on Christmas day. The announcement of death of a loved one throws anyone off. I’m still reeling from shock and haven’t established yet what happened to her. She lost her seven-year-old child almost three years ago which was equally devastating. I believe that mother and son have been reunited.
Celebrations for the holidays have begun, with parties held at local parks in my city and many around the world preparing to celebrate Christmas in two weeks’ time. I’m certain that my cousin was looking forward to her birthday as well as Christmas. As a family, we will be getting ready for her funeral, tough as it is. It reminded me that on the thirteenth of this month, seven years ago, I buried my own mother.
Death is never easy on anyone; however, the Bible says, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labour, for their deeds will follow them.” (Revelations 14:13). This scripture reminds us of the importance of being born-again and receiving forgiveness of sins from the Lord. In that way, we are certain that where Jesus is, that where we will be also.
It is imperative that we should always be ready and be on purpose for we do not know our time. We read about young Jesus in Luke 2:41-49. “His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So, when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So, when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
Jesus knew at an early age the reason for His incarnation. Many have lived for decades and yet do not know why they are on earth; they are still searching, and many are off the mark. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”. So, if you don’t know your life’s purpose, ask God. He’s the one who put you on earth, you can’t be wasting time.
Further in Ephesians 4:25-27 the Bible says, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold”. Verse 31-32 further says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”.
We should think long and hard about these words because malevolence hardens the arteries of the heart. Since we don’t know when we will die, it is better to travel light and rid ourselves of things that contributes to illnesses. When things are tough Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Jesus is willing to carry our load for us.
In Joshua 1:8, the Lord said to Joshua, “keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful”. Prosperity and success are not only financial but also spiritual, physical, and emotional.
When you keep the word of God always with you, it safeguards your entire wellbeing. My cousin didn’t see this day coming, nor did we as a family. We are never ready for death even when a loved one is ill for a long time, not to say that my cousin was ill. My mother, yes, she was in and out of hospital for over a year and the thought that she could die was there deep inside my mind, but I could never voice it out to anyone because we live with hope even if we can see the person deteriorating daily.
We refuse to let go because we believe that God heals. He says in Exodus 15:26, “for I am the Lord, who heals you.” Other times though, if it is times for the soul to leave the body, then there’s nothing we can do. When an individual’s purpose has been fulfilled, then that’s it, the soul departs. We came alone on earth and every soul returns on its own. There are many who have been suspended by machines, but it is only for a short while, eventually the life-support is switched off.
As you go through this day, ask yourself whether you have done enough or are on course and fulfilling your purpose. If you can’t then it is time to really think about the purpose of your incarnation before you get to the end of this year. Start the new year with intention to do all that God has called you to do, and if you don’t know what that is, ask God, for, it is your Father’s delight to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32).
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. & The ESV Global Study Bible®, ESV® Bible, Copyright © 2012 by Crossway. All rights reserved & The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ (2004). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers. The Holy Bible, Berean Study Bible, BSB Copyright ©2016, 2018 by Bible Hub Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2016 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved. The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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