On Tuesday night we had one of the most theatrical and impressive lightning displays we have ever encountered in Rustenburg. There were strikes all around our home, with a torrential downpour included. It was Biblical!
I spent an eventful evening at church with some of our community, having left Inez, Bella and Josh at home. The storm wreaked havoc there too, with the power going out and the rain falling so heavily that we couldn’t hear the voice of the evening’s speaker. As I was leaving, I received a message from Inez that our home had been struck while I was out. The strike hit the wifi reception mast, and the wifi was dead!
We had just started another fundraising drive in the hopes of finally reaching our family target. This issue of fundraising has been an unbelievable stress for more than two years for our family – and the last thing we needed was any unnecessary expenses cropping up now. When I got home I checked everything thoroughly; only to confirm that the wifi was indeed dead! Nothing I did could coax even the briefest connection with a device.
So, Wednesday morning I started the frustrating process of investigating what had happened with our supplier. I was hopeful that the strike to our home wasn’t the problem, that in fact it was just the service provider that was interrupted. Unfortunately not; it was our wifi router that had been blown by the lightning, and it would need to be replaced. Cost – R500. That may not sound like much, but in our current season that’s a week’s worth of groceries for our family – not to mention not even having that R500 to begin with. Angry doesn’t begin to describe my response. Why now God, on top of everything else that’s stressing us out, why must we face this too!?!
Inez and I spent time Wednesday morning praying over our family position. We take very seriously our call to ministry. It is not something we would easily give up. However, we have been asking this question recently: are we able to continue this journey without having adequate financial resources? That morning we were praying for God to give us an unmistakable revelation of His support for us. Inez shared with me about the passage in the Gospels where Jesus calms the storm (Mark 4:35-41). Before Jesus calms the storm, though, the writer is careful to point out that Jesus was sleeping in the boat. We talked through how we both feel a bit like God is sleeping at the moment – as though our cries for help are falling on deaf ears. Our prayer was that God might show us that He is awake and still able to act in our lives.
Twenty minutes later the wifi was back on.
On the Tuesday night, I had been fiddling with the router, trying to fix it. I eventually gave up in exasperation. With zero real faith, completely out of desperation, I slapped my hand down on the router and said, “In Jesus name I command you to be fixed!” (For those of you that know me well you know just how out of character this was for me.) Inez herself laughed at me when I did it. I don’t blame her – I would’ve laughed at me too. My response was a statement of defeat: “I don’t know what else to do. We’re desperate, and we have no other options”. We couldn’t afford a repair or reinstallation job for the wifi. Our only viable option was full reliance on God.
There’s a lot more to unpack than I can cover in this brief blog post, but I have one main point to share: God is still surprising us with His love and faithfulness. We hadn’t tried anything else to fix the problem. We didn’t go looking for a re-established connection, we weren’t even really expectant that God would work miraculously. At most, I think we were hopeful that someone would be able to provide the funds we needed to replace the router. Then when Inez sat down at her desk she suddenly realised that she had emails downloading to her laptop. I’m still not sure I actually believe what happened. I keep going online and checking that I haven’t dreamed it all.
Do we still have a long way to go? Yes!
Does it appear that God, our Creator and Sustainer, is in touch with our lives and our needs? It would appear so.
Are we able to twist His arm into doing things for us? I don’t think so.
Was it my laying my hand on the router that changed anything? I also don’t think so.
God is doing, and will do, what pleases Him, and it flows out of His nature – His nature that still bowls us over. We find it hard to accept that, even though we still bleat at the first sign of an approaching storm, He is still hanging on to us and leading us into deeper and deeper faith in Him. We are beyond grateful!
We’d love to hear from you in response. Has God done anything unbelievable in your life recently? Do you believe our story? Does it challenge your faith, as it has ours?
P.S. I share this testimony as I would any other. In an attempt to share what God has done in our lives – not to elevate or put any focus on ourselves. As a general rule I actively disregard these kinds of occurrences; this often borders on extreme skepticism. I can’t ignore this event though. It happened, and I can’t explain it – other than to be completely in awe of the One who has called us into being and sustains us still within His love and grace.