Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5b, AMP)
In 2002 while on a 2 1/2 month stay in South Africa, I had the great opportunity to meet a young prophet named Mbulelo Gqeba. We were blessed to reunite again once or twice in 2008 upon my return.
I remember the day I “bumped” into them at church in 2009 as if it were yesterday. I hadn’t seen them for several months so I was absolutely thrilled to see them again. Unfortunately, however, time only permitted us to exchange phone numbers.
I recall looking at Pulane that day thinking, “she looks like she’s seven months pregnant.” Never having been pregnant a day in my life, I had no idea why I would make such a specific perception. As I looked at her closely, she didn’t look pregnant at all so needless to say I was baffled by my own thoughts.
When I finally got the opportunity to catch back up with Mbulelo shortly thereafter and shared how I thought Pulane was seven months pregnant when I saw her, he replied “That’s how many months she was when she lost the baby.” This was when I discovered that this precious couple were in the throws of grief.
Their grief wasn’t something visible to the naked eye. For all intents and purposes, their grief was kept private. As our friendship grew closer, Pulane would sometimes share an experience, or talk about the support group they were involved in. Then, an only then, could I see the intensity of the pain they felt.
I’ve always been of the opinion that there is no loss greater than that of one’s own child. Their story seemed to confirm that notion for me. As a first time father, how did Mbulelo manage to overcome such tragedy? Here’s his story in his own words.
It was in 2009 when I lost my first born. At first the doctor said it was a girl. When my wife was seven months pregnant, she had complications and went to the hospital. When we got there we found that the baby had stopped breathing for a long time therefore “she” had died. We had to stay in the hospital for the night while she was going through induced labour and when the baby came “she” was a he.
What hurt me was that a few months before we had a crusade in Qwaqwa Free state and a person died during the crusade. We prayed and he came to life.
There are a lot of things that I know before they happen and I prevent or allow. But this time when I really needed the same God that I present to other people [it felt] He was nowhere. It took me some while praying, then complaining, and then blaming God reminding Him of His word like He never gives us burdens that are heavier than we can bear. Or how He never allow things to happen without telling His servants the prophets. And now I was blind sided.
In all that time He was quiet, until one day when I was not even praying about that. I was actually taking care of my wife making sure she was well in all aspects and dealing with her grief. The Lord said to me, “Mbulelo, would you have been able to deal with living with him if he had been born with an infirmity of any sort? How would you tell people about me while you are with him? Would you still love me every morning and night when you had to wake up and take care of him instead of me waking you up because I want us to talk?”
All I could say was, “I’m sorry Daddy. Now I understand.” A great peace fell on me and that long lasted burden lifted off.
They wept through their night, but at last, their joyful morning arrived. Since that time, Like God did with Job, He turned Mbulelo’s sorrows into gladness. God opened Pulane’s womb, and today, they are the blessed parents of three absolutely beautiful baby girls!
Mbulelo never thought what his life would be like had his son survived. He never considered that his life’s devotion would switch from ministry to full time care giver of someone that may never be able to care for himself. His healing didn’t come from the miraculous. It came from the understanding that his intimacy with God far outweighed his devotion to others.
Some people may feel that Mbulelo was cheated because he didn’t receive a great miracle. But in fact, he did. He received a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). And that’s a peace that can only be found in intimacy with Christ. His intimacy WAS his healing, his breakthrough, and his miracle all wrapped up in one.