This morning, as I was getting ready for work, I walked
to my mirror to have one more look at my face. The pimples and some blisters
have always been a cause of worry to me. I tried lifting my right hand to feel
through the surface of my face and then my eyes were caught up on the little
scar on the back of my palm. I kept staring at it through the mirror, the story
flashed back to my memory; yea, the story of the scar! It was a reminder of the
day I fought in school in defence of my brother. I smiled knowing that I won
that fight and also got vindicated by the school authority. I won’t bore you
with details of the fight but it has been more than ten years now and the scar
is still there, serving its purpose; a quick reminder.
Everybody has scars, it could be emotional scars, it
could be mental scars, it could be physical or even financial scars. Whichever
type of scar one has, there is something common about these scars. They are
reminders of failures or victories but ultimately, they are reminders that we
pulled through that stage of life. Whether we won the fight or lost, the scars
don’t just remind us of the results, it also whispers to us “you made it
past that experience.”
Dead people don’t have scars because they have ceased to
exist. Only people who are alive have the opportunity to look at their scars
and tell the story. No matter the circumstances behind that scar, there is
always a lesson! Scars are treasures, they may be ugly, the stories behind it
may stir oceans of tears but they are rich with lessons, rich with
encouragements and rich with strength! Because we always live to tell the story
of our scars, it is a reminder that God loves us no matter how ugly our stories
After Jesus had resurrected, the scars of His hands and
feet didn’t represent death! It represented victory, it spoke volume of His
victory on the cross. The scars of Jesus would simply say “I was beaten,
dragged, nailed on the cross and buried. But, I conquered death and
resurrected!” Jesus wasn’t always on the cross, it got worse! He was
lowered to the grave. We all thought that was the end, the Apostles might not
have even believed He resurrected until they saw the scars!
“Scars are treasures, they may be ugly, the stories behind it may stir oceans of tears but they are rich with lessons, rich with encouragements and rich with strength!”
It doesn’t matter what you are going through right now,
remember that on the hill there was a cross, after the cross, there was a grave
but beyond the grave, there is a resurrection! The morning will always come,
the scars of the night will remain but they will only tell stories of your
victories over the night. If you are a Christian, the scars of Jesus is a
treasure for you too! It indicates that your faith isn’t in mere philosophies
but in victories that have been achieved.
At least, you lived on to mourn that rejection and
heartbreak. You lived on after failing that exam, you lived on after losing out
in that business, you lived on after you were betrayed and accused! The scar is
there but it doesn’t just tell a story of failure, it also tells a story of
victory over failure! As long as you could look at those scars, you have won
because you are living ahead and ahead.
Scars also have a way of waking the giant in you, it is
an indication that you tried, an indication that you broke out of your comfort
zones, indications that you’ve gathered experiences and qualifications to guide
others out of your mistakes. Don’t sit there regretting it, you can help others
with it. Whether you got it on yourself or it was someone else’s fault, you can
help others with it.
“The scar is there but it doesn’t just tell a story of failure, it also tells a story of victory over failure!”
I had prepared for work and had moved out of
the house ready to trek a distance before getting to the bus stop where I could
be able to board a taxi to the office. I had walked a far distance from home
when it seemed a message was dropped in my heart. It read clearly “George, take a spare key to your house
and hide it somewhere outside your house.” I was already out of the
house and I didn’t want to argue with myself, I promised myself to do it as
soon as I come back home in the evening. I had tried taking a step further when
it came again, it was louder and stern this time around.
I began to struggle with myself. For more
than one year since I lived alone, I never experienced a loss of key, I was
always careful with my keys as I wear it like a ring on my finger. I didn’t
know why my heart couldn’t just allow me to get to work first and perhaps we
sought it out in the evening. I was already late for work and I had an urgent
task waiting for me.
One thing I had learnt though was to always
trust my instincts, God has always spoken to me through it and many times that
I had tried ignoring it was always met with disaster. I remember there have
been days I could have a feeling to leave a place and when I do I would come
back to hear stories of terrible things that happened there! I also remember
there are times my instincts would ask me to switch my phone off and when I do,
I could switch back on later to see a message that would have distracted me
from very important things. Not that my instincts have always been right but on
many occasions, especially when I am not feeding it my thoughts, it is usually
Somehow, I am always able to discern when God
is using my instincts to speak to me even when I feel like doing otherwise. The
instruction was not normal but after much persistence, I decided to go back
home and do as I was led.
Several months later, on a beautiful
Wednesday, I went to Church for midweek service in the evening. We drove
directly from the office just like every other Wednesdays. It was an amazing
service full of the revelations of God’s word. After the service, I went home
rejoicing and I remember I was singing my way all through until I got to my
door and realized I didn’t have my keys! I searched my bag hoping there would
be a miracle but there wasn’t. My apartment is a far from the office and it was
already 9:45 pm, it would be impossible to trek out to the bus stop at that
time or even see a bike going towards the bus stop.
