Day 11: Do you trust Him in the dark? - 15 February 2019

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

My 3-year-old girl has dark curly hair. Although the hair is beautiful when combed out, any parent with a toddler with curly hair will understand that getting there is usually a process! Last night, just after her hair was washed, ready to be combed out, the power went off. Load shedding. Now, how do you comb tangles out of hair in the dark?

After spraying on every possible detangling product on my daughter's hair, I used my cellphone's torch to try and get the tangles out. I eventually gave up. My daughter just fell asleep with damp hair (still filled with tangles), when the lights suddenly went on again. 

This incident reminded me of the dark seasons in our lives. It is usually filled with frustrations - almost like the "tangles" in my child's hair. It can come in the form of frustrations at work, in the family, with your health, finances or even dreams that do not become a reality as soon as we would have liked. 

Our response during these times shows what is going on in our hearts. Do we get anxious withmaking our own plans – almost like using the cellphone torch and detangling products – or do we turn to the One who is Light, the One who knows the end from the beginning and the One who promises to fill us with wisdom when we need it?

In 1 John 1:5 we read, "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." In Psalm 127:1 we are reminded to acknowledge Him in all parts of our lives: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain." And in Zechariah 4: 6 we read, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

Do you currently experience frustration in your life? Let's put the cellphone light down and return to God, our Source of Light. Let's ask Him to help and protect us. And let us remind ourselves that it is not by our power, but by God's Holy Spirit that we gain victory. In no time, our hair might be tangle free and blow in the wind. 

Father God, thank you so much for letting meput any frustration in your hands. Please guide me through your Holy Spirit and fill me with wisdom. I don't want to build anything without You. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen!

• See photo of my daughter's hair (without tangles) at the Stories van Hoop page on Facebook or www.benescke.co.za

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Day 10: Do you believe as a child? - 14 February 2019

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Earlier this week I received an e-mail from a Verse-a-Day reader. Her story touched me deeply, as I was reminded once again that we have to have faith like a child.

Marga: “Last year, a day before Valentine’s Day, I sat discouraged and frustrated in front of my child’s school. There was only R72.66 in my bank account. My salary was only due on 15 February. I haven’t eaten properly for days and I was disappointed in myself. How was it possible that once a top student at school would sit here without help, without food and without hope?

“Since my divorce, five years prior, many things have changed. To support my daughter, I had to change from a half-day job to working full-time. After the January Back to School expenses, I was left with only a small amount of money to get through the month. My hope was that my child would forget about her teacher telling them to wear something extra special on Valentine's Day. She was out of her skin with excitement a week earlier when she shared the news that they they had to wear something red, white or pink. The teacher was going to award a prize to the child with the cutest outfit. We didn’t have any money to buy something special.

“That afternoon, my child embraced me with a broad smile when I went to fetch her - despite the fact that she had only been eating Weet-Bix at home for 3 days in a row! On the way home, she excitedly told me that tomorrow was the big day to dress up! My heart felt like lead.

“‘That night she prayed, ‘Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for my beautiful dress I'm going to wear tomorrow.’ Not for a moment did she doubt that I was going to have a dress ready for her the next day. With a lump in my throat, I put her to bed and closed the door behind her. In the living area of our one-man apartment, I broke down and cried. How could I disappoint this child? ‘Lord, help!’ I prayed.

Although I am no professional when it comes to needle work, I went to the wardrobe we shared. Between my clothes, I discovered an old red satin skirt and a brightly-colored dress of my little girl (which was almost too small for her). I slowly started to cut off the red satin from my dress before sowing it onto her dress changing it one stitch at a time. My hands worked like it wasn't my own. In the early hours of the next day, I hung her new dress on a hanger in front of our bed. Underneath I placed an old pair of shoes, I painted red with the only red nail polish I had.

"The next morning, I (and I think our entire apartment block), was awakened by my 5-year-old girl's excited, shrill voice: ‘Mom, you remembered!’ With trembling hands of excitement, she took off the dress from the hanger and put it on. We put beads around her neck and hair clips in her hair. She looked beautiful.

“After I dropped my daughter off at her class, I walked back to my car. In my heart I suddenly heard the words: ‘Have faith like a child.’ Tears started flowing over my cheeks as I realized that my child did not have any doubt that I was going to have a dress ready for her. Still, we as adults at times, doubt that God, the Creator of the universe, would provide for us in difficult times. This incident made me realize that our Father loves us even more than we love our children and wants what is best for them. All we need to do is trust Him like a child! He truly is a God of love.”

