The following powerful testimony from Barnabas Omenda, former iServe Africa apprentice, featured recently in the GLA magazine The Link:
What do you say to someone who feels they have lost it all, is over the edge with no one there to break their fall? What do you say to someone who feels so unloved, giving themselves away just to be good enough? What do you say to a hopeless soul who can’t remember their way home, and everything is out of their control?
The disobedience of Adam and Eve, brought about a distortion in the relationship that we had with God, ourselves, others and creation. The reality is we are in a broken world in which we go through pain, suffering and death because of sin. But God in His love, sent His Son Jesus to save us from sin by being the propitiation (dealing with the wrath of God) for our sin. When we believe in Jesus we start a new life of freedom from the slavery to sin. In this life we enjoy God’s presence always in spite of what comes our way, whether pain or difficult times.
In Mark 5, we read of a demon possessed man, who couldn’t be controlled by anyone and his home became a cemetery. Let’s pause and consider the state he was in; loneliness, desperation and hopelessness engulfed this fellow day in day out. The pain and suffering he experienced was unbearable because of the evil spirits. It is intriguing how the Lord Jesus showed him favor and mercy by setting this person free from oppression. The incident was one of a kind and blew the mind of those who witnessed it, and had known the man before he was healed. This person lived to tell everyone in his neighborhood how gracious and merciful God was to him.
This story reminds me of my experience a few months ago when I visited my neighbor, who happened to be a widow with 5 children. The eldest in secondary school, and the other four in primary. At that time the children were not able to be in school because they didn’t have tuition fees and unfortunately this lady’s sister was sick and in need of medical attention. All these expectations resulted in the lady being terrified and wondering what to do. I didn’t have much to give but I was surprised to see the family’s willingness to sit down and hear God’s Word in their misery.
We shared a passage in Isaiah 40 which changed their gloominess to smiling faces, hopeful that God loved them, though they may be not seeing it just then. He is working behind the scenes to bring joy to the family again.
We aren’t yet in a perfect world. We still we will experience pain, suffering and death. But one sure truth is that no valley, darkness, heartbreaks or even sorrow is greater than God’s grace. Being captivated by God’s unmerited, undeserved and unearned grace helps us stand when we go through the storms of life. God, the Father of compassion and God of all comfort, comforts us in our afflictions so that we may comfort others with the comfort we receive from Him. Indeed there’s nothing sweeter than grace, knowing that you’re a forgiven sinner, God’s son/daughter, and the Holy Spirit which God has given us is a guarantee. I rest assured that when we stand on God’s promises we are safe and secure.
So don’t give up or lose heart, remember you are not alone, God is with you. He will give you strength everyday and comfort you.
If you would like to find out more about Barnabas’ ministry in Uganda and how you could partner with him please contact us.