2020, the year of great transformation — Marian Fitz-Gibbon

2020 will be a year that will go down in history that’s not too dissimilar to that of some of the world wars that others have lived through.

When we share our stories of what we’ve been through this year we will count the numbers of those that have made it through and survived the countless hours in lockdown in small apartments, in tiny shacks, in mindless conditions, praying and hoping that food supplies would last until the end of the month and praying yet again for more food supply.

And we will remember the generous public who stepped into the breech to feed those who otherwise would have been in the number of those who passed on in 2020.

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We will reflect on the thousands that stood in food lines for a mere morsel of rations to go home to cold and stark structures while being commanded to “wear your mask!”

All the while we were grateful for the tireless hours of dedication and grit of all frontline workers and those that remained alert to pray and support the frontliners and others battling the virus.

Mothers took on tasks that stretched them to capacities they never believed they were destined for. To them it is a “well-done Mums”. Businesses closed and markets took a thrashing. PPEs were the new talk of the day.

Did we stop and ask: “Where did the children play?’’ All the while the COVID-19 virus information was translated into graphs which tugged at the heart of faith vs fear. The media either hit the target until the public learned to speak up, pray up and many a time stir up on the various platforms.

Zooming church
Sundays came zooming in and church broke out of the walls! Holy Spirit moved over the airwaves as God’s people became bold and took time to hear Father’s voice for others. This was connecting the people at a different level; nothing was going to stop God’s people — no, no nothing. From Zoom to Zoom across the nations we all connected, and hope rose.

Verdict’s not out
We can only but say by the grace of God we have made it this far. Obviously, on the medical front and the scientific front the full verdict is not yet out, and the debate is still on the table.

The economic implications as to whether we will have a total lockdown as we had before or only a regional one is under debate according to Professor Alex van den Heever who is the chairperson of social security systems Management studies at Wits.

The one reason for this is to lesson economic disruption. Even though the Pfizer vaccine is available in the UK it was not clear whether South Africa has the funding, process or final decision on how, when and to whom it would roll out of the vaccine next year. Professor Shabir Madhi of the South African Medical Research Council indicated that during the upcoming holiday season there was an expectation for a rise in Covid-19 cases in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape due to large social gatherings.

New creations
The one thing we can hold onto, which is solid is that the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. As Paul tells us in Corinthians — anyone who is in Christ he is a new creation. You may not feel that you are one but in Christ you are — the old has passed away and behold, the new has come. It’s no longer you that lives but it is Christ who lives in you and the life that you now live in the flesh you live by faith in the Son of God who loved you so much that He gave Himself for you.

Just consider that you and I, as Christians, are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, the people of His own possession who may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into this marvellous light. Quite a contrast to what we’ve lived in and yet this is our hope and we are called to bring others into this this wonderful family, this wonderful understanding. And He gives us the right to become children of God not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, by testing that we might discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Hurt and disappointment
I know and you and I got affected by the virus and the USA elections by some manner or means and it got nasty.

My exhortation now, from all of this, is that we are to guard our hearts. All kinds of movements arose with all kinds of hashtags, some necessary some one could debate as being unnecessary. But I think at the end of the day the Word of God is our standard if you are a Christian and God has very graciously given us means of communication which we must use with diligence and wisdom while there is still daylight. Look into the Mirror of the Lord.

Columns of righteousness arising
Proverbs 18.20 says that life and death are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit. And Proverbs 15.28 says the mind of the righteous ponders how to answer but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

I believe that the Lord is raising up prophetic voices in the writing areas — in journalism and in public forums where their voices will be heard with clarity as was the case with Jeremiah. For those of you feeling uncertain, the Lord will give you revelation and direction as to what to write and the favour. It will be for the healing of the nations as spoken of in Amos 3 and Rev 22

You will deliver words that will be like honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (Proverbs 16.24)

Speak from God’s perspective
Like Jeremiah, ask the Lord for His perspective, for a strong theme or illustration that the reader or listener can identify with. God’s intention is to change the hearts of people with a love approach in a situation before you begin.

Keep your communication clear and simple. Jeremiah had eyes of faith and it was that in the in the middle of a winter season that enabled him to see that there was an almond tree blossoming and he was able to decree and to declare that the almond tree would blossom. He saw things from God’s perspective.

It requires putting aside one’s own perspective regardless of how much intellect or education you may have. Listening to God requires having the heart of God. Drawing close to the Holy Spirit and asking what’s on Fathers heart. There will be times when you feel the Holy Spirit says you should hold back and don’t say anything for it is better to be prudent.

In summary, regardless of the reports and the situation around us, we need to hear from God. I believe that there is coming a new breed of writers and speakers that will be filled with wisdom so when they speak their words will be like what the writer of Proverbs describes — “fitly spoken like apples of gold in a setting of silver” (Proverbs 25.11)

Finally, I believe there will be new communication platforms, apps, writing academies and companies to encourage prophetic writers and speakers to step into that which God has in this next season.

God Bless You All
Marian Fitz-Gibbon

One Comment

  1. Hugh G Wetmore

    Yes, Marian, you are right to hold up Jeremiah as a model prophet. He’s my favourite. “God’s Perspective on Society” is a helpful seminar based on Jeremiah 9:23,24. And his chapter 23 gives definitive markers for discerning the prophets. Jeremiah 6:13,14 says we must be suspicious of upbeat prophecies like honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body, if they are delivered to a nation living in sin.