For some minutes, I stood there confused.
Several thoughts were going on in my head, I thought of asking my neighbours if
they would accept me into their apartments for the night while I knew I
wouldn’t be comfortable any bit with the weed they always smoke into the
morning. That was going to be my last alternative, I kept gawking into the thin
ear when something struck my mind instantly!
“Remember the key you hid
somewhere?” It came the same way it did some months ago and I felt very
relieved! With excitement, I went towards the place I hid my key, searched and
found it! Ahaa! I didn’t have to spend the night in distress, I didn’t have to
sleep without eating and I didn’t have to skip a hot bath that night!
Why? Because I listened to my intuition.
Sometimes, our instincts are right!
Sometimes, God sends signals to our instincts and sometimes we even get a clue
about something that is about to happen. What you make out of your intuition
may determine your next experience. I remember a certain time my instinct asked
me to move certain money from my main account to my second account but I
ignored it… I lost the money to fraud! It couldn’t have been possible if I
moved it. I also remember several times my intuitions are right!
Your instincts may probably be wrong if they
are based on your thoughts and assumptions but whenever you get a trigger in
your intuition about something, pay attention to it! It may be God calling your
attention and wanting to save you from trouble the same way He used my
intuition to make plans for me for what would happen in months to come.
What are your instincts telling you about a
friend, a business, a major step you want to take or just anything else? Pay
attention to it! Yes, your heart can be deceitful when your focus is always on
self, fear and the wrong things but it is amazingly true that God will always
guide yielded hearts as the Bible says in Philippians 4:6-7.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about
everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has
done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can
understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ
So they finally threw me into the burning furnace, locked the gates, leaving me there to burn. I was burning, the heat was piercing into me and I felt like I was dead already. My skin smelt delicious as it roasted but then a hand tapped me from behind, it was soft and had an aura of peace. When He touched me, the spot felt chilled!
At first, I was shocked, who would be in the fire and still feel cold? Who would be comfortable in this fire like that? But I turned and behold it was Him! His beautiful face glowed even in the fire, the purity of His white wouldn’t be corrupted by the thick black smoke of that fire. He had come to me some time ago and I knew He had amazing powers, the power to save whomever He wants to save! He saved me from the sickbed miraculously and maybe He had come to save me from the fire.
“Thanks for coming… Please get me out of
this fire!” I cried!
He laughed and
started dancing! I was shocked at that “what are you doing? Dancing? While
I am burning?” He didn’t say anything, He kept dancing but I had to speak
again or even put His guilt on His face
“Why are you so
selfish? So because you can survive the fire, is that why you’re making fun of
my condition? Weren’t you the one who promised that you’ll always be there for
me? Why did you ever allow me into the fire in the first place?”
“But I am not just here for you, I am here with you!” He said without looking at me, He was enjoying His dance steps and then He added: “You can survive it!”
“Howwwww?” I shouted as the pain was becoming much more for me to bear coupled with watching someone dance in the fire while I was dying
“The pain you’re experiencing is not as a result of the fire, it is as a result of your mind. I didn’t promise to prevent you from being thrown into the fire neither did I promise you that I will put off the fire. I promised to be with you as we walk through it and I promised you shall not get burnt in the fire.”
“What are you saying? But am already burning and I am dying!” I cried
“You’re burning not because I lied but because your mind and fear are shaping your reality. Why not ignore the fire and focus on dancing with me?” He said and then He did a dance step that I had been trying to learn. I was excited, I had been trying to learn that dance step
“Woooh! You killed it! Teach me that step!” I pleaded. As I began to take the steps with Him, I suddenly started hearing the rhythm He was dancing to, it was amazing and out of whatever was in the world. I closed my eyes to assimilate the sound coming from the strings and percussion, then I opened them again!
I realized we had an orchestra but not the kind we see around! They could play the instruments in such a way that the vibes controlled my feet to dance. The lights were amazing and I realized we were on a stage with the spotlight on us!
We had danced and danced when I suddenly remembered I had been in the fire some hours ago. And I was shocked
“how did we get
here? What happened?” I asked
dancing and we should continue” He smiled. We kept dancing while we talked
“I thought we
were in the fire?” I asked
“No, we’re just
in the spotlight, not fire! Can’t you see it?” He replied
“I am sure we were in the fire!” I
depends on what you want to see. You saw the fire, but I saw the spotlight and
a nice place to dance. Let’s keep dancing or you like the fire?”
“No” I quickly replied, “I love
where we are.”
“Listen, son,” He said holding my hand as we stopped the dance “where your mind is, is where you are. Keep your focus on me and you can walk on every storm. Let your mind be on the beautiful things I have done and not on the threats of men and the challenges of this life.”
