I developed a love for journaling in my first year of college. My many journals hold a mixture of prayers, bible expositions, decisions and life’s experiences. They are a reminder of how far the Lord has brought me. And its a mighty mighty long way.
I recently took an unexpected, yet very necessary “holiday” – let’s just say that God has a serious sense of humour. I’m still shaking my head at His ways. During my time alone, i took time to go through my journals covering a timespan of about 21 years. Yes. 21 years. I know, some of you are a few off that mark in age, yes? I’ve been writing for a looong time. I’ll tell you one thing, it was an afternoon very well spent. I had moments where i deeply marveled at the things God showed me and taught me. Political events and family situations that later came to pass, dreams, visions and prophetic words that are etched in heaven, as He watches over His word to perform it.
I also had heart breaking moments – i noticed specific issues that have been my prayer points for which i have raised silent and loud petitions to the throne room consistently and persistently, over the last 10 years.10 years. Some of the entries were so bang! (can’t put a clap here so, bang!) that i had to confirm the dates – you mean this was 7 years ago, 5 years ago? This wasn’t this morning? Maaaaann, that hit a spot. Has it been that long since i started banging on heaven’s door? Why hasn’t God answered? Is there “something” I need to do or stop doing to get an answer.
Do you realise that we, people of this soil, are naturally inclined to be superstitious? No? You don’t think that in some way, we think or make God an “oracle”? The one in the villages that demands a chicken for a magic portion and any disobedience meant misfortune? No? Ok. How many have seen anointed salt/oil/brooms on sale – for a blessing? Is that closer home? Ok. Let me go back to my story. We’ll come back to this one day.
Anyway, my journal entries evoked two very strong emotions – first i was really sad and i spent a few days beating myself because i reasoned that God must be keeping me here, delaying the answer because i had a poor attitude, or had not learnt the lesson He was trying to teach me. Did you do tie and dye? No? Ok. When you are dying a material, it must be tied up and immersed into the dye where it must stay until the colour catches. This process can repeated severally depending on the desired outcome. So, i wondered if i wasn’t being dipped into successive tubs of dye. After a few days of turning this over and over in my heart, i then found a spot of hope – maybe God was allowing me to walk through this valley so that one day i can encourage someone! Eventually, i had had enough of my monologue and decided to seek an answer from Watumishi wa Mungu (Wafundis) whose counsel i have come to trust. And….. i was pointed to the word and reminded the stories of two characters who waited 20 years and 13 years respectively for God to turn the page of their lives and make sense of the pain – Jacob and Joseph (Genesis 27 – 50).
Jacob was born to Isaac, the son of Abraham. The young lad, for no fault of his, was given a name that no child deserves. Jacob was translated “thief, deceiver”. Do you know the saddest part? He in many ways actually manifested these traits. By the way, free advise – be careful what names you give your children, and, now as you read this, what you allow people to call you. The man was such a witty thief that he identified an opportunity and moment of weakness in Esau’s life and successfully negotiated and acquired the birth right from his elder brother. Hakumalizia hapo (he didn’t stop there). He later conspired with his mother to deceive his blind and old Father into giving him the blessing of the first born. He did not at any time think it was important to mention that he had rightly acquired it through legal tender? Any way, we know what followed – God is not to be played. This trait needed to be sorted out. Poor fellow became a fugitive. But guess what? God led him straight into the home of the REAL thug – his father in law, Laban. This man Laban manipulated Jacob into marrying Leah, then made him work a further 7 years for Rachel (tchaiii! Those two sisters were not friends by the way) changed his wages 10 times and robbed him blind! I’m talking about an abusive relationship that lasted 20 years. Eventually, when we were all tired, God shows up – in the 21st year. By this time, i am convinced that Jacob was a changed man. Then to teach Laban a lesson, God paid back Jacob for all those years, so much so that it made Laban look poor!! Finally, the ultimate restoration happened when his name was changed from “Thief” to” Prince with God”. Hah!! This God is amazing!! He had been working behind the scenes, all along, intentionally setting up Jacob for His glory.
Joseph was born to Jacob, the son of Issac. He’s the one whose story is used in sermons like “From the Pit to the Palace” or “From Prisoner to Prime Minister” or “In 24 hours!!” or ….. Ok let’s go on. Joseph had the misfortune of being the son of Jacob’s true love, Rachel and was therefore, the apple of his father’s eye. The problem was that Jacob made no effort to hide his soft spot for Joseph. The result was that the other 10 sons grew to really resent the young man. But come to think of it, even Joseph surely! His mehe mehe (no translation available) was too much. This guy had no discretion at all. He consistently talked about his dreams oh bla bla even when he clearly saw they rubbed his brothers the wrong way. Anyway, his dreams eventually landed him in a pit from where he was sold into slavery and eventually, landed in Egypt.
Can you imagine the agony and despair he felt? The raging anger towards his brothers? The tears? The pain of separation from his father and younger brother? What about the Lord? Why would God give him dreams that now, given the circumstances would never come to pass? Why did he allow his brothers to sell him into slavery? How, in this distant land, does God imagine that his father and brothers would ever find him, and then, psshhhh, bow to him? Who? A prisoner? Never ever. I imagine that his dreams had died with each step further away from the familiar and closer to a land he had no idea existed and a culture he was not equipped to survive. Let me pause to wipe my tears. This just hit a spot.
Ok. Where were we…. Joseph. Yes.
The Bible goes on to tell us of Joseph’s unwavering devotion to God despite the circumstances, his spirit of excellence in the midst of a terrifying existence and his request to the butler to speak well of him to Pharaoh. Yet, even then, the butler went ahead and forgot. Until the day God gave Pharaoh a dream no one could interpret. Then, in 24 hours, Joseph moved from the pit to the palace, from prisoner to prime minister. That dream, the one he had many years ago and which must have been filed away “impossi-cant” category manifested so fast, Joseph was left in a head spin. Can you imagine that?
Child of God, the God of Jacob and Joseph is very much at work today. I’ll be honest enough and tell you that have not yet received the answers to my decade long prayer points, or seen the prophetic words come to pass. But i am persuaded of one thing – that when God finally answers, he will show up, show off and show out!!
I know beyond a shadow of doubt, that i will receive from his hand what i have asked. I know he will not let his word over my life, and yours, fall to the ground. I know this very well. So, is today especially rough because of the weight and wait? Ok. Pause, shed those tears, and then, keep watching, keep walking, keep waiting. He is just around the corner, ready to do what only He can do – show up, show off and show out!
Prayer: Lord, this year, i ask for one thing, that you be with me – Whenever i pray, answer me; whenever i stand, stand with me; and wherever i go, go with me. Amen.