GUEST POST BY TREVOR HARBOTTLE
I have been listening to a song by John Ellis called ‘A Luta Continua’. Last night I wondered aloud what that meant. Xylon my housemate and presenter on a Gospel television show in South Africa, having interviewed John Ellis a couple of weeks ago, authoritatively told me it means ‘the struggle continues’. I liked that. I knew the lyrics resonated with me (He sings about needing to struggle to see TRUE liberation in South Africa, to see TRUE liberation from a religious system, and to see TRUE liberation in people’s lives). So I looked into the origins of the saying and discovered that the full saying is:
"A luta continua, vitória é certa" meaning, "The struggle continues, victory is certain"
I also discovered that it was first popularised by FRELIMO during the Mozambican war of independence and later in South Africa when Miriam Makeba sang ‘a luta continua’ and so it became part of the annals of South Africa’s struggle culture.
So how does this all relate to Jesus or God or the bible. I’m not totally sure. But I know that we are in a constant struggle everyday. Some-day’s it is a struggle to breathe; others a struggle to have joy; others a struggle to see any purpose, sometimes as I have experienced the last two months-a struggle to walk straight with a gammy leg. I love the fact that Jesus promised us all ABUNDANT LIFE but I sometimes wonder where that is, don’t you? I don’t see that in the poor woman begging on the street corner and I don’t see that in the misery that lines the eyelids of some my students and I don’t see it in my own life when I’m physically and emotionally drained at the end of the day.
The struggle continues, victory is certain. For those of us who believe in and relate to Jesus we have an assurance of victory (sometimes in our heads, sometimes in our hearts, sometimes in our doubts). But that victory is easily missed because the struggle is not over. We have to struggle to find that life and hope and joy and love. We have to struggle to display that life and hope and joy and love. But it is worth struggling for because the life and hope and joy and love is found in the struggle. The victory is found when we desire and attempt and fail and persevere and continue to struggle to live the abundant life that is ours. The victory is there when we wrestle with Jesus, with how he operates in our lives and with how we operate in His. The victory is there when we lay down our lives to benefit those around us. The victory is there when we see the sunset and marvel in the pollution induced colours. The victory is there in the smell of freshly baked croissants. The victory is there... It is there... It is there...
And I think that is the essence what I am trying to say is: Victory is certain, Don’t give up, the struggle continues! Be brave, be courageous, for you will overcome. You are more than conquers!
See John 10:10, Romans 8, Joshua 1:9, Romans 8:37 for some more encouragement. Or read the psalms. Or better yet, put aside the stress inducing task you are currently busy with and escape to a park and take 5 minutes to watch the birds and the trees and the people and the dogs. And then remind yourself:
"A luta continua, vitória é certa"
"The struggle continues, victory is certain"