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Perspectives from the back porch.

Published by Beatrix du Toit in Spiritual · 23/2/2020 12:30:00

Whenever I noticed and prodded my dad about the thunderclouds above his head when he got frustrated by work, farming and everything going wrong all at once, he answered: "The devil took a dump on my back porch today".  It was a clear indication to tread carefully and not ask again, even though it provided a bit of comic relief in the moment.

As the years went by and I too became a working professional and had to deal with frustrations beyond my control and business ventures or projects that just did not pan out the way I had hoped it would, I found myself mid prayer telling the devil to get off my back porch. In that raw and completely humiliated state of failure, I still had the strength and courage to fight back. The why and how only revealed itself after I pealed the layers of ego off of me and realized how I tried to control everything, act on my own will, and force things to happen the way I wanted them too, instead of letting go and letting GOD lead me.

If we believe, as it says in Colossians 1:17, that God "is before all things, and in Him all things hold together," then we can trust and know that He’s got everything under control. We don’t have to try so hard to hold everything together and create these states of anxiety, fuelled by our own fears or desires. Instead, we can hand our hearts over to the one who formed us and can fill us with His tender love, grace and mercy.

As I sat there on my knees telling the devil to get off my back porch, God showed me, by His Grace, if I wanted to find true satisfaction I had to let go of my expectations – let the bullies be, let the ghosted first dates go, gas-lighting can’t touch my soul, and difficult clients too shall pass, I just needed to lay it down at His feet – so that I could be refilled with something better. His Holy Living Water (John 4 :14).

The humility of my dad’s hard work, how he faced every day head on even during droughts when harvests did not look promising at all, yet still dealt with every blow like a true champ, stuck with me. The image of my parents on their knees at night by their bedside, Bible open, laying it all at God’s feet taught me real grace.

I admit in my own human capacity I fail daily yet God holds the world in His hands — and I will never fully grasp the power and extent of those hands if I am not tuned in to and focused on Him.

When we surrender control, let us wait and trust in God’s plan, we can know that he will be faithful to lead us where He wants us to go.  Jeremiah 29:13  says "You will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart". Seek God and he will direct your steps.

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