Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

New hope (Part 2) – Day 11

New hope … with the right priorities in your life

Bible text(s)

34For your heart will always be where your riches are.

Luke 12:34GNBOpen in Bible reader

Here is a testimony by Handré de Jongh that God is interested in the list of priorities in your life:

Handré: “Around 19:00 on Easter Sunday in 2009, I got a call from my dad. He and my mother were on their way back to Beaufort West, after spending the weekend with my family and I in Hartenbos. A kudu jumped in front of the car and hit my mother in her face. While speaking to my dad on the phone, I could hear my mom in the background gasping for air. In shock, I called my family members across the country and we started praying for my mother’s health.

When they arrived at the hospital in George, my mother’s head had swollen to four times the normal size. Every bone in her face was broken and her brain was damaged. The doctors placed her on life support machines and gave us 48 hours to get the family together to greet her, as they did not think she would live much longer than that. In the waiting room of the hospital, our family held hands; we took communion and prayed for a miracle. We felt that it was not yet my mother’s time to die. Two days later, she sat up in her bed. This, however, was temporary, as she fell back into a deep coma and was placed on life support machines again.

Even though the doctors declared my mother brain dead, we kept on praying for her healing. We continued to talk to her, even though we were not sure that she could hear us. What was fascinating was that she responded every time we spoke about Jesus Christ or played gospel music to her on her iPod. Her body kept on deteriorating because her brain no longer functioned correctly.

After several operations and against all odds, my mother woke up after three months in a coma – with no brain damage. Everyone at the hospital was overwhelmed! I asked my mother, a few weeks later, if she ever experienced heaven during her coma. She replied that she was not in heaven, but Jesus was with her. At one stage, she became aware of a large male figure next to her bed. He had the biggest, strongest hand but the softest touch as he reached out to her. She immediately knew it was him. The next moment, they walked together on a beach and they had a conversation with each other.

Jesus mentioned to my mother that her priorities in life were wrong. My mother was surprised. ‘What do you mean, Jesus?’ she asked. He responded: ‘My daughter, I am not always number one in your life. Your grandchildren are. Then your children. I am third. Your congregation fourth and your husband fifth.’ Even though my mother loved my dad and they did things together, she knew in her heart that Jesus was absolutely right. ‘But what do you want the list to look like?’ she asked him. Jesus replied, ‘I want to be your first priority at all times in all circumstances. Your husband should be second.’ My mother immediately asked: ‘Now, what about my children and grandchildren?’ Jesus continued: ‘Your children and grandchildren are the fruit of your covenant with your husband. You two stand before me. This is why he should be your second priority. Your children come third, then your grandchildren and the congregation come fifth.’ My mother said that the love and compassion he spoke to her with, was so overwhelming that she immediately wanted to change her priorities!

I was next to my mother’s bed when she woke up. As her oldest son, I know her well and assumed that she would immediately ask for her children or grandchildren. She did not. She wanted to know where my dad was. With tears in his eyes, he took her hand next to her bed and kissed her on her cheek. This was my first experience of change in my mom’s life. Over the next few months, I saw how her ten minutes in daily prayer changed to hours. She and my dad are more in love today, than ever before. She still has a strong relationship with all her children and grandchildren, and she is still very active in her congregation, but this time, there is a clear balance in her life. Her priorities are right.

Though we initially did not understand why God allowed the terrible accident to happen, I have since experienced how many lives and marriages were healed and have changed, when people hear my mom’s testimony and then change their own priorities. The horrible accident now brings tremendous healing to many people! All glory to God.”

Handré is right. God is a God of order and he wants us to have the right priority list. In Matthew 6:33 we read: “… seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. And in Luke 12:34 we read: “… where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” What do your priorities look like today? Let us put him first and let us honour the covenant we made with him. God bless.

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