“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ “(Matthew 5:37)
August 22, July 2017 by Kgalalelo
This is the most difficult article I have ever written ever since I started blogging in February 2017. I captured it the best way I could at first but then when I reread it, it didn’t sound right. I felt like I was trying to express myself in a way that would make everyone understand my viewpoint pertaining to the event mentioned but realised that I was deluding myself. The Holy Spirit gave me what I think was a difficult message to write about and I had to get out of the way. My guilt, perception and narrow mindedness made it difficult for me to carry the message through and so I postponed writing it. Every time I thought about completing it, words just disappeared from my mind. I literally had a mental block. I knew that I was the one blocking the message from coming through as I wanted to be modest and usually when I write, I am usually inspired and write with effortless grace. I found myself typing and deleting often and restarting my sentences and felt off balance as if I had to use certain acceptable words according to ‘whoever’s’ standards. I’m not certain who.
So here it goes.
One of my cousins recently lost a child to suicide at a tender age of sixteen. I had planned to take my two daughters to the doctor for a check-up and the date was already booked but it clashed with the designated date for the funeral. On the other hand, I had scheduled to take a pressing business trip shortly after for a week, and looking at both trips taken together and the kilometres to be travelled, the distances were quite vast and immoderate.
I explained to my cousin that I would not be able to make it to the funeral as a result of my circumstances, although I would have loved to. I was challenged as supporting the family was imperative and it seemed biased to even attempt to compare or weigh the importance of all scheduled intents. It was a difficult decision to make but my cousin was understanding nonetheless and the matter was settled.
I had informed a colleague about the fateful event who innocently enquired the day before the funeral if I would be travelling earlier to get there and my simple response was no. The conversation ended there as she immediately changed the topic. On the same day, a relative also enquired about my journeying to the funeral and I responded likewise. She seemed surprised that I would not be attending the family funeral despite my explanation and our conversation took some time as I tried to reason with her and she sounded like she understood at last. I must say that I was pretty shocked by her sense of astonishment. It appeared to me as if I was committing a heinous crime and the matter bothered me a little.
Later in the afternoon, I revisited in my mind the conversation I had had with my relative and pondered cancelling the doctor’s appointment or rescheduling it for another time then again the distances I would be travelling for the business trip concerned me and if I changed my mind and went to the funeral I would then have to travel a thousand kilometres in a single day to and fro. I understood how crucial it was to support the family especially during the time of bereavement but I couldn’t see the possibility unless I compelled myself despite all other conditions. The seed was as a result sowed and fell on the soil of my mind and it was beginning to take root.
When I arrived home in the evening, having discussed the matter with my family, I started packing my bag in preparation for a five hour trip on the road the following morning. I was uncertain about the departure time as the funeral was scheduled to start at 7:00 a.m. and to make it on time, I had to leave at 2:00 a.m. I thought about my safety at that time of the morning as well as my night vision and reviewed the decision to leave at 3:00 a.m. rather, as it was also winter and very cold. My thoughts were fixated on the trip while packing and a part of me was hesitant about this last minute decision.
I went to bed early that night since I had only a few hours of sleep before awaking and leaving. I was also exhausted from the events of the day as we had spent the entire day at a workshop. The objectives to be achieved from the assembly consumed me also and I needed to rest. My mind was clouded with many things and because of the tiredness as soon as I got into bed I fell asleep right away.
I woke up in the middle of the night for some reason and couldn’t get myself back to sleep again. Possibly I never fully slept in the first place in anticipation of the trip and the minute I opened my eyes in the wee hours of the night I began thinking about the appropriateness of the expedition. I tossed and turned about the matter while desiring to get atleast one more hour of sleep before getting up. I closed my eyes and tried to think of a distraction that would make me fall asleep but I couldn’t, the only thing that came to mind was the trip that I was finding it difficult to take as I had other pre-set arrangements. It would seem absurd to another that such an outwardly obvious decision could cause one to have a sleepless night, but it was certainly of concern to me.
I was restless for a period of time and suddenly, I heard an inner voice say, ‘it’s the spirit of indecisiveness’. I wasn’t shocked to hear that as I know the manner in which God communicates with me. I knew at that time that the Holy Spirit was bringing the message across without too many words. I sat in bed still awake and a shift occurred as I began thinking about the communication I had just received and I began to feel calm. My mind literally slowed down and the feeling of restlessness suddenly left me as wisdom and understanding took over. I began to sift and analyse what was happening and looked at all the factors that had brought about the hesitation and doubt in me and my initial decision.
I examined everything one after the other and knew that the matter had been finalised long ago when I explained my stance to my cousin. The Holy Spirit never gave me a full message but just a sentence which became the title of this message as the matter was already concluded. When Jesus was on the cross and said “it is finished” (John 19:30), He meant that everything was settled and resolved. All that He had come to earth to do was completed and that was it. There was no revision or revisiting anything, He was done! This brought an understanding to the message I had received, that because I had the answer already, there was no need for God to say nothing more. He was just reminding me of what I had forgotten and making me aware that we often make decisions and then doubt the decisions we have made because of overthinking them.
You see, my cousin had understood my rationale and accepted it.
My colleague accepted my decision and immediately changed the topic
I explained to my relative and she simply said ‘I guess we can’t all be there’
My brother also had texted me and when I informed him that I was uncertain if I would make it he accepted without question and moved on to talk about other things.
When I analysed all of these I realised that I had wanted people to affirm at length that it was ok for me not to be at the funeral and even though I received some acknowledgement, the conveyance didn’t meet my expectation. I had to deal with my own sense of guilt and doubt. As the decision was already accepted by my cousin and in the spiritual realm, I realise that there was no need for others to oppose nor agree.
I have learnt in my life that nothing is never in vain. Everything happens for a reason and the Bible says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 28:8). God never does a thing for nothing, there is benefit in everything that happens no matter how bleak the situation looks. We all go through difficulties in our lives and if we look closely, there is always a lesson or even something to remember from the situation that could serve us.
The message was both for me and the many people who find themselves in the same rut. A pastor once said that everything has a spirit or is a spirit in itself and I knew that this indecisiveness was a spirit of torment. The Bible says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1: 7). A sound mind is that which can think properly, reason and understand things clearly. Indecisiveness is an example of fear, which is the spirit that God never rendered. Thinking about the expectations from others and how they would feel if those expectations are not met is tormenting. It breeds guilt along the way when it is not properly checked. I wanted to sacrifice everything I had intended to do though it was really not possible and had to receive a wakeup call in the middle of the night through the message that I received.
I love God as He saves you from yourself no wonder the Word says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3: 5-6).
I thank the Lord that He directed my path in my sleep right in the middle of the night and as soon as He had downloaded I fell asleep as I knew that I had to unpack my bag in the morning and honour the appointment I had made with the doctor for my children. It had not been possible for me to travel and I know that this was not the end, I would be able to travel for another family event with a clear mind and a proper intention and decision. The Bible says that those who waver, do not receive anything from the Lord. Wavering in itself is indecisiveness. We always need to know where we stand and if we believe that we have made the right decisions stand by them. Otherwise if we really wish to make another decision, we should be peaceful about it. I was not hence I tossed and turned the whole night. If you are in doubt rather not.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
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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