God Is At Work
| MICHAEL ELS
I recently returned from a trip to the multicultural land of South Africa and having grown up there I thought that I had seen all there was to see and understood the way things worked in my homeland. God decided to challenge my perception and opened my eyes to the wonder of His ways.
Having been an agnostic at best for most of my life and being exposed to Christianity in my early twenties and walking away from it until I encountered Christ shortly before my 22nd birthday, this was my first time returning to the land of my birth, filled with the Spirit. This time I saw things from a very new perspective and it was now one filled with hope and optimism for the future of this Nation under God.
There is always political strife in Africa and it can very easily turn violent and the news never paints a picture that leaves you filled with hope and faith. On our trip, we heard of many racial incidents and the media gripped onto them and twisted and contorted them to suit their political agendas and ignored other more serious issues that did not. Despite all this negativity, I continued to see this as an opportunity to speak life into the situation because I knew that God was at work in my Homeland.
Near the end of my trip, we ran into some old family friends, who had been unsaved before I moved to Australia, and we caught up watching the rugby; something we watched religiously back home. To my surprise, God had been at work in their lives at the same time as He was working on mine and they had met the risen Christ and believed in Him. We had long discussions that night about the beautiful and mysterious ways in which God worked and the visions that He had put on our hearts. Our time drew to a close and we would be departing for Australia the next evening; and before departing they invited us to their Passion of the Christ play happening the next morning, on Easter Sunday.
My wife and I went to the play only to be blown away by the magnitude of what God had done right under our noses. This, ten thousand strong church was not far from where I had grown up and yet I had never even heard of it. I was speechless, to say the least, but the Lord was not done with me yet. As we were walking into this church I saw thousands of people, all from different races, people groups and cultures; all coming together in the House of God, to Worship and commune with one another. Now it may not sound like anything spectacular but in a nation divided by race, this was sight that took my breath away.
I could not help but give praise to God, for all that He was doing around the world; most of which we are always unaware of. God did not ask our permission to move nor did He need to inform us of all that he was doing, and in a world, filled with every kind of division, whether it be racial, political or religious; it is easy for us to be pessimistic about the future of both our nations and our world; but as followers of Christ we should be confident that He is always present. His work extends beyond our immediate sight and He is always at work, we just stumble upon His marvellous handiwork from time to time as we ourselves are being perfected by His will.
God is always at work, even when we do not see or understand it. Let our hope as Christians be rooted in the knowledge of who it is that Holds the world in his hands, who brought it out of nothing and who keeps it together at every moment.