Marga is right. God wants to demonstrate His goodness practically to us. In Matthew 17:20, Jesus says: “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” May we learn from Marga's daughter and, instead of trying to figure everything out, choose to trust God like a child. God bless.

Father God, thank you for Your love. Please help me not to take my eyes off of you, but to keep believing in your goodness like a child. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

• See photo of Marga and her daughter: http://benescke.co.za/dag-10-glo-jy-soos-n-kind/ Or see on the Stories van Hoop page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/storiesvanhoop/

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Dag 11: Vertrou jy Hom in die donker? - 15 Februarie 2019

Deur Benescke Janse van Rensburg

My 3-jarige dogtertjie het ’n bos donker krulhare. Alhoewel die hare pragtig is wanneer dit uitgekam is, sal enige ouer met ’n kleuter met krulhare verstaan dat die uitkam van dié koeke meestal ’n proses is. Dit vat lank! Gisteraand, net nadat haar hare gewas is, gereed om uitgekam te word, gaan die krag af. Beurtkrag. Nou hoe op dees aarde kam jy koeke uit dié bos hare in die donker? 

Nadat ek elke moontlike detangling produk tot my beskikking aan my dogtertjie se hare gespuit het, het ek met my selfoon se liggie probeer om die koeke uit te kam. Nodeloos om te sê het ek gou die aftog geblaas. Sy het met klam hare (steeds plek-plek vol koeke) aan die slaap geval – oomblikke voordat die krag skielik weer aangegaan het. 

Hierdie gebeurtenis het my laat dink aan die donker seisoene in ons lewens. Gewoonlik is dit gevul met frustrasies – soos die “koeke” in my kind se hare. Dit kan wees ’n frustrasie by die werk, in die huisgesin, met jou gesondheid, finansies of selfs net drome wat nie vinnig genoeg ’n werklikheid word nie. 

Ons reaksie in hierdie frustrerende tye wys wat in ons harte aangaan. Tas ons rond in die duister met ’n “selfoonliggie” of detangling produkte – in die vorm van die maak van ons eie planne? Of kies ons om terug te keer na die Een wat Lig is, die Een wat die einde van die begin ken en die Een wat beloof om ons met wysheid en insig te vul wanneer ons dit benodig? 

In 1 Johannes 1:5 lees ons: “God is lig, en daar is geen duisternis in Hom nie.” In Psalm 127:1 word ons herinner om Hom deel van ons planne te maak: “As die Here die huis nie bou nie, swoeg dié wat daaraan bou, tevergeefs. As die Here die stad nie beskerm nie, waak dié wat dit beskerm, tevergeefs.” En in Sagaria 4:6 lees ons: “Nie met mag en krag sal jy slaag nie, maar deur my Gees, sê die Here die Almagtige.”

Ervaar jy frustrasie in jou lewe? Kom ons sit die “selfoonliggie” neer en keer terug na God. Kom ons vra Hom om ons te help en te beskerm. En kom ons herinner onsself dat dit nie deur mag en krag is nie, maar deur God se Heilige Gees dat ons die oorwinning behaal. Só mag ons hare ook dalk gou weer, sonder koeke, in die wind wapper! Sterkte.

Vader God, baie dankie dat ek elke frustrasie in U hande mag plaas. Lei my asseblief deur u Heilige Gees en vul my met wysheid. Ek wil niks sonder U bou nie. Ek vra dit in die Naam van Jesus Christus. Amen!

• Sien foto van my dogtertjie se hare (sonder koeke) op die Stories van Hoop bladsy op Facebook of www.benescke.co.za

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Dag 10: Glo jy soos ’n kind? - 14 Februarie 2019

Deur Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Vroeër die week het ek hierdie e-pos van ’n Vers-’n-Dag leser ontvang. Haar storie het my diep geraak en weer herinner dat ons moet glo soos ’n kind.

Marga: “Verlede jaar, ’n dag voor Valentynsdag, het ek mismoedig voor my dogtertjie se skool gestop. Daar was net R72.66 in my bankrekening. My salaris sou eers op 15 Februarie inbetaal word. Ek was doodmoeg. Buiten dat ek dae laas behoorlik geëet het, was ek teleurgesteld in myself. Hoe is dit dat ’n eens topstudent op skool, hier gesit het sonder hulp, sonder kos en sonder hoop?

