I am not a political person but I would have to have my head in the sand not to be aware of the turmoil that has been happening in South Africa this past week.  Major political changes have resulted in our economic ratings being reduced to ‘junk status’.  Changes in the Cabinet and other factors have raised an outcry from the large majority of people living here.  Friday 7 April has been declared a day of shut down and marches in protest.

I am not a political animal.  But I would have to have my head buried in the sand not to be aware of all that is going on in South Africa at this time.  A Cabinet reshuffle and important decisions which have been taken have resulted in reducing us to ‘junk status’ in economic terms.  People are angry, despairing.  Social media is alive with protest.  None of us are sure how this will affect life – but we know it will.

A day of national shut down has been declared on Friday 7 April and we are called to march on the streets in protest.

The situation changes from hour to hour.  I am writing this on Tuesday, 4 April, and I am receiving frequent posts from newsfeeds and friends about the next effect all this is having on the economy, jobs, houses, investment.  And each one of these will spiral to affect every single person who lives here.

I try to make sense of it.  I only know what the media tells me – and I do not know whether their reports are accurate or not.  Each story has a slant caused by the personal filter of the writer.

So what do I do, as an individual living in this beautiful land?  Do I bury my head in the sand?  Do I march on Friday?  Do I cut my losses and sell up and leave the country?

Or do I do what my heart tells me?

Do I look to my God and focus my eyes on Him and Him alone?  Do I trust Him with matters so big that they can affect the rest of my life and the lives of all who live here?

Do I fall to my knees and pray?

If so, what do I pray?  Who can know the answers, the way out of the swamp we find ourselves in?  Two words of wisdom have come to me in the last day or so.  The first is a word of prophecy for the country which came to me from a lady called Cindy Jacobs, via who knows how many social media feeds.  The words which spoke powerfully to me are these:

‘Your prayers are displacing the powers of darkness … Do not be intimidated by the enemy, for I say to you, you do not know how intimidating you are to his forces.  So rise up, says God.  Arise and shine …’

The other words are from Scripture itself:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

I know now what I will do.  I will join some of the many prayer services that are being held around the country.  I will, as far as I am able (in my eyes) humble myself before God;  I will confess sin, personal and national,  I will pray that God’s will be done here in this land – for I do not know the plans God has for us.  But whatever they are, may they be done.

And above all, I will praise my God.

In spite of all that is going on, I will praise Him.  I will trust Him with every part of my life and with the future of this country.  Yes, there will be days when I feel despair.  But I pray that He will remind me to turn away from those things that make me worry or depress me and look again at Him.

For He is my rock and my fortress, my ever present help in trouble.

Rather than tell Him repeatedly how big our troubles are, I will declare to our troubles how big my God is!  He is Lord and He is King – He has already won the victory.

May His will be done, in this land today!  And may He be glorified.

As God did in 1994 when life here changed in peaceful ways we hardly dared hope for, I ask Him now:

“Do it again in 2017, Lord!  Let the world see how You work when Your people fall to their knees.  Do it again.”

To God be the glory!


About Mandy Hackland

My love in life is to encourage others to deepen their relationship with God. I write devotional material, stories and small group studies with that in mind. I live in South Africa and also love spending time in the bush, bird watching and walking. I do live in the city but make the most of the green spaces that surround me.
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