Soul Food: What if He said No? The Christian Lent era
Story by Jeffery Murungweni
Ever since my childhood, one of the phrases I heard a lot in the church was, “Let us, first of all, thank God for life.” As a child, one tends to just get caught up in such statements and unconsciously have them engraved within you, and just thank God for life. Sometimes, it seems like one of those things we must say once in a while, not knowing why we are saying that. The first time I asked myself why I should be thankful for being alive was when I first heard about a case of suicide that someone committed in the very neighborhood I lived in. It got me thinking, and ultimately, I came down to a question that opened up a plethora of other questions: Why is it someone is deciding to run away from the very life that I’m being told to be grateful for?
As I thought hard about this question, I tried to do a bit of research as to what may influence a person to commit suicide. Many reasons came, some spiritual, economic, and even societal, and they all seemed equitable to some extent. But I asked myself another question: How many people are also going through the same situations but are not taking away their lives? When it comes to matters to do with economic factors, one of the reasons I came across was that when someone is somehow not finding the right balance to have his or her most basic of needs met for a prolonged time, that may prompt one to just end the ‘misery’ on earth as some describe it. For others, loss of love is proving to be a good enough reason for them to take away their own lives. This is worrying now in Zimbabwe because such cases are on the rise. But, back to my question: How many people are living in economic hardship, and how many people are losing their relationships when they least expect it? What then causes this small group of people to then decide to end their lives? The answer to this big question is a lack of HOPE.
When someone loses hope, they lose the very essence or reason of existence. Our lives are driven by the hope of a better future, and that is the very nature God created us with. No wonder why He says, in one of the most popular scriptures quoted in the Bible, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” In this verse, we hear God Himself assuring us that our futures are ones we ought to be super expectant of because of how good they are. God is essentially giving us hope for a great future, and when we then believe in that message, we now have faith. This then leads me to a man who is referred to as the father of faith, and that is Abraham. When you look at his story, it’s one that truly shows belief in God. Imagine the number of years he had to wait to hold the son of promise, Isaac. How would you react yourself, being 100 years old, and God telling you that your seed shall be like the sand or the stars in the sky, you shall not be able to count them, and you’re getting this message at 100 years old without a single child! That is faith that goes beyond our natural human reasoning.
The good thing about the life that we get from Jesus is that we are fully equipped to overcome all situations that may arise in our lives. We don’t evade challenges but rather we overcome them. That is the message God wants us to internalize from today onwards. Your victory and success are dependent on your understanding of the power you have gotten because of following Christ. No wonder why Paul says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. One amazing thing is that Christ strengthens us through experiences. That is why a more recognized soldier has not just been enrolled into the army, but he who has served years in the army and gained experience. The greater the experiences you go through and overcome, the greater your success will be.
As you are becoming more enlightened about your reason of existence, please always bear it in your mind that the fact that you’re alive today, God still has a purpose for you. That on its own should give you enough energy and motivation to get out of bed and live life to the fullest! Get to enjoy this very gift of life you have been blessed with by God, and may our lives be for the glory of the one who has sent us on this earth to make an impact, the Almighty God. Be blessed Child of God!