• Natallie Ateere

#BlackLivesMatter

Updated: May 31

Hey guys, this one hurts to write but I need to. Over the years, my heart has grown weary with watching and reading news stories about my brothers and sisters suffering needlessly. I've struggled with my feelings about what is happening and it's just too sad. The #BlackLivesMatter movement existed long before we knew it as #BlackLivesMatter. #BlackLivesMatter, they always have and they always will. As I reflected on the lastest story about George Floyd who died after a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for EIGHT MINUTES, all I could think was how does one human do that to another? Without feeling anything for the life he is draining?


Last week, my bible study group started a 3-week series, studying the whole book of Esther. At the time, I asked God, how do I relate this to our time? As I prepared to teach this evening, I reflected on the life of Esther, this time, focusing on the people she would later save. These people, who were so loved by God, who had been exiled in a foreign land for many years were now being threatened with death and Esther stood as the vessel of God who would prevent this from happening. I imagined what the Jews felt as this decree that had been issued against them loomed. I imagined the fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, and the injustice of it all. By no means is this a like for like comparison but as I meditate on this particular story and so many others in the Bible where God delivered His people from the hand of those who sought to harm them, I can't help but think of some of the similarities. There are so many vessels we have known of and know of now but do we see ourselves as vessels too? We don't need any qualification to be used as a vessel; we only need to ask God for direction on how we can influence change in our own environment.


Esther was probably the least 'qualified' to be Queen, based on her heritage, but the direction and favour of God brought her and kept her in the place that would allow her to help her people! Your palace need not be an actual palace. Whatever your situation/environment/location, God is definitely capable of using you in ways you cannot imagine. God has shown over and over again that He uses those who are available and answer His call. He is always seeking someone He can use and in Isaiah 6, we see Isaiah answer the call of God when God calls out for a messenger. One of the ladies in our Bible Study meeting asked this question: how do we answer the call of God? The answer is this: we seek His face for instruction, we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in taking action in our environment. It may not happen as it did for Isaiah, it may be utilising something that's already a part of you. A particular gift you have. A platform. Influence over a group of people. As long as you make yourself available as a vessel to God, have the Spirit of God in you and act according to His will, in love, you are a vessel!


What is happening now needs the intervention of God and His vessels to answer the call of God. I believe with all my heart that God can bring healing, hope and deliverance to us and end the suffering and fear we are experiencing. What I see in the world today are the actions of a few individuals causing fears in millions of others and it is not right. How do we love our neighbours without fearing the harm they might do to us? Only God can help us do this. How do we become a part of the change we want to see around us? It starts with each one of us taking that bold step of obedience to the call of God. We are all called in some capacity and whether it's influencing our family, town, organisation or even a nation, our obedience to the call of God matters so much! We are all Esthers if we answer the call of God. There is a responsibility that comes with this. It requires sacrifice. It's a lonely call but we will not be alone.


I want to encourage anyone reading this post to turn to God in prayer. We need God's GRACE now more than ever to continue to show LOVE (Luke 6:35). To not let anger cause us to act like fools (Ecclesiastes 7:9). To know the right step to take (Proverbs 3:6). To have the boldness to speak out (Acts 13:46). To eliminate fear and anxiety (1 Timothy 1:7). To live in His light and draw strength from Him (Psalm 27:1). To dwell safely in His secret place (Psalm 91:1). It's not an easy thing to ask and I pray for the strength to do all these things and I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Even though it hurts, let's turn to our Father who sees everything happening and ask Him for mercy. Let's ask Him for direction, that we may not sin or lead others to sin. Let's ask Him to fill us with His Spirit so that we may grow stronger and not be overcome by those who are threatened by us. I was so blessed by what we shared on this topic and the story of Esther that I wanted to share on here too. Hope you will be blessed by this too!


EDIT: If like me, you are looking for ways to make a difference, the #BlackLivesMatter website has a lot of information about things you can do to support. Let's not grow weary in continuing to seek ways of making things better.

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