I was sitting in a meeting listening to a preacher. This man in the pulpit, knowing I was in the meeting, suddenly turned on me. From the pulpit he began to lash out at me, publiclybegan to undermine my integrity, the work I do for God, even the fruits and its viability. He seemed intent on destroying me. Now I dont know whether being filled with the Spirit of God means you cannot feel hurt. Some people say it does. But I was hurt, crushed. I held back the tears as I looked at this man and thought to myself How
could anyone believe this of me? How could this man believe these things of me? By the end of that service I was so crushed I could hardly breathe. As everyone stood up I wanted to get out the door. I didnt want to speak to anyone. I wanted to speak to God. I tried to get out before anyone else, but I couldnt. As I looked at the faces all around, and their tears, as they looked at me, I realized a cloud of sorrow had fallen on the whole convention because of what this man had done. There was grief. As I walked hands were held out to me, touching me.
Keith, dont you worry. Hes destroyed himself, not you. Dont worry, Keith. No one believed a word he says. Hes finished. You watch. He destroyed himself, not you. But I still didnt want to speak. I was so grieved I just wanted to get out of that building. I pushed past everyone. I got out of the building and tried to get in the dark of the gardens outside of the center. But there were three preachers who stopped me. They wouldnt let me past. In their indignation and anger against what this man had donehis cowardice, the unethical way he had used the pulpit to express his grievances that he had against methey began to cry out against what he had done to me. All the people were gathering around listening to these men. I couldnt get past them. I was about to speak the first words about what was going on in my heart, when my father-in-law, Jennys father, pushed through the crowd, in front of these three men who were so
angry. He is one of the godly men of our country, loved across the land for his preaching, though hes a farmer, and has never been through a theological seminary. Hes used in the great conventions of South Africa, more than most people have ever been used, and is loved across the land. He looked at what was happening. He was in that meeting. He stood in front of those preachers, and looked at me. A tear came down his face. It had not been easy for my father-in-law to hear what had been said about me that night. He put his hand here on my shoulder.
He said, Keith, boy, were all in the school of God. The moment youre born of God youre in the
school of God. Some of us are in Grade 1, some in Standard 1, some in Standard 6, some in Matric, and some are in the university level. Only God knows what level we are on.
Keith, Ive learned something over the years. Its exactly the same as secular school. Think,
Keith, of when you were a boy, when you were still at school as a boy. You had to face tests that were given to you as you learned. You had to face each level with an exam. If you failed the exams, Keith, of the Standard you were in, you would have to go through it again, and youd have to face the same exam again. Theres no way of bypassing it. If you fail the exam, you have to face it again until you pass it. Keith, its exactly the same in the school of God, my boy. Trust me about this. Ive seen it, Ive learned it. Over and over Ive learned it. Youre facing an extremely difficult exam here that most of us have never faced, and
may never have to. But Keith, if you dont pass it now, in Gods eyes, and in mens eyesand men are
watching youI guarantee youre going to face this again. Now pass! Pass the exam, boy, or face it again.
He turned and walked away.
You know, every single personthose three preachers and everyone elsesaid not a word. There
was utter silence. They disappeared at what my father-in-law said. Gone! At last I was alone. I stood there, no one else now but me and God. No one to talk to me, no voice to listen to now. Everything, the whole perspective of what had happened that Id gone through, was changed completely.
The next day, it was arranged at this convention that we would meet at a certain time of the day,
and all the cars and combis available would take everyone across to another convention center, on the other side of the city, to join with other likeminded people and combine there. The time was announced. All the combis were to be ready, and so we wouldnt get lost going through the city, we would all travel together and get there on time for the meeting that we were to attend. As I was resting, not realizing it was time, I suddenly became aware everyone in the building was gone. So I ran outside. All the cars were idling, and
the combis were all over the parking area. Everyone was already sitting in the cars. I ran down, knowing Im keeping everybody now. Theyre lingering to see if theres anybody left. There I was, the only one. So I rushed around looking for a seat. Everybody was squashed in all the cars available, to get everybody there. No room! I ran around everywhere. Suddenly they pointed back, and said Theres a combi back there. It seems theres a seat. So I ran. I was keeping everybody. They all want to go. As I got close to the combi I saw there was a seat, but my heart sank when I saw the only seat available was next to this man who tried to destroy me the night before. Everybody in that combi, when they realized I had to sit next to
him, their hearts sank also.Now that was God. It was no coincidence. Thats how God works with us, you know. Well, I got in the combi, and we all went off. There was a deathly silence. No one spoke. What was I going to do to him? Well, I looked out the window and I prayed. I prayed for my heart. Oh God, give me the grace I dont have. Give me the grace I dont have, Lord, to pass this exam. To pass this exam in Gods eyes and mens eyes. Men are watching me, Lord. I want to so pass this exam that I will never, ever have to face it again, so its behind me. Please, God, I dont want to face this again. Give me the grace, God, to pass now. I turned and I looked at this man. He looked at me with such fear. By this time the Holy Spirit had smitten him. He knew his whole assessment was wrong. He was feeling terrible. I took him by the arm, looked him in the eyes, and said, Sir I want you to know I love you. I want you to know from this time onward Ill be praying earnestly for you, that God will bless you. He knew, as he looked in my eyes, that I was not being obnoxious. He knew I said it in integrity from my heart, and I meant it. Then I saw something in that mans eyes that I shall treasure for all eternity. One of the most precious moments of my life was what I saw right then. I saw in the eyes of a man who so hated mewhatever the reasons the devil had given him I dont know to this daythat he tried, literally, to end me off in the ministry. I saw in this same man respect one day later. I saw respect so deep that it stunned me as I looked into his eyes. I might never have ever had that treasure to hold on to, of what I saw in that mans eyes, if I had defended myself, if I had given him what he needed in the eyes of the world. I would have lost having seen the man who made me his enemy looking at me with respect.
Because I looked to God for grace I knew I didnt have to pass this exam in Gods eyes and mens
Ive learned something. Ive learned that no matter what difficulties youre going through, no
matter what trials youre going through, no matter what tests or exams youre facing, no matter how hard they are, God will always give you the grace if you look to Him to pass. I dont care what man or the devils doing against you. I dont care how trying it is. I guarantee you, if you look to this God for grace to pass the exam in Gods eyes and mens He will give you all the grace you need. If youll just look up from your heart, cry for it, before you react. I often from that time had occasion to think of the words my fatherin- law said. I remember, shortly after that incident, sitting and thinking about what he said about the school of God being the same as secular school. Youre in Standards, and you have to face exams. Unless you pass, until you pass, you cant go on. If you fail you have to go through it again, so pass! Its exactly the same as secular school.