Monday, September 27, 2010

A Treasure Taken Away

A metaphor. For the purpose of sparing my beloved readers the gory details, I have used this metaphor. If you really want the details, feel free to drop me an email at with your age :-)
My coat of many colors was my prized possession. It was all I had. I could flaunt it and I could boast about it. I treasured it. What was unique about it was that all the patches of materials that made up this coat were joined together with one thread from the beginning to the end of the pieces that were put together. The end of the thread was somewhere on my neck which I tied in a beautiful bow tie. I wore this coat everyday.

There was someone who for many years had been interested in this coat of mine. I did not waste time to let him know how precious it was to me. But one day, as I was strolling home, he told me he had a message for my sister which he left at his place. He asked that I join him to pick it up. Unsuspectingly, I followed him. It was when I got to his place that I saw the sinister look on his face. With just one rough tug at my bow tie, not only did my coat come apart, all the pieces loosened, leaving me naked and ashamed. He gave me N80 (equivalent to 40cents) and told me to get a new dress. But nothing compared to my coat of many colors.

As I walked about in my birthday suit, it took many years to let go of the pain and shame, and to forgive. Until I came to God, I was living in bitterness. But then my loving Father assured me that He will send me someone who will mend the clothes and protectively cover me. God, who keeps His promises, did as He said.
There are many females walking the streets today who have been victims of rape. I do not want to go into statistics because in certain societies, this is not reported or taken seriously legally. Whether she was a virgin or not, as long as what a woman valued was taken forcefully from her, she is left with a scar. Some are so hurt they promise never to come near men – they are scarred for life. Some may even become lesbians. Some decide to sweep it under the carpet and move on with life probably under the deception that it is a rite of passage. Some are full of revenge and decide to take it out on every other man – they close their heart but open their legs, forgetting that they hurt themselves only. Some get married but cannot understand why they do not derive pleasure from being with their husbands. You will be amazed to know how few are the prostitutes who have not been raped. As for age range, let’s not go there.

This post is specific to 2 sets of people.

One set are those women who are still living with the scars of the rape. It might be emotional, physical or mental. It might be an unforgiveness you are carrying in your heart because of the consequences. Your Loving Father wants your body to be indeed His temple. He wants to cleanse you of this hurt and pain. If you have swept it under your carpet and moved on with your life, lift up your carpet. Your Loving Father wants to heal you completely. Go to Him and open your heart to Him today.

The second set are those men who are living with the guilt of what they had done in the past. Your Loving Father has forgiven you even before you asked. You need to forgive yourself. You may have been pondering on how “close” she was to you and how “grave” what you did is, but do not let the enemy rob you of the joy associated with the grace and forgiveness of God.

Let me stop here, this post is making me sober. Have a blessed week y'all...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Speaking of Reserves

Drained of My Reserve

It’s been I while I did blog rounds or responded to comments on my blog – and it might be so for a while. As I carried myself into the house that 11pm, exhausted and drained of my reserve, I slumped on the bed and asked God “why?”. I followed up with murmurings and complaining about how hectic and demanding my job had been. But before I drifted off to sleep, I recalled that only 2 weeks ago I was on bended knees committing my work into His hands. I prayed for opened doors, opportunities, and for moments to bring out the workaholic in me. I realized that He had answered my prayers, yet I was complaining. I pondered on how much this job has been a blessing to me. Then I flashed back to six yrs ago when I prayed for this job and He gave it to me on a platter of gold.
Most of the things I have complained about were once categorized as blessings to me. They were once prayer requests. Sometimes we go to God in prayer, and forget that we must be prepared for what we are requesting for.
Now I have quit complaining and I am thanking God for the strength He has given me to face the demanding times, for the wisdom He has given me to overcome challenges, for the creativity He has put in me to add value to the system, and more importantly for answering my prayers.

How far can we go on reserve?

For those who live at the Lekki/Ajah axis of Lagos and have to shuttle to and from that area everyday will understand the apprehension of the driver when he said, “my fuel is on reserve, can it take us to VI?” I had a knowing deep down that we will get to VI with enough fuel to take him to the filling station the company uses. He asked me why I was so sure, and I shared an experience with him which I am sharing with you today.

My mother and I left the wedding ceremony and started our journey back home which was 25km away. We were halfway on our journey when she noticed the fuel was on reserve. I asked her if it was a problem. She said no. She assured me that since we did not have traffic jams, it would be a smooth ride home and she can always fill up her tank.

About 10km towards home, we approached a traffic jam. This was unusual. I could not understand why it had to happen on the day the fuel was on reserve. There was a very bad, marshy spot that was getting most cars stuck hence the traffic jam. People waited for their turns to find a safe place to pass through. Our car was a Mercedes Benz 200 (1982 model) and before the car should quit, it should give 3 warnings on the “R” sign. We had already seen the first one as we left the wedding. While waiting for our turn, we saw the 2nd warning. We could only be hopeful.

After about 20 minutes, we were able to move. Then we saw the 3rd and final warning on the dashboard. We knew we had to move fast otherwise, we would be stuck in that unknown place. But as we moved, we fell into the bad, marshy spot and there we were struggling to get out until the fuel finally finished. There was no help from anywhere because around us were frustrated, angry people all trying to get to their destinations. Stuck in the mud, I told my mother that there was nothing we could do except pray. In my mind I hope a motorcycle would pass by and we could ask the rider to bring us some fuel. Or some good Samaritan would come and help us push the car or give us fuel. I thought of all the options through which God would come through for us, but none of them worked out.
When the road had cleared and as dusk began to draw nigh, my mother attempted to start the car. As she did so, the car started as if there was nothing wrong with it. The car moved out of the bad marshy spot as if it was plain ground. We thought the car would jerk to a corner, but no - the car took us straight home. You cannot imagine the joy and excitement my mother and I shared as the car moved with ease. We could not thank God enough.

