Finish the Job!

Even I surprised myself two nights ago. I was scrubbing the tiles in the restroom when electricity plunged me into darkness.

This was no surprise as in the past few months, this has been happening several times a week, multiple times a day (I shall not speak of the woes of the local electricity company). Howevever, what was a surprise was my decision to keep cleaning. I got a lamp and continued to scrub the tiles, by way of a dim light.

Of course having better lighting conditions would have been favourable, but I figured with the surge in energy I was feeling, ‘Hey, why not finish the job?!’

I’m here today to tell you finish the job! I remember when I got pregnant in college, I took one semester off, had my baby and six weeks after the birth, I was back in the classroom taking two summer courses. I didn’t even wait for the fall semester. That was too far. I had a degree to finish and a career to start. Not finising was NOT a consideration! That was 26 years ago. A year-and-a-half later, I completed my first degree.

Circumstances might have gotten in your way. Things are looking dark. You need money to finish college, you need money to finish that house, you need help finishing that project, you might not want to have that baby. You are thinking of opting out of your marriage. You have undoubtedly experienced some road blocks, there are some ditches you have had to climb out…you had to ride some treacherous seas on a rickety boat that would seemingly capsize on the way to the other side. But guess what? Press on…push through…don’t give up. Finish…and finish strong!

Remember, God has His eyes upon you. He cares about every iota of your life. He wants you to trust and obey Him. He wants you to come to Him and and if you already know Him, He wants to strengthen that relationship with you. “…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4 v 4

With God, you can finish strong naturally AND spitlritually – despite the dark times.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

The Difference a Day Makes!

Yesterday at this time, I was sitting in the boardroom at work with the country’s chief, the Minister of Education and Permanent Secretary as a member of my organization’s senior management team. The prime minister had just completed a tour of the organization and we were chatting, laughing and updating him, followed by light refreshments.

Today, I am lying on my mother’s couch, not long ago having returned from the doctor. My body is in a totally different zone. It is the second such episode of this nature in less than a year. I won’t go into details, but I didn’t have the best of nights and needed special assistance throughout the night and morning. Had I been in this condition yesterday, I would have certainly not been able to robustly participate in such an important visit.

Yesterday’s strength is like a vapour and I rest here on this couch BUT for the grace of God! Yesterday, I felt so full of life! It makes me ponder on the fact we are BUT flesh and blood. It is so important to not boast in our own natural strength. People have dropped dead on the job or woke up fine and by evening have been hospitalized. There is even the story of a young man who fainted during a basketball game and today is a quadriplegic. I am reminded of the text in James 4 v 14 which says, “…for what is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vainisheth away.”

I encourage you today to humble yourself before the Lord because, “…in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17 v 28). We are but dust and to dust we shall return: black, white, educated, illiterate, poor, middle class, rich….it does not matter. Think not that you exist on your own accord. We cannot take another breath unless He gives us power.

Think on these things.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

Six Lessons Hannah Taught Me

No matter how many times I study Hannah’s life over the years (1 Samuel 1 to 2 v 1-11 and 18-26), it always inspires me. Here is what I learned:

1) Take Your Desires and Problems to God

Hannah wanted a child badly. She craved, yearned…deeply wanted a baby. We learn in 1 Samuel 1 that this took a toll on her emotionally and physically to the point “she was in bitterness of soul…and wept sore” (10). She also confessed to being, “a woman of sorrowful spirit” (15) and described herself as being in “grief” (16). Interestingly, it was GOD who, “shut up her womb” (5). What exacerbated the matter, was that her husband’s other wife – who had children – provoked her to the point she did not eat and wept sorely. She considered being barren as “an affliction” (11).  Here we read descriptors that give vivid imagery of how deeply she desired a child! In fact, she “poured out (her) soul before the Lord” (15). She took it to the Lord in prayer. You too ought to take everything to God in prayer.

2) Be Specific with Requests

Hannah was quite bold to the point, she struck a bargain with God, in my opinion. She negotiated: You give me a male child and I will give him back to serve you all of his days. 

