Faith or Complacency?

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For two years in between my secondary and university education, I attended A Levels in Johannesburg. I have absolutely lovely memories of SA, so I am particularly horrified by the ongoing Xenophobic attacks. It could have been my friends and I stabbed and mutilated during one of our trips to Clearwater Mall, Spar, or Gold Reef City. Notwithstanding, I loved my experience at ALA so much that I personally convinced my younger brother (who turned 17 a few weeks ago) to apply. I remember editing one particular essay question that asked him to imagine a moment in his future.

In my brother’s essay, he had obtained a degree in Chemical Engineering from a top American University and was about to begin work with a pan-African team to revitalize hydro electric power generation. In the essay, he (my brother) was excited to speak with our Grandma. She was a beneficiary of this scheme and was running a small business in the village that had grown tremendously because of the near constant power supply.

Unfortunately, my grandmother died a few weeks after we submitted that application, so our dreams will never come to pass. Sad, isn’t it?

Today, I want to share one of my current struggles. Perhaps I’m confused but I feel like my relationship with God has evolved to a stage of less asking and just more “hanging out”. I’ve stopped praying the same way I used to. Actually did I even ever really pray? It's possible I feel this way because I may have unknowingly been conditioned to think that prayer is all about asking, such that when I’m not asking God for things (or thanking Him for something He has done so that I don’t feel bad about asking for the next one), I feel like I’m not really praying.

So, with my brother’s application, sometimes, I feel a very strong sense of peace in my heart. Sometimes I feel the very strong urge to speak in faith and say “Congrats” in advance. I planned the congratulatory present I'll buy for him a very long time ago.

But at other times, I feel like I haven’t prayed enough, like I haven’t asked hard enough, never mind that I called my brother that morning before his interview and we prayed over the phone.

Shouldn’t that be enough? Shouldn’t my faith carry me through? The Bible says to ask until your joy is complete, and that we should ask persistently.

Sometimes, I also feel like perhaps God is teaching me that irrespective of where we find ourselves, His plans for our lives will always be fulfilled. I am positive that my life would not have turned out horribly if I went to university in Nigeria. No strike or government failure can prevent the work of God from coming to pass in a person’s life.

Joseph was a slave turned governor. Even Nigeria's president Goodluck Jonathan didn't have shoes when he was growing up. Whether or not we like him and his administration, the fact is that he, and not anyone else was once president of Nigeria.

That said, I am aware of my privilege, although we all sometimes take our blessings for granted. Life in America has been fantastic. I'm getting world-class education and exposure while building an international network.

But at the same time, I have confidence that my life will always turn out well because Jesus is on my side. The only requirements on my part are trust and obedience.

America is not the ultimate destination, and there is no guarantee that coming to college here will make you a success in life. More importantly, it does not mean that you will spend eternity with God, which is the most important thing in life.

So what if my brother does not get into ALA and has to attend university in Nigeria? Will that be because I haven’t prayed enough or because God’s plans for him do not include South Africa, (and then America) at this point in time?

Clearly, I’m one very confused bunny. But thank God for the Holy Spirit who forever answers my questions.

Before you go, here is an all time fave song!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrSCxfnN2B8

I’ve basically poured my heart and my mind out here. Please share some faith nuggets with me!


Image from here.