There are times that I feel overwhelmed. Amidst my normal duties and day-to-day challenges (fluctuating exchange rates; our country’s political games; staff issues; economic uncertainty and many of my friends’ health problems) I also have the responsibility of looking after a number of construction projects we are currently busy with. Endless problems with at times less competent civil servants that obstruct our progress to get the necessary rights and approvals. Add to this the financing of the projects and the pressure to finish everything on time while a host of unforeseen issues keep on popping up and costs just continue to escalate. At times, the challenges feel never ending and overwhelming.
I lift my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from?
So many people I know are going through really difficult times.
All of a sudden many of my friends are struck by various (and strange) illnesses, including Anita, some by serious financial issues and others with relationship issues. The economic uncertainty is also not helping – what is going on? Like them, there are times that I feel like standing with my back against the wall.
The year to date has been a very busy and stressful time. My friend Gerrit’s illness; Anita’s foot operation and all the planning of the new sportsgrounds at the Eduplex – where will the millions come from that we need for the development? All I could do was pray. I was even more busy before I left for Europe in May for a combined short holiday and conference. I needed the break.
The danger of being so under pressure is that although I still had my quiet time, I felt stressed and my time with the Lord was often rushed. I forgot the words “Only in returning to Me and waiting for Me will you be saved; in quietness and confidence is your strength…” (Isaiah 30:15)
The past 3 months, my best friend Gerrit was severely ill and in and out of hospital. In fact, the neurologist thought that he was not going to make it and that his children had to come from the USA to be at his side. Sitting in his hospital room praying for him while he fitfully slept, day in and day out, while watching one’s prayers seemingly going unanswered, drains you mentally, emotionally and physically. I reached the stage where I started feeling powerless, as if God was no longer hearing my prayers. In fact, I was beginning to wonder whether I really know God as I was experiencing an increasing distance between us.
I continue to be amazed.
Over the years I have tried to encourage people to spend time in prayer and reading (the Word as well as daily devotionals) with the promise that God will answer them. Some of my favourite scripture passages that I used to illustrate this point was from
Matthew 7:7 (New Living Translation) – ‘Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.’