If you have been following my column, you know that a thief stole a hard drive from our editor’s home with valuable irreplaceable information for the television show we are producing.
That was a huge loss as the footage represented thousands of pula as well as footage we can never duplicate.
I have spent a lot of time in prayer wondering why He allowed that to happen. Why does God allow bad things to happen to people who are just trying to help others? I’m not the first to ask. I am sure there are times you were just trying to do good and something bad happened. Why? Is God not able to protect, provide, and deliver us safely to the vision He gave us without harm on the way?
Those are the types of questions I have been asking myself in the aftermath of such an event as being robbed of a show my husband and I are producing simply to help our nation strengthen families. Today, I stumbled on a verse that God illuminated as I read the Bible.
The verse is in Deuteronomy 8:1, 2, “Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”
Let me set the scene. The Israelites have been wondering the desert for 40 years. It is finally time for them to enter the Promised Land. Moses is giving them some ground rules if they want to experience the blessings God has promised them. God will give them what He promised but they must remain obedient and not allow themselves to be polluted by the people around them. As they enter the Promised Land, they will meet people who worship idols and disobey God and His principles. It may be tempting to adopt their practices. He also tells them in Deuteronomy 7:22 that although He will give them the entire land, He won’t give it to them all at once because they wouldn’t be able to handle the wild animals and taking care of the vast land. In other words, God was going to bless them, but He had to slowly prepare them to be able to handle that blessing without becoming overwhelmed.
Later in Deuteronomy 8:17, Moses cautions them, “You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”
I want to share what God was teaching me through these scriptures and hope the same lesson might encourage you in your life. God gave my husband and I a very clear vision and mission to produce this television show, Talking with the Thabas, to be ambassadors of reconciliation sharing at a practical level God’s plan for families and how wonderful our families can be when we do things God’s way. The promise was real. I am convinced of that, just
Looking at Deut. 8:1-2, sometimes God allows us to go through hard times to humble us and test us to see whether we will continue to trust in Him and be obedient to Him even when we don’t instantly get what we want. It is easy to be obedient and go along when everything is going well. What about when things get tough? Do we ditch God’s principles and head to the “worldly” way? I know God said He would provide, but He is taking long so let me take care of this my way by paying/accepting a bribe? I know God said He alone is worthy of my reverence and worship, but surely it wouldn’t hurt to consult a traditional doctor and get some of their power on my side also to fight this battle or achieve this dream? And God is saying… you failed the test! Many of those initial Israelites that left Egypt NEVER SAW the Promised Land because they didn’t trust God and turned to their own methods. Do you want to see the fulfillment of the promises God has given you? Stay strong. Stay focused. Stay obedient even when it doesn’t give instant results. He might be testing to see if you love HIM or love what you get from Him!
In Deut. 8: 17, we see a second reason God allows trials. If things were always easy, we might actually think we did something praiseworthy and forget to depend on God to get us to our destination. Trials humble us and help us see that our success is really out of our control. He says in this verse that it is essential to our success to actually give credit where it’s due and recognise that God gave you the ability to produce wealth.
In light of these lessons, it doesn’t make it easier to know we have to start over and spend thousands more pula to reproduce those episodes stolen, but it does assure me that God is sovereign, and there are valuable lessons to be learned in the trials. It also challenges me to stay focused on Him and not even be tempted to turn away from following His principles. There might be unexpected delays and frustrations along the way, but by His grace, we will reach the Promised Land of producing this show for Botswana, and after these trials, I will know it is all by the grace of God!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook: Talking with the Thabas
Ashley facilitates team building and wellness corporate activities. She is also the author of Conquering the Giants and Dive in. Both books can be bought on Amazon. Dive In can also be bought at Exclusive books at Airport Junction. Dive In would make a great Christmas gift for someone wanting to learn to get more out of the Bible.