Everything went off, it seemed I was back in the fire but now my focus had changed! I went back to dancing. Right now, I love dancing in the fire as I walk through it! They had come to take my ashes and they met a man on the spotlight dancing!
Would anyone come to me in the past and ask me what Grace is, I would say it’s the name of my white skinned early primary classmate who always wore glasses and wrist-watch with pink lips. Or maybe I’d say it’s the name of my late maternal great-grandmother who was blind but could still tell of anything happening around her. Wait a minute; I could say it’s the name of a hospital, a school, a church building… Yes! It’s also the title of most preachers’ sermon and I’ve heard it in songs too… Oh, so many things to just talk about.
Ask a banker and they’d tell you it’s that period of time given after the due date for loan repayment is gone before legal actions are carried out, they’d still be nice to you then because of “Grace period”. But what a poor grace that expires in just fifteen days or twenty days. I remember the day things were thrown out of our house because we couldn’t pay the house rent and our “Grace period” had expired! What a poor grace! Ask a musician and they’d tell you it’s a note that adds beauty but not necessarily important. Grace makes less sense here. If we should define grace with these things, it isn’t something too wonderful to reckon with!
But now, it’s a whole lot more different to me. I may not be theologically correct (who needs it here anyway) but Grace is God’s most beautiful idea, the sole answer to the mess of life in its entirety, the power that changes and the power to change embedded and embellished in the life of God himself; a divine all-in-one shake with nothing missing which can be received or rejected. That’s what Grace means to me now.
I’d have another way to communicate what Grace means to me. It is “DIVINE HEART TRANSPLANT”. God said in Ezekiel 36:26
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you”
This is what He was going to do many years to come, in our own time, and of course, he did it! So he was saying back then in Ezekiel “I will give you my grace!” That is how I see it and like I said before “…the power that changes and the power to change embedded and embellished in the life of God Himself; a divine all-in-one shake…” We give our hearts to Jesus, he reciprocates and gives us a brand new heart. Grace is God’s rewiring, he rewires us from the inside out! Starts us up and boom! We are producing. Grace isn’t a first-grade refurbishing project of heaven, Grace deals with the old and gets done with it! Then it starts from scratch to make something brand new. A brand new heart, not a refurbished or repainted heart; this is grace!
God’s grace isn’t mild but wild! Wild honey or mild honey, which would you chose? Everyone wants wild honey! Everyone prefers wild meat because it is rich!
If it is mild, it is not God’s grace! God’s grace is wild, ravaging every obstacle, pulling down every stronghold, breaking up every walls and barrier, in search of us! God’s grace picks us up from the darkness and translates us into His marvellous light. This is how wild grace is!
It doesn’t want to avoid troubles but chases after us up to the mountains, down the valley right into the sea! Jonah kept running until he ran into the belly of the fish but grace kept chasing after him, Jonah preferred to die but Grace preferred that Jonah lived! Even in his stubbornness and willful disobedience, Grace never gave a damn! God’s grace is a wild hunter, keeping up the pace right into the belly of the fish!
it is wild and right on target. Like it or not, grace is chasing after you. Grace found Jonah, Jonah never liked the idea of Grace; he had people he could have destroyed if he was God but thanks goodness he isn’t God nor even an assistant God. Jonah disliked the people of Nineveh so much that when he sensed God’s grace was on the chase for them he declined to be the vessel. But Grace took Jonah to them, Grace saved Jonah and saved them too, grace is on the look-out. Grace is the wildest thing ever! Look at how it got hold of Saul of Tarsus; he was on his way to initiating what was to be the biggest annihilation of “Grace-fulls” he didn’t know what he was doing. He was out for people who are saved by Grace but without his knowledge, the same Grace was after him. On his way to capture “Grace-fulls”, he was captured by Grace and had a heart transplant.
Once Saul but Grace dealt with him and brought forth a new man! His name became Paul. Reminiscing over the persistent power of this very wild and unrelenting Grace, he wrote in Galatians 2:20
“It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me”
Paul knows this better beyond the philosophies and influence of doctrines; he had this personal experience that changed everything for him. He wasn’t writing from “hearsay”, he had a first-hand experience of this Grace! He felt the workings of Grace inside of him, he knew Christ moved in and took occupation of him and the same thing is happening to a lot of people all over the world.
Grace, running wild, looking for troubles here and there, ripping off the mess and willing hearts, replacing them with a whole new beautiful heart and life, a life of God himself. Isn’t this what John was communicating in 1 John 4:15 as he wrote
“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God”
Did you just see that? Anyone who believes, whether he is black or white, African, Asian, American or European! Whether he is tall or short, whoever… No wonder Grace didn’t just save Jonah, it also saved the people of Nineveh. It didn’t just save the 3000 at Peter’s “Holy-Spirit sermon”; it also saved Saul of Tarsus who was out to stop the work of Grace! Grace is on the move like the wild fox whose tail has been set on fire! Whether you are out on an attack on Grace, it keeps coming! Grace isn’t fighting a defensive fight, Grace is an offender, offending darkness and forcing people out of its grip!
