I am standing in a queue with a number of different people at Shoprite – waiting to pay the Eduplex and our Property Company’s water and light bills. A few people in the queue wait to buy a Lotto ticket – some clutching R10 in their hands…their last R10? I can see the desperation on their faces, ‘if only I can win something this time!’. If you are down to your last R10, you have probably exhausted all your options – and perhaps the Lotto is your only hope?
While waiting I think about my pressing needs. The millions for our new sports fields and our online university – a huge mountain before me. To whom can I go for help? The need for the Eduplex projects are so big that even the Lotto won’t help much. I realise that I need help from ‘somebody’ with infinite resources and I feel like turning the faces of the people standing in the queue to my only hope … God himself… and feel like yelling ‘Look to God and trust Him! He will provide, I can testify to that!’
7 May would have been the birthday of a very good friend, Martin Holdt, had he not departed to be with the Lord some years ago. During his funeral his family gave out a bookmark with his photo on and Ps 23. Every morning during my quiet time I see his photo and reminded of the words he so often shared with me or prayed over me. Martin gave me my first daily devotional book, Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith by Charles Spurgeon. After my time of prayer I still read this little book (plus some other devotional readings) every morning and stand amazed at how God opens up different passages and messages when I need it most … messages I never ‘saw’ in the years I have been reading it. It changed my life and the way I kept my quiet time.
This year will be 30-years that we have been distributing Phonak hearing aids in sub-Saharan Africa. Soon we will celebrate this important milestone with more than 250 international and local guests. In organising such an event one inevitably has to look back, visit the many memories, look at old photos and think about the people met and the friends made throughout the world. I don’t like looking back because apart from the good memories it also reminds you of the many hurts, pain, fears and tears. But I have to, I have to remind my guests of the road we travelled.
As I looked back over the past three decades I saw a golden thread woven through my life. That thread is called G R A C E. Instead of God’s wrath, I met His undeserved and unwarranted abundant favour, goodwill, and His loving kindness. As I look at His promises, given to me in my quiet time, I am humbled. They all came true, some still in the process of being fulfilled. Allow me to share a few with you …
A new year is dawning and it feels like every year over Christmas and New Year brings more and more problems. Between the natural disasters (Tsunami / storms / floods), plane crashes, terrorist attacks and threats of terror we also have a president making silly remarks like ‘if the white man in the form of Jan van Riebeeck did not arrive on our shores in 1652 there would have been much less trouble in our country’.
All of this creates an uncertainty in one’s heart and I often catch myself worrying about the future (again!) and especially the year ahead. Our family usually enjoys our annual December vacation down in the Cape. I use the time to spend not only quality time with Anita, our children and grandchildren but also time with the Lord. Every December God reminds me to banish fear from my heart and that I have to guard my thoughts!
It’s 02:30 in the morning and I am tossing and turning in my bed. I am thinking of the multitude of projects, challenges and problems in front of me. I decide to get up and seek God’s face. How I need a Map and a Guide!!! Actually, I want to get out from under this unbearable pressure. I feel like giving up, after all I can’t go on like this forever! Why not quit now while the going’s good? Should I not listen to the multitude of voices asking “When are you going to take it easy?”
I start praying … Lord, please help me! Help me to persevere. Help me to keep my eyes on You! Lord please help me with wisdom, insight and understanding… and one by one I start laying my problems at His feet. God likes us to be honest, so I just poured out my heart.