Testimonies from Africa
I was in a dark space June to July 2021 when my husband and my mom fell ill at the same time. My mother later passed on in August. Then in February to March 2022, my husband fell ill again. It took more than two weeks for the doctors to come up with a diagnosis. Meanwhile, I watched helplessly as he suffered: weak body, not eating, losing weight, drenching sweats. I almost despaired.
At such times, the mind questions and almost blames God. I then remembered that God never promised a problem-free life (Psalm 34:19, Psalm 23:4) and God reminded me that I was not alone and that I needed to look up and call to God (Psalm 34:17-18, Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 121).
I learned not to focus on the situation, because this would fill me with despair; not to focus on myself, as I would then start feeling pity for myself; not to look for someone to blame, as that would lead me to complaining; and not to focus on the present, as that would make me miss the point of what God wanted to achieve in my life.
I learned that hope is a position of optimism: God is good (Exodus 34:6); God is working for our good (Romans 8:28); and God is in control (Psalm 22:25). Above all, these dark moments have a beginning, a middle, and an end; they last for only a season (Romans 25:4, Hebrews 6:19).
And in all this we have to remember the greatness of God and who we are in Christ.
I can never downplay the power of family relationships in getting through this bleak period, especially the encouragement and support from my biological and spiritual family, and the hope they created. What would I be without this blessed hope in my Lord? My husband became better and we cannot sing praises enough. I keep hoping for many more days of good health and happiness.
—Virginia Makanza, Brethren in Christ Church, Zimbabwe