You may have lived your worst thinking you have exhausted what God banked on you, you may have done a lot of unimaginable things and you think heaven is closed on you, God is angry and frowning at you, life is at odds with you and maybe the only good thing for you is death! I’ve got news. Grace is on the rampage, running after you hoping you’d accept him. He is cracking open your chest and rearranging the debris into God’s divine plan if only you’d let him. God isn’t asking you to change, He is creating the change in you and you just have to allow the work to go in progress. Do you expect a facility which is still being worked on to be fully functional? Oh no. Work is in progress and the beauty shows up progressively. God can do wonders with those mess in your life.
Now let me say.
Jesus is Grace personified! The difference between Grace and Jesus is none! Grace is wild because Jesus is wild. Let me show you how wild and rugged Jesus is in this fight, the Bible reports thus in Colossians 2:15
“…He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.”
Look at that! He wasn’t defending anything, He got out on the offensive, took hold of the spiritual rulers and authorities, took of sin and death and shamed them in the face of those they had held bound for years! Jesus didn’t just disgrace them, Jesus won the fight and is giving out the medal of victory to anyone who comes.
Grace saves because Jesus saves. To be saved by Grace doesn’t mean we claim salvation by ideology, theology, doctrine, church endorsement, creed or anything else; it is to be saved by Jesus. This same Jesus is He who with welcoming arms brings into divine union anyone who just affirms to his “come” plea! Jesus isn’t just calling sinners; He is out to them, bringing them home by Himself. This is not a religious jargon, a medieval roman theatrical stage drama or some Greek mythology. This is God’s grace working on purpose.
It has been
a while since I wrote here but am glad to be back!
was a very challenging week for me, I had some health issues and got admitted to
the hospital. I am glad to have been discharged and I am still on some routine
treatments, some diagnosis is still going on but I hope to be more stable. This
explains why I haven’t written for a while, not just because I was hands-off my
writing devices but at some point, my mental wellbeing was affected too and I
couldn’t really do anything than stay off, trust God and rest!
these were going on, I had thought about miracles. I believe in miracles, I
believe in the supernatural and for me, it is a miracle that you are reading
yet another writing of mine because at a time I was losing my breath, my pulse
was very faintly and each time I lie down, it would seem my heart was shutting
down. The doctors noticed this too but all that is history now. I remember when
it started, I prayed, praised and even gathered the last strength left in me to
dance around my room believing God for a miracle but nothing happened
instantly. It was on the hospital bed that certain things began to drop in my
happen in diverse forms and in diverse ways as no two miracles are the same. It
is true one person who had cancer may be miraculously healed at an instant
without having to go through chemotherapy but another may also receive healing
just after the chemotherapy. It is true that someone might get healed without
drugs but another may get healed after taking lots of drugs. They are all
miracles regardless of how they happened.
I asked God
why He would allow it get so bad that I had to lie on the hospital bed, I
prayed after all and believed Him so much for an instant healing and suddenly
it seemed He drew my mind back to various miracles in the Bible. No two blind
men had the same kind of testimony, one had an instant miracle (Mark 10:52) but
Jesus had to use His spit and sand on the eyes of the other and ask him to go
wash those eyes before he got his miracles (John 9:6).
another case of Jesus healing the servant of the Centurion without having to go
his place (Luke 7:1-10) and there are other records of Jesus going to touch
someone before getting them healed. Miracles happen at God’s timing and
therefore we must learn to trust Him even when He disappoints our own
expectations. To be frank, my expectation was disappointed because I wanted an
instant miracle but what if God wanted something else out of it? The story of
Lazarus tells us so much about God disappointing people’s expectations and yet
doing what He wants to do when He wants to do it.
brother of Mary and Martha was a friend of Jesus along with his sisters. Mary
is the woman who poured perfume on the feet of Jesus and this tells of the
deeper connection this family had with Jesus. Jesus would go to their house
sometimes to discuss with them and teach them. Lazarus got sick one day and
they had the divine healer as their friend! They believed Jesus because they
had seen Him do miracles, they had witnessed so many remarkable miracles and
they knew Lazarus’s case wouldn’t be any different. As part of their exercise
of faith in the power of God resident in Jesus, they sent out words across to
Jesus to tell Him the situation of things concerning Lazarus.
