His promise vs His timing

This is something I have been talking about so much over the last few years whenever I get an opportunity. I mean, I’m no expert when it comes to His timing, actually for that matter I am no expert when it comes to God in general. He is, and probably will always be, a mystery to me…in a good way.

I remember 15 August 2014 as if it was yesterday. Personally, the year itself was quite significant. I think I actually became my true self. Not that I wasn’t before, but there was a sense of acknowledgement that I have been lacking without even knowing it. I believe that it was one of the years that I was at my most vulnerable.

Little did I know that my God would step in and bring me down to my knees, crying out His mighty name while filled with an overwhelming amount of thankfulness I couldn’t articulate.

On this specific day, I received my board results. It wasn’t just another test that I wrote and awaited the results, oh no, how I wish it was. It was then the fifth time that I was going through the process; having failed it four times previously, picking myself up every time and going through it over and over again. I think that only people who have completed the CA route will understand how strenuous this career choice is. I was at the point of no return.

I remember having lunch with a friend that day, tears in my eyes, confessing how tired I am. I have given it my all. I didn’t think I would be able to pick myself up and go through this again. I prayed, believed and with ever-present faith, just took the opportunity up once more as I knew He was with me. But I was tired. Mentally and physically I was not in a state to pick myself up again. There were days where I would literally cry myself to sleep because of the feelings of inadequacy that I have built up over the years. This was foreign territory to me. I was known for being good at studying and passing exams. To fail this ONE exam four times really broke me. It kind of felt like a part of my identity was taken from me. I mean, I thought Jesus gave this talent to me and now I couldn’t even pass a stupid exam. I remember days where I would just sit in front of my books and broke down. I was a ball of stress.

I would fall onto my knees to ask for calmness, which He so eagerly gave me.

Never appearing negative to the world, I would only speak life over the situation. It was the “right” thing to do. I would surround myself with positive people. I would not let people talk negatively in front of me because I was going to make it. That was my attitude after failing every exam.

But this time, the fifth time, was different. I was tired. I had given it my all.

But GOD said in Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”

The day broke. Time for results came; and look…There it was: Celeste Cloete – pass!

I think seeing that, and the tears running down my face was one act. I was overwhelmed by so many emotions. I remember being alone in my apartment and just praising Him. I mean, there was one thing I knew: This was not me, not even my abilities did this. This was Him, all Him.

He had come through in a point of my life where I had given up, showing me that it was never up to me. I was never meant to do any of this alone. I was never meant to deal with this. I was never to feel this inadequate. I was never to blame myself. I was never to build my identity around this. This was never me. He knew. God, You knew. I didn’t.

Believe me, the theory behind God, I knew all too well. I prayed, I believed, I had faith, I was positive, I had the knowledge, but that wasn’t enough. I had to sit there and give everything, MY everything or what I perceived as everything to Him. Thinking back I recognize how much we as Christians try to control things without realizing it. We tend to make decisions based on what is socially acceptable, the perceptions of others and even what we perceive our lives should be like. We base decisions on our earthly desires and outcomes of certain events. I think that for me, being academically strong was also a convenient mask for a lot of things growing up. It was a positive thing in my life actually. I know God blessed me with the ability to do well. He knew it was what I needed to survive. It was human nature that I made it my identity.

I’ve realized that we sometimes forget to ask God to change our mindset constantly to be aware of our surroundings. What we are busy with, why we are busy with it and what it is that God wants us to learn from it. In the end our paths are set out by Him, or at least, that is what I believe. What you do, or not do, will not have an effect on your destiny if you are a believer. We create our own misfortune sometimes, but He allows us to be human. He allows us to endure discomfort, to prepare us for what’s to come.

…He promotes us to the tolerance of our pain…

I am a testimony to the abovementioned. He came through in ways that I cannot even grasp. I am fully aware that everything I have, how much or little, is all because of God’s unfailing love for me. I will forever be blessed in His mighty name, no matter what happens. He will come through and through, now and always. That my end is never the end, that He will never forsake us because He is the same today, tomorrow and forever. That year of 2014, when I wrote both CA board exams in one year only a few months apart; this was my scripture that I got at church. It remains one of my favourite scriptures of all time.

Ephesians 3: 20 “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”

As amazing as this scripture proclaims, I have to remind myself of it almost weekly. That whatever comes our way, is nothing compared to His ability to break it down. I mean…God sent His only Son to die for us. To let Him endure that amount of agony to reconcile the world. What we go through daily is absolutely NOTHING in comparison. And what Jesus, His son, got as reward was to sit next to the Father on the throne. Does THAT not excite you?!

– Celesté (submitted via #AriseBeloved)

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