By Holly Perrett –
Holly Perrett is a passionate lover of Jesus, a member of God First City Church, and a student at the University of Pretoria. In this post Holly reflects on the #FeesMustFall movement, and talks about her own perspective on the protests and her role therein. We hope that this post will encourage you to consider your own perspective and role in the movement.
I will not pretend for one moment that I have not been doubtful and sometimes paralysed with fear at the bitterness and anger that has surfaced in the past two years that I have been at university. However, nobody needs to hear more negativity of the economic, social and political crisis we are facing in this country. This is an arrow pointing to the one and only solution, our saviour Christ Jesus. I have found overwhelming comfort in 1 Peter, particularly in the first chapter. There are 4 R’s that have changed my perspective on the protests and my role therein, and they have brought me to my knees in worship of a glorious, eternal King!
(1 Peter 1:1)
Peter addresses his letter to ‘exiles’. Although this was geographically true, it was more a spiritual alienation. Even today as Christians, we are foreigners. We are not of this world and we were not designed to belong here either. Our time is but momentary, a mere blink in the eyes of eternity.
This puts our suffering into perspective – although it is distressing and sometimes unbearable, it will not last forever. Instead, our ‘forever’ is a never-ending path that carves its way through eternity in pure enchantment and worship of God. We are refugees for a short while, but the battle has been won over death and soon we will return home, victorious.
(1 Peter 1:3-5)
We all protect what we love, but we know we can’t keep it forever. The bible says our treasure is everlasting! Everything on this earth will die, rust and disintegrate, but the kingdom of the Lord, the most valuable thing in existence, will stand eternally. Why do we put our hope in things that will fall?
It doesn’t matter what you say, our hope is not in our education or our intellect. It’s not in our success, nor is it in South Africa or anywhere else in the world. Our hope is found only in Christ. God has promised us a reward, which we don’t deserve, but that Jesus went to purchase for us at the cross, for which He paid with his own blood.
(1 Peter 1:6-8)
Gold is one of the most precious substances in the world. It’s special and desired because it is rare. Gold has to go through a three-step process to be refined. It is shattered, washed and heated to purify it of impurities. Each time we are broken, repent and open our hearts in the furnace for God to remove the dirt from our souls, we become more like Him. We should welcome the challenges we face because if we hold fast to our refiner, we will come through the flames praising Him for cleansing us. God chose you, as raw and impure as you were, because he could see the potential of gold inside you. Let Him filter out the impurity and patiently mold you into His masterpiece. Suffering turns up the heat and through this, God can work miracles in our lives when we surrender to His craftsmanship.
(1 Peter 1:8-9)
These protests have shaken many people’s foundation. They have disturbed comfortable lives and I can only praise God for reminding me not to settle down, not to have security in worldly institutions and not to be worried about what is deteriorating. God is so merciful! Even if we can’t clearly understand His plan, we need to trust him and be thankful that He has prepared something better for us.
‘What a Saviour’ by Hillsong echoes everything God has revealed to me this past month:
“Should this life I live hold nothing but the cross where Jesus took my shame, then with arms stretched wide and my head held high my every breathe will sing again.”
If fees fall, if education falls, if South Africa falls and if we fall, the cross and resurrection stand secure. The sacrifice of God’s own Son to save the world has its foundations in the beginning of time. It cannot fall. It is on this that we should build our lives because one day, everything in this world will collapse at the Lord’s feet and worship Him as King.
Picture by Paballo Thekiso