Honestly, I do not bargain with God, but I do admire how specific she was with her request for a son. I do believe because God already knows our hearts anyhow, as Christians, we can boldly approach His throne of grace, letting our requests be known unto Him, as encouraged by Paul. Be specific.

3) Believe the Word God has Given You

The priest, Eli, thought Hannah was drunk while in the temple as her lips were moving, but her words were not audible. However, Hannah shared that she was grieved and presenting her petition to God.

Eli told her, “Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou has asked of him” (17). 

This so pleased Hannah, she ate and her countenance changed.

Clearly, she believed the word of the priest; how much more should we take God at His Word? He will do what He said He will do! Hallelujah!!

4) Worship While You Wait

Hannah and her husband rose early the next day and worshipped the Lord. THEN, when they returned to their house, she and her husband were intimate and “the Lord remembered her” (19).

I love the fact that she had such faith in the word of the priest – whose word was ultimately from God – that she worshipped even before there was physical evidence of conception. She believed and acted upon that belief.

I encourage you to worship God in faith, as you wait for the promise, whether the promise of that baby, the promise of your husband, your wife, that house, job…the promise of God opening that door for you…the promise of healing.

I once read that the posture of holding our hands out to the Lord while we wait for what we desire, is the same posture of worship. Worship while you wait.

5) Pay Your Vows 

Solomon tells us, it is better to NOT vow than to vow and not pay (Ecclesiastes 5 v 5). Whenever we vow, we MUST keep our end of it, whether vows made on our wedding day or a vow to God Almighty. 

Hannah kept her vow to God. When her son, Samuel was weaned, she took him to the temple to serve the Lord with Eli, seemingly only seeing him once a year when she and her husband visited to offer the yearly sacrifice.

6) God does the Exceeding Abundantly

Hannah requested ONE son, but I believe because of her faith AND her faithfulness, God honoured her. He opened the flood gates of heaven and poured out a blessing upon Hannah, giving her THREE more sons and TWO daughters.  LOOKA GOD!!!! (one of my FAVOURITE sayings!) He showed up and showed out! The exceeding abundantly above what we can ever ask or think GOD!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!

Isn’t it beautiful when we can receive so many lessons from one story in God’s Word??!! Remember, the God of Hannah, is the SAME God yesterday…today…forever!!!!

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah


Real Friends Tell You the Truth!

I’ve had this quote stored in my phone for several months; it resonates with me. I truly believe what we put into our systems affect us. What we allow our eyes to dwell on, what we listen to, who we associate with. In fact, the words in the image above support my August 16th post, What are You Eating?

Today, the portion I wish to focus on is the “people you hang around.” And this is not just for young people; it’s for you older folk as well. Are the people you associating with elevating you? Do they enrich your life? People who really care about you, won’t allow you to go down a pathway that leads to destruction. True friends or family members, tell you the truth – even if that truth hurts. And yes, it’s not what we say, but how we say it, but I have a brother, who often says, “We need to pull them out of the fire!”

Years ago, while studying towards my Bachelor’s degree, something happened between me and a very dear friend of mine, Katina. Later that night, following our class, she called me (days before Whatsapp) and was so real. She told me she saw something in me, a character trait that was, “Ugly.” And you know, I really couldn’t say much because what she thought she was revealing, I already knew. Nevertheless, it was sobering, hearing it coming from someone else. It was something I struggled with, but being the REAL FRIEND she was – and still is today – she needed to say it. And I thank her. In fact, THANKS BE TO GOD, that character trait is far removed from me. I have DEFINITELY GROWN! BUT GOD!

What is just as beautiful is our friendship remains in tact. I did not cut her off because she told me the truth – which would have been ungodly. Our relationship grew because I realized, here was someone who cared enough about me to tell me the truth and wanted to see change. I thank God for her and she was someone I chose to be by my side on my wedding day.

You might not be a Christian at this moment, but even so, please choose carefully who you associate yourself with. Surround yourself with people who are focused, people of integrity, people who have your back for good reasons and won’t lead you down a path of unrighteousness. Now is the perfect time to reevaluate your relationships.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah