I suppose one of the most baffling tasks we can ever have in life is accepting that bad things can indeed occasionally happen to you as God-loving as you are, as innocent as you might believe yourself to be in a particular situation, as cautious as you perceive yourself to be and all the other criteria we could name in the limited time we have today. The bottom line though is bad things of varying degrees of intensity and impact do happen to us sometimes. In fact, Jesus in John 16:33 guarantees us this by saying;
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
In this instance, Jesus refers to bad things happening to us as more definite than probable. The thing is it is not so much about what we go through, good or bad than it is about how we react to it. In fact, most people we look up to, even in the Bible, have had their fair share of valleys as they have had the mountains we love to glamourize and inspire to emulate or experience.
This is, however, not to say you should live your life anticipating bad things to happen to you as often as humanly possible, or believe that bad things are going to happen to you more than good things are, or accept a life of defeat because oh well bad things happen anyway whether I like it or not, or live in the fear and anxiety of possible bad things happening to you or put simply, believe the devil more than you believe God. NOOOO, OKAY, JUST NO. On the contrary, God actually does promise us victory in all these situations.
Romans 8: 37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, 39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Looking back, I, like any other average human being, especially one who didn’t fully understand the nature of God, grew up blaming God for my problems, particularly the death of my parents. How silly. I have heard so many times that God uses bad things ”to teach us a lesson”. What sort of God would that make Him though, come to think of it? A good God who believes that it is only bad things that can teach us lessons? Why then wouldn’t he want to be called a bad God since bad things seem so efficient to Him? No, God is too good to teach us lessons using terrible, scarring, traumatic, excruciating experiences.
Please set it in your heart that God DOES NOT send you bad things to teach you a lesson because ‘he trusts you as his strongest soldier’, and as such he is teaching you some form of high and mighty lesson. That is the biggest deception of the devil to make you less resistant to any of his wicked attempts to kill, steal and destroy you. Are you really going to fight against the lessons that God is apparently teaching you through sickness, poverty, and just plain defeat and pain? No! Do you see now? I wish you understood that it is the goodness of God that makes Him work out all things together for your good, including taking advantage of what the enemy intended to use to crush and defeat you, to possibly teach you a lesson. God does not intentionally send you bad stuff to do you good, believe that with your chest out. At most, He only gets to use it for your good when the devil sends it your way, which might be through lessons if you will.
Matthew 7:9-11 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Losing my parents was very unfortunate and I really don’t wish something similar on anyone I know and also anyone I don’t know. For the longest time, I was quite bitter about this and the bitterness manifested itself in so many subtle and outright ways. I especially hated it when anyone brought up their names or whatever memory they had of my parents. I wholeheartedly just didn’t want to hear it. I hated being introduced to a visitor as the daughter of the late and hearing them talk about how much I have grown since my parents died. In short, I had so much to be angry about, so much to be irritated by, so much to want to self-pity about…
Oh, how glad I am that I am no longer like that! Listen, it will never stop being painful that they are gone and that the reality of having them gone can put me, once in a while, in positions that it would have been more convenient to have them alive BUT I allow God to use that for His glory because God wastes no opportunities to work things out for me. I am especially grateful that though I hated it at the time, people told me about my parents anyway. I see God’s matchless wisdom through the stories I have heard about my parents. It is pretty surprising how, even though they are no longer here, and I hardly have a memory of my parents, they are a part of who I am.
My dad was quite an interesting character and everyone who knew him acknowledges that. He had his fair share of weaknesses, but who doesn’t?! I am so happy to have heard that he loved me dearly. It is only recently that I began to appreciate hearing that over and over again. This is mainly because I have come to understand that if my earthly father who only had four years to be my father loved me in a way that everyone could see, can still remember vividly and testify about, how much more is the love of God, my Heavenly Father for me. I also have quite a resemblance to my dad and it is quite fun to carry that around. Besides that, from going through my dad’s pictures, one thing is apparent to me, he loved fashion, the guy loved to look goodt! I have laughed to myself many times after seeing some of the things that are now making a comeback in men’s fashion, as things that my dad used to wear as evidenced in his pictures. That just means I borrowed this aspect from my father as I have been nicknamed so many things to point out my love for fashion. My dad also loved to celebrate life and celebrate the people around him. From what I hear he loved to find an excuse to throw a party and gather people around and just celebrate milestones and life. I wouldn’t quite exactly say I am that into parties, in fact, I often find them cringe-worthy as being around too many people at a time tends to occasionally overwhelm me. Also, being the center of attention at such a gathering doesn’t sound quite exciting to me. I know, however, that this is highly likely to change soon as I grow older and evolve as a person. Needless to say, though, I definitely also love celebrating the people in my life. If I could buy islands for the people in my life, I would. I am just not an ‘hbd’ (short for happy birthday) kinda person, I let the people in my life know through words what they mean to me when gifts can’t do it and I know this is a diversified version of my dad’s love for celebration. I also love a good time, I love creating memories with the people God has placed in my life, which falls under the same spectrum. I have also heard that my dad was a man of class. Now, I doubt that I can quite exactly call myself a woman of class, but I can certainly say I have an eye for the finer things in life although I am yet to fully express this in any way. This means I have a limited edition of this quality or possibly am yet to bring it out in full force. I could truly go on and on about the subtle ways I carry my dad with me in my life and I choose to hold on to these positive aspects instead of obsessing over the fact that he is gone.
I used to wish so bad I looked like my mom and wondered why there was nothing on me that pointed to her being my mom. As I am growing older now, I tend to see little highlights of her in how I look although I predominantly look like my dad. I especially have her hair type, nose, and mouth. I remember at some point someone saying they remember my mother by her loud laughter, and that she would know she had come to visit by hearing her loud laughter from a distance. This is definitely me, I am always giggling more than the average person, loudly too (sorry to the ‘how to be a lady’ etiquette coaches out there). My mom was apparently a no-nonsense woman. I believe that I let most things slide and choose peace over having my way most times, but I definitely have a degree of this in me, I just don’t like nonsense! and I am slowly learning to stand up for myself against anything that I feel resembles nonsense (haha). She also, like my dad, loved to look good, and even was way ahead of her time with matching outfits both with my dad and with me. My mom also supposedly loved to sing and preach at women’s Thursday meetings according to one source. Although no one else has reiterated this to me, I choose to believe it as I would take it as another aspect we possibly both share. My mom was also supposedly a hardworking woman and a kind woman, stern but hospitable and kind. I see all these aspects in one degree or another in myself. I have quite a number of other things that I have heard about my mom that resonate with who I am that I am not going to mention them lest this blog become a book.
This will be probably the longest blog that there is, but in closing, although my dad won’t walk me down the aisle when I get married and my mom won’t visit me to train me on how to be a mom with my first child, these little bits of themselves in me are enough. I am grateful to God for being so meticulous in all His works such that even a person who is no longer there can leave behind bits of themselves through their offspring. Today, I choose to celebrate that and be content even in such situations that the devil cunningly orchestrates to try and kill, steal and destroy. Talking about my parents in these two blogs has been relatively hard, but I choose to celebrate the parents God blessed me with through this blog and I would love it if you trained yourself to find the silver lining or rainbow even in your darkest times, or most challenging of circumstances. Yes, your situation could be bad bad bad, but is that really all there is to it? Think about it…
And lastly, I leave you with this scripture
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); 17 Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].