56. MAKING SENSE OF THE AWFUL STILLNESS – THE PROCESS OF METAMORPHOSIS
(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
The Lord allowed me to spend what seemed like a very long time, exclusively in his presence and in his presence alone and people behaved as if it was the end of the world. They behaved as if I was an outcast or a recluse of society, that my life was over and that I was a colossal failure.
Seventeen (17) plus years of being constantly on the move and one (1) single year and a few months of sitting still to hear my heavenly Father and to have HIM WORK on some things within me that needed fixing and I was considered to be out of the race and some kind of a disgrace.
Ironically, what people did not understand was that it was because God loved me and wanted to take me to new levels, that he allowed me to go through what seemed like a period of restraint and a period of doing nothing.
Remember Joseph? He had so much God-given talent, gifts, strength and potential, yet God saw it fit for him to serve as a slave and then to spend years and years in a prison BEFORE he elevated him to an unprecedented level.
What can I say? God’s ways are past finding out and we just have to trust him in the process.
I will also say this: Beware! Confidence in your job status and a pay check is IDOLATRY. Working hard, if placed above God and if it is all that you can think and talk and brag and be proud about is IDOLATRY. If it makes you turn your nose down at others, to the extent where you ostracize them because you are busy and apparently they are not, then maybe it is time for a self-check.
If you can’t understand how a person can have purpose, outside of working all their lives without a break (except for vacation leave), at a secular job or on secular activities and until retirement or death, then maybe you are in an IDOLATROUS relationship with your job, your business, your work or your so-called ‘busyness’.
Your confidence, especially if you claim to be a Christian, ought to be in Jesus and Jesus alone. Put your FAITH (not your money and your ‘busyness’) where your mouth is.
My purpose and identity comes from Jesus Christ and not the world’s idea of ‘busyness’.
As busy as you are, how busy are you for the Kingdom? Yes, you spent SEVERAL hours yesterday doing this and doing that and somehow this makes you feel accomplished but how many hours did you spend meditating on THE WORD or spreading the gospel to the lost? Make no mistake: The real full time job of every genuine Christian is supposed to be about GOD’S BUSINESS and secular work is supposed to be our part time vocation, not the other way around.
You are preoccupied with whether I am working at a SECULAR job and making MONEY. Are you as bothered about friends, acquaintances and even your own family members that are busily involved in so many ‘activities’ but yet if they do not repent, have a sure ticket on the way to hell? What good will all of that ‘WORK’ be when at the White Throne Judgment?
Are you concerned about your own declining relationship with your Lord as you become more and more ‘busy’ with all that you are doing? The Church pews become more and more scarce as time progresses because the congregation is busy being busy. Too much to do, in too little a time, yet THE WORK of God remains neglected.
Who is really on the throne of your heart, God or your ‘busyness’?
It is high time that Christians start prioritizing right. It is Jesus first and everything else after. So many have lost their focus. No wonder the world is in such a mess. Too many ‘professers’ busy with the SECULAR, to the exclusion or gross neglect of doing GOD’S WORK.
My sitting still had not even been by choice. It was something I fought but which God wanted for me and deemed best at that particular stage in my life. Now, I feel so blessed for him having shut all the doors in my life no matter how hard I tried to open them and putting me to sit down to spend time, just with me and him.
Don’t get me wrong. I was spending time with my Lord when up and about with the secular but this time was different. There were some deep-seated behaviours and attitudes and habits I had adopted over the years, that God wanted to remove. There were some hurts and wounds and issues from my past, even as far back as my childhood, that God, in his love, decided that the time had come to address.
The only way I could really focus on these issues was if I had nothing else whatsoever to focus on, no noise, no busyness, no nothing, just him, myself and the silence.
I couldn’t expect results overnight either. Some of these problems were decades long, so God gave me the time I didn’t know I needed, to work on me. There were also some enemies in the spiritual realm that had wreaked havoc all of my life and prevented me from stepping into certain blessings and God wanted to create a warrior out of me. He wanted me to fight back and I needed no distractions while he was teaching my hands how to war.
He genuinely had my best interest at heart. See, he had a calling on my life and he needed to break some things and rebuild some things, according to his specifications, before sending the blessings he had reserved for me and taking me fully to the next level.
He loved me enough to separate me from the ebb and flow of life and to work on me while in my prison. When people thought nothing was happening and I was just sitting around twiddling my thumbs (simply because I was not at a secular job), major renovations were taken place within.
When surgery is being conducted on someone, the doctor shuts the door to the world, as no distractions are needed while performing the procedure. The same happens when a caterpillar goes into a cocoon for the process of metamorphosis.
When God performs open heart surgery on his children, it is excruciatingly painful. I am not going to lie. I cried practically every day during the procedure but I saw the beauty of it and I knew that at the end of it, I was going to be better off for it and I would have a testimony of God’s continued faithfulness.
He was unclogging all my ‘arteries’ in the spirit, so that the blood of Jesus could freely flow and I was being changed in the process.
During my period of stillness and even before, as I spent time in God’s Word, prayed and fasted, he revealed to me that he had so many hats for me to wear in the future. As I meditated upon him and his Word, he gave me snapshots of my future and it was glorious! Yet, he needed to use my time of stillness to prepare me.
During that period, he deposited so much into my spirit and enabled me to understand so much about myself and this life in general. He made me more discerning and in the stillness, he enabled me to grow spiritually. I am now more focused and I am so grateful and excited about all that he has in store for me.
If it seems that God has you trapped in a tight space and for a prolonged period, stop fighting and just let him have his way. He is not trying to confine you. He is trying to free you from some things and some people and some ways and some baggage that can’t accompany you into the promised land. He is simply trying to liberate you, to mould you, to prepare you and to enable you, to have life and to have it more abundantly.
He may have promised you that you are going to be a wife and a mother one day or that he is going to use you greatly for his Kingdom business. He may have told you that he is going to bring you into a place of milk and honey but he is using your present period of manna, to prepare you for those blessings. See, he wants to ensure that when the blessings start to flow, you are prepared to handle it and will point all the glory back to him.
It is good to sit still at the feet of the Master sometimes.
I should know. I’ve been through it.
(Written on 21st March, 2016)
“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is NEEDFUL: and Mary hath chosen that GOOD PART, which shall NOT be taken away from her.” (Luke 10: 38-40)
In my Article 4 entitled: ‘Musings From The Pit – Praise Your Way Out‘, I wrote:
- “When a caterpillar enters a cocoon, one day passes and then another and then another. An observer upon seeing no activity, no movement, no anything, would most likely conclude that that caterpillar has died within the cocoon that has encircled it. He would think to himself, “Surely, it must have grown hungry! Surely, it must have been lonely! It could not possibly have survived and be sustained for so long in that shell!” Because that observer does not understand the process of metamorphosis, he takes the view that all that is left after such a death is the rotting process to begin and to be completed. But then, suddenly, when it is least expected, a beautiful and colourful sight emerges – It’s… a butterfly! and with new wings, it rises higher than the caterpillar could have ever dreamed or anyone could have ever envisioned.”
Interestingly, it is in this period of awful stillness, that many of the Articles I wrote and have uploaded to this Website were written. During a lengthy and painful period of stagnancy in my life, while every door remained shut and I felt like I could not move forward, God kept downloading his truths into my spirit as I read his Word and meditated on him and I had to keep running to my computer to type it all up.
Today, you are the beneficiaries of the material, the Articles, the quotes on my Facebook Pages and the content, that were birthed from my pain. Praise God!
God has purpose for everything he allows. Trust him. He specializes in extracting beauty from ashes.
(Written on 26th March, 2018)