This is the
same Jesus who would heal the sick without having to the be physically present
where the sick was, this is Jesus who would speak a word from anywhere in the
world and sickness would disappear! But it seemed this wasn’t going to play out
the same way for Lazarus, a man who it was recorded for “the one whom
Jesus loved.” When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, instead of speaking
healing immediately or rushing to visit Lazarus, the Bible records that Jesus
stayed back where He was for two days! Who does that? I mean, your friend is
dying and you got the news and instead of rushing to your friend because you’ve
got powers to heal him, you stayed back where you were for two good days! Doing
what? Well, ask Jesus!
who had spoken to the storm and it obeyed at an instant, touched the blind and
his eyes opened, spoke a word and leprosy got clean! This same Jesus received a
word, a prayer request, an outcry and instead of an instant answer, He stayed
back for two more days! Can you relate to this? Maybe you have prayed a certain
prayer or made a certain request and it doesn’t seem forthcoming! This was the
case of Lazarus.
of that illness!
Jesus got up
to go meet them with His disciples.
had given up on a miracle, there was no words from Jesus and no sign of Jesus!
They buried Lazarus which showed that they believed it was the end. The very
end! Four days after the burial, life had continued, murmuring was still on but
they had simply moved on, knowing that Lazarus would never come back to life
again! Maybe, they would meet Lazarus in heaven but definitely not on earth
surfaced in the out sketch of the village with His disciples and they would
believe He was coming to pay tribute, mourn with them and give them words of
hope and encouragement. Funeral activities were still on as many sympathizers
were still on the ground. Words came to Martha that Jesus just entered the city
and she went out to meet Him. Martha had said to Jesus “I know God gives
you anything you ask for and if you were here, Lazarus wouldn’t be in the grave
by now.” And Jesus, looking into her eyes with confidence said:
“Lazarus will rise again!” That didn’t sound surprising to Martha
because several other sympathizers had used the same word which means that they
would meet again in heaven and Martha responded like she would respond to
others “thank you so much. We will definitely meet him in heaven when we
had gone to inform Mary of Jesus arrival, other Jews followed! Mary wasn’t as
emotionally stable as Martha was. She came crying, she trusted Jesus so much
and she loved and cherished Him! Other people around couldn’t resist those tears,
they all started weeping. Mary felled at His feet crying and saying
“Lazarus would have lived if you were here!” Jesus was moved by her
tears and demanded to know where he was laid.
the decaying body of Lazarus back to life and he looked new and fresh as though
he had never been sick before. Isn’t that a mega miracle? It would have still
been a miracle if Lazarus got healed instantly or progressively but God had a
different plan. They wanted Jesus to heal Lazarus but what Jesus wanted was to
raise Lazarus from the dead. (John 11)
have you prayed about it? How long have you waited? Truth is that miracle is
still possible but we must learn to be patient for God’s own timing. Jesus
allowed Lazarus to die so that he can be raised from the dead! If you can trust
God, you can also trust what He wants.
Now, what if
you never get that thing you prayed for?
It doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you, He still finds a way to turn it for your good. God saved Daniel from Lion’s den, God saved Joseph from the prison, God saved Shedrack, Meshach and Abednego from the burning furnace but God did not save Stephen when he was being stoned to death! Anyone would be Daniel but also anyone would be Stephen. He still remains God in the midst of it all! We may not understand why God does certain things the way He does them but we can always trust Him. Stephen trusted God unto death and knew that leaving this earth isn’t the end of him. It was in the midst of his persecutors that God raised another man who shook the world! His name is Paul of Tarsus. Isn’t that another miracle? Miracle has no format!
matter what God has decided to do with your case, one thing is sure, God has
got your back! This is what went on my mind while I lay on that hospital bed.
Several others had died of the same thing I survived even as they got better
healthcare while so many also had an instant miracle! One of the doctors said
to me while we talked “well, as a doctor, I have seen very bizarre things.
There are times we diagnose people of very dangerous infections and they leave
for prayers. They come back again and we can’t find a trace of it. I believe in
God, I believe that prayers work too!”
God, don’t relent in prayers and always remember, God may not want to heal you,
He may want to raise you! Whatever He wants to do, let Him do it the way He
wants even if our flesh may not comprehend it.
One time ago, the Lord clearly told me to leave
Onitsha and go do something elsewhere. It was so clear that I didn’t doubt it
one bit. I would sleep and see success in dreams, I would be reading the Bible
and hear God talking to me about it. My God! I was so motivated to go ahead
just as the Lord had said.
Guess what? I went and it all failed! I was frustrated
and I came back to Onitsha in shame. A friend even asked me “George, are
you sure it was the Lord that spoke to you?” I smiled and responded with
the affirmative. I was so sure it was God; this same God who woke me in the
middle of the night when I was still a child and asked me to go and teach His
word. That night, I acted like a child, I knew nothing and I didn’t have a
bible at that time. But guess what? I was going around the streets preaching! I
was using any bible verse I come across in my mum’s red Ancient and Modern
Anglican prayer book.
