June 24, 2019 by Kgalalelo
“I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you” (John 1:48)
A month ago, I went to the university to find out about the status of my application for admission into a communications programme. The requirement for admission into this particular programme relied on the recommendation letter I had to obtain from the department. I knew fully that I had to schedule an appointment with the programme facilitator who happened to be a lecturer as well and her time spent in the office was minimal. She was available at certain times only as she had classes for the better part of the day.
I decided to visit her office without an appointment and to my delightful surprise she was in the office, however, with someone else. The door was open and so I waved that she may see that I was next in line. There were no chairs nearby to sit and so I stood opposite the door of her office against the wall away from direct visibility that I may not distract her in the meeting. The conversation in the office was a bit loud that I could deduce that the visitant was a new recruit. The dialogue took longer than I had bargained for but I continued to wait. Students and lecturers passed by, grinned at me but nobody said anything except one student assistant who assured me that the programme facilitator would be finished soon. I nodded and she left me there and disappeared around the corner.
As I stood there waiting patiently, two more students joined me from behind; asked if there was someone else in the office, I acknowledged and they paced around in the corridor chatting. It must have been thirty minutes later when a friendly and professionally dressed lady, wearing a tea-length black winter coat came over to me. She greeted with a warm smile and asked if the facilitator was aware that I was waiting to see her. Before I could respond she moved towards the open door and signalled to the facilitator that she had another guest waiting. I heard the reply from the inside that the appointment was almost over.
I thanked the lady, who, I assumed was also a staff member as she moved across the hall and entered another office. Her gesture of goodwill was heart-warming and because she had taken the time to talk to me and helped; her face and silhouette lingered in my mind for a while.
To cut the long story short, the visitor left shortly after and it was my turn with the facilitator. I had no qualms about anything as I understood very well that every enquirer had to be given undivided attention and I expected the same too. It was the duty of the programme facilitator to assist everyone proficiently without rushing through the appointment to get to the next client. For that kind of service, I give her ten out of ten.
As soon as I sat on the chair and we began to talk, she apologised that she had taken that long but it didn’t matter to me as I could have been that first visitant. Nobody wants to be rushed. Fortunately for me, I only required a letter for submission at Admissions and being an efficient person, she had already prepared, printed, signed and put a stamp on the letter and just handed it to me. Our meeting took fifteen minutes maximum, and in no time, I was out of her office and on my way to Admissions.
It has been a while since I’ve been in the classroom and I believe that the time has come for me to further my studies. I thank the Lord for the ability and the opportunity to study at a nearby university. I would have access to the library and the services of a local supervisor that I could consult whenever possible. It is a blessing indeed. There are many who do not have such privileges. God is good.
Time spent with the admissions’ officer was very little; everything was done by the click of a button. My details were already on the system, being a former student of the university. The only hurdle was coming up with the registration fee which was quite a stretch for me. All along, I had convinced myself that it would be easy to obtain funding for a postgraduate programme. The admission’s officer also advised that I enquire with the department to find out whether it offered funding for the programme I wanted to study, but unfortunately it did not. I was, therefore, stuck.
The only option I had was to fund my own studies but with the responsibilities that one has, I was unsure about how I would manage. I thought there must be another way but my mind was blank, I could not figure out what to do next. A friend of mine who is an associate professor at a university in Johannesburg came to mind and I reckoned he would know how I could obtain a scholarship or point me to someone who could help within the academic environment. To my utter amazement, he suggested that I pay my own tuition because that’s what he did for his studies. He advised me to invest in my own education and that it would pay off later.
I thought long and hard about this and it meant creating another debt on top of what I already had. I had a bank loan that I was paying monthly and topping this up was bound to increase the instalment as well. I was in a really tight spot and solutions eluded me. I was admitted at the university, however, that didn’t mean registration, and if I didn’t register, there was no way I could begin with my studies. This made me uneasy and every time I thought about it I became sad.
I considered the recommendation letter I had received and how long I waited for it and not completing the registration part would probably give an impression that I was not taking this seriously. I also reasoned that perhaps the next time I approached the department with the proposal to study they might not be interested in anything I had to say. Whether this was possible or not, I didn’t want to find out. All I knew was that I needed thousands of Rands for registration.
Days turned into weeks, and one day I plugged the courage to call the programme facilitator to inform her about my predicament and to plead that I may be given more time to figure this one out. I considered this to be the most courteous thing to do, however, whenever I called, she was not in the office. I called daily during work hours, ‘surely she must be there even if its just for an hour’, I thought, but she was never there. I thought of sending an e-mail but that didn’t seem right, I had to talk to her on the phone first before sending one.
I was on the verge of giving up when I decided to call again, this time, at lunch time. I can’t say I didn’t know what prompted me to call at that time because I know that the Holy Spirit is my guide. Jesus says in John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you”. It was 13:00 p.m. when I dialled her number and she picked up. I was surprised that she actually did pick up the phone. Funny how we pray for God’s intervention but when it comes, we are still amazed that He answered.
I tried to explain my situation to her and that I would try harder to obtain funds to register in the next semester and to my astonishment, she informed me that she had a discussion with the head of the department and the supervisor, and they all think that I should register in the beginning of the following year as the programme is a year-long, otherwise I would be a semester behind. I was afforded the opportunity to work on my paper in the meantime with the assistance of a supervisor in the department so that by the time I did register, I had the foundation right.
I thought that was an awesome idea and if the head of the department gave it a thumbs up, then I was fully on board. Things were working out in a manner that I never anticipated at all. I realised that it was God saying, ‘I see you my child, I know about your situation and I have a better solution that would work better for you’. God had been watching patiently as I tried to make things work on my own. He left me alone to figure it out and because of His covenant of free will, He stepped back until I invited Him into my situation, giving Him legal right permission to intervene and He did.
This situation, took me to the bible in John 1 from verse 35 when Jesus called His disciples. The bible says that when Jesus was in Galilee, He found Philip and He said to him “Follow me” (John 1:43) and Philip went to look for Nathanael telling him about Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth. Nathanael didn’t believe that nothing good could come out of Nazareth and so Philip said he should come and see for himself. The bible says “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you”. (John 1:35-48). Nathanael only believed when Jesus said those words.
2Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him”. God’s eyes are always on His children ready to assist in times of trouble.
Psalm 139: 7-8, says “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there”. God sees us and know our whereabouts. There is no where we can run to, that is outside of God’s knowledge. He is omnipresent. He knows our every move and when we cry to Him, He hears us and rescues us because He is merciful.
Nathanael knew that only God can see Him wherever He was and though he did not think nothing good could come out of Nazareth, when Jesus told him that He saw Him, He knew that Jesus was Lord. Jesus says in Matthew 11:27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him”.
God removed the pressure off me by postponing the actual registration while allowing me to continue in the meantime and shape me for the programme. I also had to be certain about what I wanted to study and this phase, was to clarify everything and ready me for next year. How awesome our God is! He had the solution all along but until I reached out to Him, nothing was going to happen. The bible says we should walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). When we walk by sight, we want to see things happen our way whereas by faith, God finds the perfect way for us.
I was assigned someone to work with who would assist me in my journey towards clarity regarding my focus of study and when I saw her name on my e-mail, I identified her in the spirit and I prayed that I was right. We scheduled an appointment to meet and when I saw her, I gasped because she was the image that was on my mind. She was the staff member, who had taken the time to talk to me on the day that I was waiting at the programme facilitator’s door. She was the lady who had worn a tea-length black coat, immaculately looking and I knew that this was God saying again, “I see you and I had a plan all along”.
He saw me standing by the door and sent an angel to recognise me whom He assigned to work with me on my journey as far as my career is concerned. It is said that when God shows us the signs, we should never miss them. At that time, I couldn’t connect the dots but later realised that everything was synchronised perfectly.
Never doubt God’s ability to pull you through to the other side. Trust Him even if you don’t know how He’s going to do it because He will never tell you. Have faith that every milestone leads to another and everything will keep on unfolding as you trust and hang on to Him. He doesn’t reveal everything all at once but gives you bits and pieces until the whole picture is revealed.
Hear Him say, ‘I see you when you are sitting under the fig tree, when you are standing in the storm, when you are at work, when you go fishing, when you cry, when you laugh, when you study, when you eat, when you are driving, everywhere I see you in whatever you do.’
Perhaps it is time for you to put your complete trust in God and see what He can do for you, for He sees you, He knows about you, for He made you.
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.™
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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