My full-time job partly consists of making sure that there is no “broken telephone” (if you don’t know this game/concept, click here to read what it’s about) within the business. Corporate communication is no joke, but once you think you have the handle on things, you are tempted to think you have mastered communication on all fronts. Little did I know that I was suffering the biggest communication breakdown in my life – my relationship with Jesus. As a result, I was closer to death than I thought.
By the world’s standards, I was a fairly decent person who stayed out of trouble. I have a great career and I like to think that I get along well with almost every person that is in my life. What I did not realise was how much I was deceiving myself, others and God.
Without going into much detail, everything exploded last week Tuesday, and this explosion was similar in nature to another explosion that took place in February. The only difference between the two, was that I dwelled on HOW everything exploded and not WHY everything exploded. I ended up being angry, and I thought I could take back my life by being in control once again.
What I did not realise was that Jesus was pursuing me relentlessly, despite there being a serious case of “broken telephone” between us. I was the cause of this, because his line is always open and always available, but I was going about life dancing with the devil, and then sprinkling some time with Jesus over it all, when I thought I had the time to spare.
I was dancing all the way to the very edge of life, thinking that everything was going okay. I deceived myself and others into thinking that I was this independent woman who had everything under control, but my life had so many cracks that even my favourite concealer could not hide it any longer (shout out to LA Girl concealer, though – that will forever be my go-to!).
I placed myself on the throne, and thought I could run my life the way I wanted to, yet professing that I was a Christian. This is a very dangerous game to play – you cannot fool God, and you cannot go about life running it the way you please and thinking you will not get burned. Oh, I got burned – spiritual third-degree burns and everything!
Let me rewind a little bit here: I gave my life to the Lord when I was a teenager, and having grown up in church and being taught so well from the Bible, grace became something I knew really well theoretically, and not literally. The danger began when I became over-familiar with the Word.
I stopped making an effort, and I thought I could get by with church on Sunday, Bible study during the week and some casual Christian social gatherings here and there. This actually destroyed me, because my life became centred around RUTH BUHLE MTHEMBU – what she wanted and what she felt she needed. I drifted and drifted… and drifted. I would sit with groups of people and complain about life like I had no hope, and I would go about my days as if the best days of my life would be lived this side of eternity.
So, when last week exploded, I ran to the Lord. I ran straight to him. I ran to my Father! I was ugly, hopeless and exhausted, but I ran to him. I was so tired of playing “broken telephone” and I was so tired of running my life my way. I ran to him, and I stayed there.
That night, I read the following words in my favourite devotion book by Paul Tripp: “…And you and I have every reason to be encouraged, because this Redeemer has not acted on our behalf just once. He has acted, he is acting, and he will continue to act until we stand before him as his people, completely pure forever and ever.”
If you are like me, and you are tired of having it altogether, and meticulously editing and re-editing your life as if you are the author of it, stop trying. Just stop. Run to the Lord. Take it from me, there is absolutely nothing cute about life out there. It may seem enjoyable for now, but it will spit you out. You will have nights of sheer terror, tossing and turning and being depressed over why things aren’t working out the way YOU want them to.
Your life belongs to God, and he belongs on that throne. Don’t take on a role in your life that you know you will fail at every single day. You cannot fulfil ‘your will’ for your life and God’s will at the same time. Surrender everything to him. I am not saying things will be amazing and life will be its sweetest, but surrendering to Jesus will save you from your sinful self, because you and I cannot save ourselves. Our hearts are too sinful, too deceptive to even try.
Life is not about doing it the way we want, and then letting God into it here and there, and then discarding him when we feel we do not need him. That is the most dangerous game you could ever play. Life is not about posting a few Bible verses on your Instagram story or attending a church service once in a while. Life is not about those cute Christian bios on your profile or the fact that you serve tea and coffee every second Sunday at church. Life isn’t about chasing a top management position, or going away on vacation, or getting that MBA degree. These are all amazing, and are the bonuses we get to experience in life, but this is not life’s “be all and end all”.
Life is life in Jesus. It is about turning away from our sin-entangled lives and following Jesus and letting him rule over us. Life is and can only be found in him. For some, this is realised earlier in life, and for some this is realised later in life. Sadly, for some, this is never realised and then there is eternal separation from God.
Just know that Jesus relentlessly pursues us. He did that on the cross and he continues to pursue us today. I was a wreck, and he still pursued me and he will never stop until I take my last breath. Don’t ignore him. Even when you do come to that realisation, don’t allow your mind to make you think otherwise. Your identity is now in Christ.
Remember Galatians 4:6-7: “…And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So, you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
There are still times when I get up at 2am and say to myself, “yhuuuu, no man!” Then, I get angry all over again. I have my little moments, and then after my tantrums I focus my mind and remember the bigger picture. I’m so comforted that God still remains gracious even in those weird and uncomfortable moments in my mind.
My name is Ruth, and I nearly died. Death was so close, but Jesus pursued me because he loves me. He healed this “broken telephone” between us and now I am alive in him. This, my friends, is the greatest communication line you could ever have.
Don’t drop the call.