The Road to 2020 - Wanangwa Chirwa
2019 has been special for me: there have been great moments and some hard moments too. So one thing I had to learn pretty quickly was to never let the hard moments keep me from recognising the great moments and the workings of Christ within me. Before I go on, I would like to thank the Ablaze team for allowing me share a bit of my learning journey in 2019, I am greatly honoured. So here are some of the thing God has taught me, I pray they encourage, build and comfort someone reading this series:
Firstly, I learned the importance of getting back up quickly when I go through a hard time. As people we can easily find false comfort in pain, hurt and slip ups; we want to wallow in the emotions, feeling sorry for ourselves. I learned to put a deadline on my grieving period, I learned how to go through the hard emotions honestly and transparently but with a pure determination in my heart to get back up as soon as possible. You can sometimes remain in pain for so long that you don’t know life without it: but there’s power in spending time in the presence of God, that is where God can anoint you with oil of joy, peace and righteousness as you yield to the workings of the Holy Spirit [even in hard times].
Secondly, I learned how to respond when “the ugly” comes out of me. In 2019, I have seen myself fail to handle situations well, say somethings I never thought I’d ever say and also, mess up where I never thought I would. How do you respond when the ugly comes out of you? I had to learn to come to God with my imperfections, lay myself bare before Him and confess every act of injustice I had done to people. God calls us to come to Him with nothing hidden. I learned to respond with humility and not pride, with sincerity and not hypocrisy, with patience and not haste. Oh, the Holy Spirit has exposed and fixed certain things in me this year.
Thirdly, I have learned to be patient with myself. I have learned to be patient with my growth process. “I may not be where I want to be but I am not where I was yesterday”, this is what matters. I have learned to forgive myself and also live life without comparing myself to others. I have learned to celebrate others because of this and it’s a happy life to live.
Fourthly, I have learned to keep doing what God has assigned me to do even if I am poor at it. When you help other people make their lives work but you fail to make things work for you, such a thing can make you want to give up; It can get you to your knees and ask God some questions. In 2019, God has taught me the importance of keeping at my assignment; I have had a glimpse of what Paul was going through when he said “…we are crushed down but not destroyed…seemingly poor but making many rich…” So keep on doing what God has called you to do no matter what: if it’s changing lives, keep doing it.
Lastly, I have learned the power of raw obedience. I have learned that God loves obedience. I have learned that the power of God is manifest on the other side of obedience. I have learned to take God at His word and simply go even when I don’t have all the details. I have seen God touch hundreds of lives through my simple “yes” to His will. At the beginning of 2019, I was travelling from Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay, and before boarding the bus, I so much wanted God to sit me next to a person who needed the Gospel. And on the bus I sat next to a young man probably my age and an older woman. As we prepared to start off, I had fears in me “where do I start from? How do I share the Gospel in Chichewa?” then I simply ignored the fears and went for it. As I started to share, the Holy Ghost took over, Long story short, the young man received Christ and I also prayed for the woman and her child, I left them with two New Testament Bibles. I tell you the truth, if you will make up your mind to obey God in 2020, no matter how impossible the instruction may look, you will see fruit that you have never seen before. That next level you’ve been crying out for, that growth you’ve been desiring, that intimacy you’ve been longing for is on the other side of obedience. Come on now, let’s obey God in 2020 and impact whole families, neighbourhoods, regions and nations for Jesus.
To be honest, my 2019 has been rewarding, I thank God for the successes and the shortcomings, I have been built, chastened, purified, refreshed and strengthened. I pray that what I have shared will accomplish a bit of the same in your lives. Happy New Year.