Good day, all. Glory be to God. In the month of October, I studied 4 devotionals. They were:
- Matthew 21: 28-32 (Doing the Father's Will)
- John 11: 17-27 (The Hope of Resurrection)
- Luke 19: 11-28 (Be Faithful)
- John 16: 21-24 (From Sorrow to Joy)
This month's devotionals led me on a sort of journey. Especially as I was trying to process the death of my uncle, which happened despite all our prayers. It may have seemed like I was done processing back in September when I published Be Unified in Spirit and Dogged in Prayer, Yet Receptive to God's Response, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. This month's journey led me through a few more steps of acceptance that hopefully I can convey to you as well.
Doing the Father's Will
The first reading on our journey is taken from Matthew chapter 21, verses 28-32, and is about doing the Father's will. In particular, it tells the story of two sons who, when commanded by their father to work in his vineyard, had different responses. The first outright refused. But later repented and went to do the work. Whilst the second agreed, but never did a thing.
The question is, when it comes to working for God, which son do you resemble? I'll leave that question in your hearts for now, while I move on to the next reading.
The Hope of Resurrection
The next reading is taken from the book of John, chapter 11, verses 17 - 27. Now, just as the first reading asks us to look inwards at our commitment (are we following God's instructions?) This second reading asks us to look inwards at our beliefs. Do we believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? That all who believe in him shall never die? If so, why am I mourning my uncle like something terrible has happened to him. As a Christian, he is guaranteed resurrection so he is not gone forever. He is just gone for now, to rest with our maker. Putting that lens on makes the desire to mourn weaken, and gives one a more positive outlook on the circumstance of death.
Our third reading of the month, brings the focus back to the present. It is taken from Luke chapter 19, verses 11-28 and it focuses on a particular parable. The parable of the Ten Minas. This parable tells the story of a master and his servants, where the master goes on a trip and leaves his servants behind to manage his assets. Like the parable of the Talents, the servants in this parable have various levels of success with the minas they are entrusted with while one servants keeps his minas as is.
When the master comes back and inquires of his servants and their results, each is rewarded according to their successes. But the one servant who did nothing gets his minas taken from him and given to the most successful.
For I say unto you, that unto everyone which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
In a nutshell, this parable asks us to keep the faith. While the master is away, carry on like he is still with you. Do the best that you can do, and when you are reunited, you will be rewarded.
From Sorrow to Joy
Finally, my last reading of the month, delivered the final message. John 16: 21-24 recorded Jesus' statements to his disciples regarding his death and resurrection. And when you read the quote below, you will see how it sort of helped me come to terms with my feelings around my uncle's death.
Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
Of course, this was Jesus speaking to his disciples. But at the time I read it, it kinda felt like my uncle was speaking to me. "Now is your time of grief Damola, so go through it. But I will see you again, and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy."
So my journey in essence, went first from looking inwards (at whether I'm playing my part in God's kingdom... and whether I truly believe in Jesus / the resurrection) to looking outwards (at how I could be a faithful servant and work with what I've been given). To finally acknowledging my grief, and reminding me that this life is not the end. We will meet again in eternity. In one sentence...
Keep the faith, and do God's work. Until we will meet again.