GOD’S PROMISES FULFILLED
In our journey of life and our walk with the Lord there will be times when we need to take a step of faith and follow the Lord’s leading, even if it requires putting ourselves in harm’s way.I want to share with you an experience my father, Willard Wilson had during our family’s time of serving together as missionaries in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Africa.
Once a year we would hold our Annual General Conference for all the districts in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. We held this conference at Rufaro Mission, at the end of August or early September. All the missionary families from each District attended plus our African Pastors, lay Pastors and many delegates from each church. We usually had around fifteen hundred people in attendance, which is likely leaning on a conservative estimate. This particular conference took place at a time when the terrorist war was ramping up, so it put us all at risk to have an unarmed crowd of this size gathered in one place.
Every room in the Mission school was used to house African Pastors and then dozens of the attendees set up family camping spots all around the Mission church building. Each family unit would make a small camp-fire, which they cooked on and rolled out their sleeping mats around the fire for warmth at night. There was much laughter, singing and groups of praying through-out the night. I remember how I loved to walk among the camp-fires after the evening service drinking in the unique atmosphere of happy singing, and wood smoke mixed with the delicious smells coming from the cooking pots. It is a treasured memory that is etched in the corridors of my memories and will warm my heart until I draw my last breath.
Finally the Conference had come to an end. The crowds dispersed on a variety of means of transport; buses, trains, ancient pick-up trucks groaning under the load they were carrying and the less fortunate had to walk many miles to return to their homes. As the groups left they would start singing joyfully in their mother tongues. Soon the air was filled with dozens of voices declaring the faithfulness of God until they became a distant echo on the late afternoon breeze. All the missionary families followed soon after the crowds had left, then the quietness of the evening hour brought a sense of peaceful thankfulness as we remained behind to close up and take care of our Mission staff. My parents were among the last to leave but were anxious to make it back to Salisbury/Harare before darkness fell.
The next morning, Dad headed into the city to go to Barclay’s Bank with a fair amount of money, that had been collected during the conference. Salisbury was busy and Dad had to park some distance from the Bank. As he was walking towards the Bank, he became aware of three disheveled individuals purposely walking towards him and blocking his path. They began to threaten him to turn over his banking! Dad was stunned and told them a firm “qwete” (“No”). They began to become more belligerent when suddenly Dad became aware of two very well dressed African gentlemen walking on either side of him. They greeted him in Shona and told him that they would accompany him to the Bank. Dad did not recognize these two kind strangers but the three “thugs” seemed to, as they ran for their lives! The two strangers waited at the Bank doors while Dad took care of his business and then walked him back to his car. Dad looked down to get his car keys and then reached out his hand to thank the men for protecting him from harm; but they were gone!
They disappeared as quickly as they had come!
God had promised His protection and He had kept His Word with His Divine intervention!
We all love the promises of God! But there is something even better than the promises of God…….Even better than His promises is His Presence in the situations of our lives!
Knowing that the presence of Almighty God is with us………..!
Knowing that, whatever happens, there is One who is our constant companion………..!
Knowing that, whatever the devil may throw at us, there is One who is our shield and our defender….!
My friends as you are reading this Nugget I challenge you to grasp ahold of this truth, as it is life-changing!
Jesus knew how important this would be for us. That is why the very last thing He promised His disciples, before returning to His Father in heaven, was that He would always be with them. This was certainly a promise that they would need to keep hold of; for as they went out with the good news of the gospel, not everyone was ready to receive it as good news. The disciples would be rejected, persecuted, some were even put to death, because of their message about Jesus; but Jesus was with them through it all—and it was this certainty that kept them going!
From the statement made in Acts 18:9-10 we see this promise that Paul received:
‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.’ (Acts 18:9-10)
You see even Paul experienced many difficulties, hardships and rejections; little wonder that at times he became downhearted. It was on one such occasion, in the city of Corinth where he had met with much hardness of heart and Jesus spoke to him in the night: ‘I’m with you Paul!’ Such simple words; yet words that gave him renewed strength and vision—so much so that he would stay on in Corinth for a further eighteen months and continue with the work.
The promise of Jesus to all his followers is that He would be with them. Take heart my friends, whatever opportunities or challenges you may be facing at this time, this promise still holds true for you today.
‘Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:20)