This same God that changed the direction of my life
and made it so dependent on ministry that without it, I cannot be living; it
was Him who sent me out of Onitsha. I don’t usually come up to make bold claims
that God spoke to me but when I do, He did. I remember before leaving, I told
all my friends who were also in ministry that God asked me to leave Onitsha to
a certain place; a village at that. I remember I sold some of my properties to
be able to pay for an apartment and I went into that place with no one. I had
only a friend and a sister in that location.
When it wasn’t working the way it was shown to me, I
was getting very frustrated. I felt maybe I didn’t pray enough or had enough
faith. I remember coming to a place that was supposed to be our venue, I would
sit there, cry and talk to the Lord. I would sweep and arrange the place and in
the morning, I would come and talk to empty chairs and perhaps my sister. For a
long time, it was like pouring water on the rock.
I asked God why He would bring me here to suffer me!
Well, God helped me pull through but one thing was sure, I never for one day
started doubting that God brought me there. I ran into lots of troubles
including financial problems. The more I tried doing something on my own, I
cause more damage. It came to that point where I stopped having the initial
meeting I had moved into the village for. I started trying to alternate, to
reach out to children and very young youths who weren’t exposed. I met with
many prominent people including a man that was reported to me to be very
occultic and they welcomed the idea. I felt maybe this was exactly what God
brought me here for.
Guess what? I got ill and was diagnosed with severe
immune problems. The doctors suggested I had been stressing myself, not eating
well, not sleeping well and all of that! I had to pause my life for a while.
The pain was very severe that I became suicidal. Well, even in this pain, I was
so convinced that it was God who asked me to come to that village. However,
what I wasn’t sure of anymore was if he wanted to deal with me. That vision I
wanted to run with very young people never saw the light of the day.
Some ministries in that area already knew me and what
I came for, the shame of not meeting up kept me inside for a long time. On
Sundays, I would just stay at home either praying, studying the bible or just
doing nothing. I didn’t know if I should move forward or backwards. One day, I
felt a push in me to visit a certain fellowship. Some who knew me were
surprised to see me. It took me nailing my pride to be able to come in there,
sit and listen to people I would usually consider I do better than in the
teaching of the word.
While they would usually teach certain things I may
not agree 100% with, I usually felt at home. That was where I believe God
started dealing with my pride. Although I have been a non-denominational person
before then, that was where I learnt I could work with other believers even if
we don’t share certain beliefs. While I remained there, I also became a
frequent visitor to another ministry. I joined in their soul-winning reach outs
and would always go with a friend of mine to houses of people, preaching the
gospel to them, leading them to Christ and ensuring they grow. I was no longer
concerned if the initial thing I came for was progressing. I found a new joy in
doing these things.
I left the village to go witness the burial of my
grandmother and I had plans of coming back. I didn’t want to go to Onitsha and
tell people who I had told earlier “the Lord sent me” to report back
that I failed. However, somehow, God ensured I didn’t go back. Each time I
wanted to go back, something else would come up. On Sundays, I usually didn’t
go anywhere because anywhere I go, people who knew me so well would see me and
start asking questions. It took a while, I decided to start visiting a neighbouring
assembly where I used to be a member. It was like a homecoming, they wanted to
fix me in everything and ensure I don’t leave again. I wanted it too because I
felt maybe, it would cover the shame if I stay there for some years and maybe
see what God would do with me there.
Although I wanted it, God never gave me any form of
assurance in my heart. Each time I try manipulating it to seem God is
convincing me, I don’t see any conviction. In fact, in my dream, I would see
the set man of that assembly and the way he addressed me seemed that though I
was important, I had a distinct ministry. I went ahead to commit myself into
something but I was always troubled in my Spirit.
Suddenly, God started troubling me in my dreams.
Anytime I shut my eyes to sleep, I would see the man of God under whom I had
travelled earlier. It was a problem reporting back to him because I felt very
shameful. Each time I dream, I would see him around and I knew God was about
doing something. Somehow, I felt God was just humiliating me and making a mess
of me. After I discussed with a friend and she gave me a heartwarming
encouragement and personal testimony, I decided to go ahead and meet with him.
One evening, I summoned all the courage left in me to go for midweek service.
Everyone was surprised, some things had changed any way but I walked up to him
after service and we talked. The fear disappeared because he spoke to me with
so much love and concern. Certain assumptions were settled too. However, I
became very limited to what I could do there. As much as I would have wanted to
serve in an amazing way, those opportunities seemed to have been prevented from
Some months later, I had to leave the city again
because of a new job. I stayed in this new city a few months trying to
understand my way around. One certain time, I decided to pay a certain assembly
a visit and from that visit, something in me convinced me that I was in the
right place, I had never felt the way I felt in a long time. I didn’t want to
bring out myself, I focused more on my job, my personal assignments but didn’t
always miss service. At some point, I wanted to join a department but being an
evangelistic person, it seemed where would really do well don’t exist. The
choir was the next preferred place but I needed something very much more
fulfilling as regards to my calling, something that would put me in the
forefront of witnessing to the un-churched.