“Sedert my egskeiding 5 jaar vantevore, het baie dinge verander. Ek moes onder meer my halfdagpos vir ’n voldagpos verruil om vir my en my kind te kan sorg. Ná die Januarie-uitgawes van nuwe skoolklere en skryfbehoeftes, was ek platsak. Toe my kind dus ’n week vantevore, uit haar vel van opgewondenheid, aankondig dat hulle rooi, wit of pienk moes dra en dat die juffrou ’n prys sou gee aan die kind met die oulikste uitrusting, het ek gehoop dat sy daarvan sou vergeet. Ons het geen geld gehad vir ’n nuwe uitrusting nie.

“My kind het my daardie middag oudergewoonte met ’n breë glimlag omhels – ten spyte daarvan dat sy vir 3 dae lank net Weet-Bix by die huis gekry het om te eet. In die motor op pad huis toe, het sy my opgewonde herinner dat môre die dag was wat hulle ekstra mooi moes aantrek!

“In haar gebed daardie aand nadat ons Bybel gelees het, het sy gebid: ‘Liewe Jesus, dankie vir my mooi rokkie wat ek môre gaan dra.’ Haar kinderlike geloof, het my met ’n knop in die keel gelaat toe ek die deur agter my toetrek. In die voorvertrek van ons eenmanswoonstel, het ek bitterlik begin huil. ‘Here, hoekom dit? Help asseblief!’ het ek gebid.

Alhoewel ek geen naalwerkkundige is nie, het ek na ons klerekas wat ons deel gestap. Tussen my klere, het ek ’n ou rooi satynromp ontdek en ’n helderkleurige rokkie van my dogtertjie (wat amper te klein vir haar was) uitgehaal. Stadig het ek die rooi satyn van my rok begin lossny voordat ek dit stuk vir stuk aan haar rok begin vaswerk het. My hande het gewerk asof dit nie my eie was nie. In die vroeë oggendure, het ek haar ‘nuwe rokkie’ op ’n hanger voor ons bed opgehang. Onder die rokkie, het ek ’n ou paar skoene van my kind neergesit wat ek met my enigste rooi naellak oorgeverf het. 

“Daardie volgende oggend is ek (en ek dink ons hele woonstelblok) deur my 5-jarige dogtertjie se opgewonde skril stemmetjie wakker gemaak: ‘Mamma, jy het onthou!’ Met bewende hande het sy die rokkie van die hanger afgehaal en aangetrek. Ons het krale om haar nek gesit en knippies in haar hare. Sy het pragtig gelyk!

“Nadat ek my dogtertjie by haar klas afgelaai het, het ek teruggestap motor toe. Meteens het ek hierdie woorde in my hart gehoor: ‘Glo soos ’n kind.’ Met trane wat oor my wange vloei in die propvol skoolterrein, het ek besef dat my kind nie vir ’n oomblik getwyfel het dat ek vir haar ’n rokkie sou hê nie. Hoekom twyfel ons volwassenes dan so maklik dat ons Vader, die Skepper van die Heelal, aan ons behoeftes sal voorsien? Hy het ons liewer as wat ons as ouers ons kinders het. En Hy is selfs meer op ons behoeftes en begeertes ingestel as wat ons op ons kinders s’n ingestel is. Ons moet net weereens begin om Hom soos ’n kind te vertrou!”

Marga is reg. God wil sy goedheid prakties aan ons demonstreer. In Matteus 17:20 sê Jesus: “As julle maar geloof het so groot soos 'n mosterdsaadjie, sal julle vir hierdie berg sê: ‘Gaan staan daar anderkant!’ en hy sal gaan. Niks sal vir julle onmoontlik wees nie.” Mag ons op hierdie Liefdesdag leer van Marga se dogter dat, in stede daarvan om alles te probeer verstaan, ons eerder opnuut geloof moet hê soos ’n kind in hierdie God wat ons aanbid! Sterkte.

Vader God, baie dankie dat U ons elkeen se behoeftes en begeertes ken. Help my asseblief om nie my oë van U af te haal nie, maar om soos ’n kind te bly glo in U goedheid. Ek vra dit in die Naam van Jesus Christus. Amen.

  • Terugvoer: Gesels saam by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Jy kan ook jou getuienis deel oor iets wat God in jou lewe gedoen het.

 

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