Frustrated, that was the word in my spirit when I woke up a few days ago. Then I thought I should belt out a scream that may help me feel less frustrated. So I screamed in the most dignified way I know how to, after all I still have a reputation with my neighbors that I need to guard. Unfortunately I still felt frustrated. Perhaps hitting the wall would help? Maybe, but my pretty little fingers would not allow me to hurt them. So I did what I should have from the moment I woke up, I raised my head to the heavens and asked for help.
A few days prior to this frustrating moment, I had received news from my family that a situation that we had prayed over last year, and which had seemed sorted out was back. This was the source of my frustration as we had prayed over this situation, we had fasted, and God had been faithful. The situation had been sorted in ways that were nothing if not miraculous. As last year ended, it was one of the testimonies I carried over from the year, a very real answer to a prayer made to our Heavenly Father. And so for this very situation to be back, and this time with such finality, I was just too sad to even lift a prayer. I wanted to sulk, feel sorry for myself, feel sorry for my family and accept this fate for what it was, a lost situation.
To fuel my frustration even further, a meeting that I was looking forward to have had just been canceled. Frustration. What happened to the world of answered and sealed prayers? Was the boat leaking? Frustrated I looked to the heavens and looked for an answer. And an answer I got, it was a still small voice that said, ‘Occupy till I come’.
Occupy till I come
Let me share a bit of background to this word. At the start of this year, I had listened to a sermon that was themed ‘Occupy till I come’. That was over 60 days ago and so for this to be the word that God chose to remind me of this frustrating morning, I decided to look for a notebook and listen. Occupy till I come.
As if to confirm it, my devotion for this morning was of apostles facing such significant opposition. The disciples have beaten up, thrashed and jailed. They should be feeling as frustrated as I do this morning. Yet this is their response, ‘Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.’
Somehow these guys are undeterred by this flanking and flogging. As if to reconfirm it, a few chapters down the line, they are being beaten again but each time they wake up, shake off the beating and they proceed with the work ahead.
As I meditated on these words, God deposited a word into my spirit that I will share about today and the next few weeks, persistence!
Life happens. When I got news of the situation in my life recurring, I was truly heart broken. I shed a few tears, okay a flood of tears. I sulked. I could not understand why and how God had allowed this to happen yet again. We had a deal that He had sorted this out.
Truth be told, I did not have it in me to pray about this situation, not again. And even after this word I still was not ready. This happened a few weeks ago and so I will be sharing the journey God has taken me through before I could even share this story.
This one thing was and is clear in my heart, persistence, occupy till I come.
Kalia Kabsa ni Yako
The king has left the kingdom, he leaves his finances in the hands of the servant. He only requires them to do one thing, ‘occupy till I come’ or in some versions ‘Engage in business until I come’.
Two things I hear from these words, occupy. This is not a request, it is a command. God requires us to occupy the spaces He gives us. A few weeks ago a friend of mine attended a bridal shower and the advice that the women gave the bride to be was to occupy the wife-seat fully, not to leave room for anyone else, ‘Kalia Kabsa, ni yako’. Okay some words are best said in Swahili. Occupy!
God is asking us to occupy this kingdom in full, without any ish ishness. If God has given you authority in your families, if He has called you to be a priest in your family or a priest in your marketplace, or in school; if God has given you authority in the media sector or any other sector, then with that comes a command to occupy that space. Kalia Kabsa, ni yako.
Like the disciples, we cannot have an ish-ish mindset. The flanking and flogging may come, but it must not take us away from occupying these spaces.
The second thing I hear is this is a lifelong process. The king commands the servants to occupy till He comes; not until they are tired, not until they are too frustrated to care, but until He comes. Some days would be easy to occupy. Like the bride who was being advised to Kalia Kabsa ni yako, some days they would be lovey-dovey with the husband, some days she would love this seat so much she would not be caught giving it away; but some days she will want to up and throw that seat away, she will want to give up. The command would still be to occupy till He comes. Until the Lord comes or calls you home, Kalia Kabsa, ni yako.
Yes Lord…I agree
Last year when God answered this prayer, it was easy to occupy this seat in my family. I felt I had the authority to say ‘God answered this prayer, He will answer many more’. I felt there was hope. But this morning as I feel frustration piling up, I am tempted to throw the towel. But God’s word to me is ‘till He comes’.
So somehow I need to shrug off these disappointing feeling and go back to God and ask what next for my family. Somehow I need to swallow my disappointment and get back on my knees. Somehow I need to stand in the gap for my family once more. Somehow, like the disciples, flanked and flogged, I need to go back to the assignment.
Fortunately Help is here, just as the disciples pray for the Spirit of God to give them boldness, I pray. “Spirit of God give me hope once more. In the midst of this frustrating feeling, help me be persistent in this prayers. Help me knock on, help me to occupy to you come.
So that morning I woke up determined to fight on, I refused to give up. I called the person I was to meet and who had canceled the meeting. I persisted that we should still meet, he agreed. Somehow after shrugging off my frustration, somehow when I chose to engage rather than feel sorry for myself, somehow God came through. I am sensing that I need to engage, I need to shrug off the emotions and choose to Occupy, I am sensing victory is in this battle called persistence.