After several months, a Pastor beckoned on me and said
he wanted us to talk. I gave him my phone number. To cut it all short, he said
to me “you don’t look normal. Whenever I look at you, I don’t see someone
who is meant to just sit in Church and listen… I see someone who has been
called out for the young people especially.” I was a bit excited in my
spirit because I have been talking to God about it. He said so many other
things that sounded truly like a revelation, things I had only kept to
myself. he wasn’t claiming he had a
revelation, he said it was just what he felt but I knew it wasn’t accidental.
God orchestrated it.
Well, after that… A lot has happened and I was drawn
back to whatever had happened the previous year and I heard a voice say “I
didn’t send you to that village to succeed, I sent you there to change certain
directions of your life and teach you from those failures. Now, you know what
it looks like and it will be easier for you now.” I got it! I had been
wondering why God sent me there and yet allowed me to fail… He had given me
the answer! He sent me to fail! In the midst of this, a young lady had come to
me saying that her mother was dying. Before she would describe what she was
going through, it was dropped in my mind that her mother was going through the
same ailment I went through at the village. I started asking her questions
about the symptoms and she affirmed to all of them. Using my experience, it was
easier for me to encourage her and tell her the simple procedures her mum would
go through and get restored. I also recommended medical checkup after her
mother has been relieved for further care. It was easy!
When God asks you to do something, sometimes don’t
assume that it would take a certain direction. Just go ahead and do what He
asked you to do and then relax! It may even end up being a failure but you have
to relax and never try figuring it out your own way. The Bible says all things
work for good to them who love God. Obedience to God’s word is one of the ways
we love God. He may decide to lead you through the valleys of shadows of death,
it doesn’t mean He has left you to yourself. He may have forseen the mistakes
you will make and even allow you to make them so that you can learn from them.
Maybe, God even asked you to do it so that you will
fail. Maybe, God never wanted you to succeed in it. Maybe, He just needed you
to have some kind of experience before leading you into the main place He wants
you to be. Sometimes, He may want to use that failure to teach you how not to
fail in a bigger assignment. No matter how people try convincing you that God
may not have been with you in that sinking ship, always remember that Jesus was
in a boat and the boat was sinking. His presence in that boat never stopped the
boat from attempting to sink. However, you can trust the Lord. If He had sent
you or given you that assignment, just trust Him to see it to the finish.
We may never understand why God had asked us to do
something at this moment but it may be clearer tomorrow. Don’t try getting the
whole picture before embarking on that journey, just start going if He asked
you to go. He will lead you through the path of peace and righteousness. It may
not look like it now, but get going and keep trusting Him.
~ George O.N
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I alighted from the bus and stood at the
junction wondering if I should board a bike home or just trek. I have been on
budget and trekking would save cost but I was also tired. When I remembered I
had spent the previous night struggling to survive the thirst for water which I
had run out from, strength came from nowhere, I determined to trek, using the
money I could have paid the bike man for a packet of sachet water. I had other
reasons to walk anyway; it helps us keep fit especially when we don’t usually
exercise in the morning. You know, when people are on a serious budget, they
start telling you how unhealthy meat and drinks are or how unchristian Christmas
and other holidays are.
After thirty minutes of walk, I had gotten very
close to my apartment when one of my neighbours walked past with a young fair
beautiful tall girl who lived few meters away from our apartment and I
overheard them discussing
“You know I love you right?” the young boy said with his aura reeking of marijuana.
“Yea I do,” the girl said and in my imagination, I saw her smile “and I love you too…” their voice had gone faintly as they walked farther down. I smiled and kept walking.
Each time I retire to my house after all the
busyness of the day, there is usually this peace I feel! My house isn’t well
furnished but my bed is one of my favourite places after a hectic day and then
my desk is the next favourite place after a short rest. Like my new custom is,
I’d come into the house, drop my bag and dash to the bathroom for some shower;
I walked into the bathroom and remembered the last moment I had with my
previous soap. I had used the soap until it got so tiny that I had to press it
into my hair, make my hair foam and use whatever comes out of my hair for the
rest of my body. “Poor soap” I sighed and went back to the room,
picked up the money and dashed out to a nearby kiosk to get myself a new soap
and use the opportunity to get a packet of drinking water too.
