May 14, 2018 by Kgalalelo
In Luke 1, we read the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth who had no children though they were righteous people. Elizabeth was barren and she and her husband were old and based on natural laws, there was no way they could conceive. The angel of the Lord visited Zacharias and gave him news that He would have a child which He should name John. When Zacharias questioned the angel citing his age the angel said to him "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news” (Luke 1:19). Since Zacharias didn’t believe, he was kept mute until the birth of the child. I could imagine the difficulty he had to endure for nine to ten months of his wife’s pregnancy. He could not communicate except by writing on the tablets or probably signalling. Either way, it must have been hard for someone who could speak a minute ago and then have his speech taken away in an instant. The bible says as soon as he declared on the tablet that his child was indeed John as specified by the wife, “his mouth was opened and tongue loosed and he spoke, praising God” (Luke 1: 64).
This story holds great significance to me in that I found myself in a season of difficulty too and as I was sitting contemplating my troubles one morning, my brother called me after a long time and we started chatting. As soon as he asked me how I was I spilled the beans and he was like an outlet of release for me. He was sent as an angel to shake me out of a depressive state I found myself in. He had called me but for the next twenty minutes I was the one talking, I had hijacked his call and made everything about me and my hardships. I started right from the beginning and placed my concerns on the table. I was really feeling out of sorts and my spirit was heavy laden. I was teary but couldn’t cry. I have some of those days where I feel that my soul is grieving yet I can’t shed a tear. Tears are usually hard to come by from me. I cry from the inside more than anything else and keep to myself. Often, I try to find ways to make myself feel better. I look for anything that would help me to come up and when I do find it, I hang on tight.
So this day was one of those days where God had sent His angel in the form of my brother because He had seen my soul and heard the cry of my heart. He had read every thought I had in my mind and heard words I didn’t speak yet they were on my tongue. He had felt my emotions with me and heard how I was revolting from the inside. He knew that there were times in that season that I didn’t feel like doing anything, where I wanted to hide like a little girl in the closet for a while and not come out until I am called to come eat. I was like Zacharias, crying and praying in the temple day and night for years but things were just not happening as I wished them to and I had grown weary and tired inside but God saw all of that. He says in His Word I have chosen you.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze (Isaiah 43:1).
I knew that I have been chosen, I belonged to God, Jesus selected me and placed me in His camp, I was sure of that. The brother who introduced me to the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University looked at me once and said ‘you are chosen’ and that message has always stuck in my head because I knew that indeed I have been chosen. Jesus said, I have chosen you out of the world and yet in being chosen, I went through the usual challenges that every other person goes though. We often think that if we are in God then nothing would happen to us, we would ride along the waves whereas it is in the waves that our character is refined and we are shaped to be better people. The Bible says that “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). I am a work in progress and I guess, I will go through stuff like any other person but God promises not to leave us nor forsake us or even leave us as orphans.
He sends you comfort in the nick of time; just when you are sinking he sends an angel and says, ‘your prayer is heard” (Luke 1:13). He never allows us to completely sink and drown. He is attentive and knows the best time to respond or intervene. As soon as I had offloaded, my brother and I began talking about our family and then our genealogy. He had seen a paper written by a student submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for a PhD about the history of the Barolong people and we were surprised to realise that information has always been there and it was clearer than what was explained to us by our elders. It was more understandable and I was excited about this knowledge. He sent me the paper and I loved how it was presented that it reminded me that I had always wanted to do my PhD but could never properly conjure a perfect topic but this paper was giving me an idea of how I can present my case should I decide to go ahead to prepare my proposal.
God had come to remind me of my aspirations that it was not too late and not all is lost. I could still think of doing something that I loved to do and not view my life as hopeless because it surely has a purpose. I have done so much for myself through the strength of God, He has enabled me and there is still so much more in me that I can still do. I need to give back to the world while I am still alive and do everything I came into this life to do. An angel had come to remind me of all of this and it was up to me to take the next step and trust that God will always be there with me, watching over me and working together with me. All I need to do is be aware of the efforts that He makes for me, the signposts He puts at every corner and the small miracles along the way. I could have lost my way but God reminds me of where the way is. He points the direction again and again and pulls me off the rut.
Every event in my life has come to serve me, no matter how difficult it is and one of the most important things for us to know is that we are never alone. There’s probably someone else who is going through the same difficulties or even more. Sometimes we glorify our problems too much that we don’t even see the people next to us who have a larger cross than ours. We think we are the only ones going through distress. Jesus said to His disciples “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:13). Jesus had more troubles than some of us. He was ill-treated, scorned and betrayed and yet He held His head high up. He knew that He would be killed and prepared Himself for the inevitable. He was pierced on the cross. I think that was one of the cruellest way of killing people in those days.
We experience just a fraction but we wail persistently but God in His goodness, lessens the pain by reminding us who we are in Him and what He has called us to do. He sent the angel to cook for Elijah, who was running from Jezebel who wanted to kill him. He demonstrated His love to him that He heard his cry but first needed to feed him to regain his strength. He could have left Elijah there to starve or be found by Jezebel and be killed but God still had a purpose with his life. Elijah still had work to do. He had to train his successor, Elisha to carry the responsibility of showing God’s glory to the nations.
Angels are around us all the time, they might not be flying around in wings; they could be people who greet you in the morning at the bus stop or the lady who cleans your office. God can use anyone when the time is right to minister to your soul but we have to pay attention. Hebrews 3:2 says “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it”.
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. &
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Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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