On stepping out of the house, the electric
indicator sounded and smiles beamed on my face as though I’ve found something
more than gold. It was electricity. We pay huge amount of money monthly for
this and we only get six hours of electricity out of twenty-four hours every
day, we have gotten so used to celebrating the incompetence of the power sector
as long as we see the bulb shine for few hours. If not for anything, it was a
very cold evening and a hot bath should not be bad after all.
I got outside again, nothing much has
changed. The sun was down already, blue sky, moist atmosphere, calm environment
with the slightly wet sands sticking against the scandals and pulling off at
each raise. Getting to the kiosk, I saw my neighbour who had seen a girl off
previously and this time he was at a corner with another neighbour who doubles
as his friend and partner in crime. He was standing, left leg on the earth and
the right leg raised on a small rock while his friend stood opposite him at
akimbo with excitement written all over his face. They were discussing, I
wasn’t paying attention, I was busy trying to make my choice of soap since I
couldn’t afford my preferred soap at that moment.
Oh well, I had picked up the soap I wanted while the little girl had gone into the major store to get me a packet of water. My eyes were fixed on their little dog who was having the best of his time, scratching his bag with one of his legs “poor dog” I smiled “what does he know?” I sighed. Suddenly it seemed like the wave brought a word across my ears, it was those guys still discussing. Maybe they increased the volume of their voices out of excitement as they were laughing now with the other guy exclaiming “Chai! You are the man!” You know me and my tendencies, anytime I hear stuff like that, I pay attention. They had succeeded in distracting me from the dog, my eyes were still fixed on the dog but my ear and mind have gone to be in their midst. I was getting the whole gist now.
Please, don’t judge me, I didn’t eavesdrop,
they were just loud without even realizing it.
“The girl cannot even cook!” The one I had met previously said. Let’s call him Ken and let’s call the other one Nek. How about that? Sounds cool? I don’t know if that name exists anywhere though.
“Which of them? Is it the average one? That came in the morning?” Nek asked, his excitement was so audible
“No! I mean the one that just left this evening. The slim one nah…” Ken laughed and continued “you can imagine the noodles she prepared for me; it got burnt while she was carried away in playing with my ears.”
“Hahahaha… These girls eeh, they will be carrying their ass around but there is nothing in them.” Nek responded. I was feeling bad already.
“The only thing is that she is very good in bed and I like how she moans when I give it to her…” Ken bragged. Oh God! I wish I had the audacity to be a bully and get away with it; he would have had a taste of my fist. Well, what was my business? Nothing! By this time, the little girl had given me the packet of water; I allowed it to rest between my legs and stood there for a while to get a little more of the gist.
“O boy eee!” Nek screamed, I heard their hands clap together meaning Nek had given him an award of a handshake as the player of the day maybe.
Ken continued “But the other one, she just knows how to clean the house. Guy, the way she arranges the house eeh, na die be that!” He paused and continued “what is my own? When they visit, I satisfy myself…. Do they have sense?”
I didn’t feel good about this; I picked the packet of water and started walking home. I walked past them and they hailed me “Baba! How far nah…” and I forced a smile with a response in Pidgin English “I dey o”
Well, for the rest of that evening, I was
thinking about all of that. I didn’t go straight to the bathroom, I walked to
my desk and sat down to let it all sink. The young lady I met with him
previously lives very close with her parents and the other ladies might also
probably live around. What exactly is wrong with these ladies? In their mind,
they have a potential husband and each one of them is doing everything possible
to present themselves as the wife-material even if it means opening up for sex
while the young man is just having fun, wasting their time and making them
subjects of public discourse.
Visiting a man, cleaning his house, washing
his clothes and cooking his meals just to win him over to propose and marry you
is just messy! Young girls should stop messing themselves up all in the pursuit
of keeping a relationship. If only you know what these guys discuss behind your
back, shame may never allow you to cross that gate again. If you have to do all
of those to be a wife, then you obviously have low self-esteem and you don’t
know your worth!
Many ladies are made to believe that once
they can cook and do all manner of things for the man, they will cage him to
themselves but that is far from the truth. With all of those sexual and kitchen
skills, if he has no value for you, he will not develop those values overnight!
Even if he ends up getting married to you, he still doesn’t have enough value
for you. Wake up and stop messing yourself up! He wants you to prove your love
by coming around, doing his dishes and laundries? When you make any mistake he
takes your case to his friends and they laugh about you and discuss you as
someone who is light brained.
Many young guys are just playing and having
what they feel is the best of their time while some young girls are out there
looking for Mr Right. Mr Player comes around in the pretence of being Mr Right
and the young girl falls for a player. After she has been messed up, the cycle
continues. Does this offend you? That is my desire! If the girls in this story
look like you or you look like them, it is a pity and you might be making the
top list on the “Most Senseless Girls of the Century.”
I have written. Come and beat me.
Bye… Pen drops.
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