When I told the driver that the car could take us, I did not respond because I had a knowledge of how cars work. My response was based on a knowledge of what God can do. When it seems we cannot go on, when it seems we have exhausted all our options, or when it seems we have reached a dead end, that is when we see His manifestation - right on time. He works in such a way that you cannot dispute who is at work. He does it His own way – His ways are perfect. Those miracles and testimonies that God gives us, when we think on them, they are to act as faith boosters, especially in times when we doubt if He is really with us or what He can do.

And prayer works!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The One Behind The Scenes

The interview lasted less than 10 minutes. It all started well with information about me, my undergraduate project, and why I wanted to be part of the program. When it got to the question “when did you finish your NYSC?” I was quiet. I was not expecting it and I had no proof to back up the lie that almost escaped my lips. “I am still on it,” I muttered in fear.
“You have not finished your military service?” the French man in the panel asked.
“I have only 3 months to go and most of it is during the festive period,” I tried to defend myself.

Their body language told me a lot. Some shook their head. Some kept a stern face. The greatest disappointment came when I looked at my Prof. He looked powerless. No one was on my side.

I was dismissed and soon after I left the interview hall to begin my journey back to Delta State where I was undergoing my NYSC. Though I was greatly disappointed, I tried to look at the brighter side. If I missed this opportunity to be a pioneer student of this Master’s Program, I could join my mates in walking from company to company, dropping my CV and hopefully be called for an aptitude test that would lead to a job. I tried to be a bit optimistic though I worried about the money, time and effort I had put into being accepted for this program.

To avoid further pain, I removed my mind from the program and made the most of my last few days in Otu-Jeremi, Ughelli South, Delta State. I remained passionate about my anti-female circumcision campaign, organizing quiz competitions between schools and enjoying the company of my wonderful roommates and Otu-Jeremi students. One day as we were strolling to get our meals, my trium (which had my contacts so I often carried it out with me in the event we stumble upon the landline that could call “outside”) beeped. I had just received a text from my sister which read, “You have one week to confirm your acceptance at the Institute otherwise your position will be given to someone on the waitlist”. I looked at the date of the text. It was sent 5 days earlier. That meant I had 2 days left to confirm my acceptance. That to me remains a miracle because there was no GSM service in Otu-Jeremi at that time.

It was years later I learnt that the panel had to sit a couple of times to debate whether or not I would be taken. I also learnt that because they agreed to accept me, it gave room for others who were also rounding up NYSC to be part of the program. This concession only existed in my own time. I cannot count the blessings that have resulted in my life just because I attended that program that time.

Today as I reflect on the goodness of God, I realize that God is always working behind the scenes on our behalf. He is the one who makes a way where there seems to be no way. He is the one who has the heart of kings in His hands, and He turns it wherever He pleases.

He can open doors for you which no man can shut. For your sake He can make man-made rules to be bent. For your sake He can do a new thing. Just because of you, He can inspire one to create new drugs or treatment procedures for your healing. For your sake, He can take you to a place you never imagined could bring you restoration. For your sake He can turn what was once your shame and fear to a blessing. And He who surrounds you with favour as a shield, can make His favour so shine upon you that even others will be blessed and will benefit from His favour upon you.

Beloved, you do not need to defend your situation neither do you have to worry about how God will realize His promise to you. His plans for you are only good and He is working everything together for your good, working behind the scenes on your behalf. He is the one that will fight for you. Be still and trust in Him.

Related Post: Serve In Warri?

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Legend of the Kolar Gold Fields

The Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) constitute the second deepest mines in the world. There are a couple of legends associated with the discovery of gold in KGF, but I would like to share the one documented in Wikipedia. It comes as folktales in the mouth of some old villages.

Hundreds of years ago when the Chera dynasty ruled the south of India, a poor Shepherd (Kuruba Gowda) was walking in this region and a very violent wind blew to raise the dust from the callous dry ground of this hilly rock region. Unable to see anything the Shepherd tumbled on a rock and when the dust settled down the Shepherd found a treasure lying in front of eyes, the treasure was huge enough to make him a king. The Kuruba Gowda then named his kingdom as Kolar.

According to this legend, it was a storm that led to the discovery of the gold mines. There are many people who can testify that after passing through a very stormy time in their life, they discovered something precious. It could be the priceless mines of the unfailing love of God. It could be the indescribable grace and faithfulness of God. It could be the simple yet profound knowledge that indeed there is God.

Some things that are most precious to us today have come to us through “storms”. Periods of trials have taken many to a life of spiritual greatness and personal revelation of who God is. Difficulties challenge our energy and our perseverance but bring the strongest qualities of the soul to life. These storms that many pass through are catalysts to our faith and holy service.

This message is specific to someone going through an unexpected, unimaginable and prolonging storm in his/her life. You have so many questions, and doubts as to who you really are as a child of God. Beloved, what lies ahead of you is more than a gold mine, though you cannot see it yet. The dust of pain and sorrow will settle to usher in rest and restoration. And when you remember this storm, you will not remember it for the pain you passed through, but for the joy it brought you for yourself and in Christ Jesus. You will also be amazed at how what almost made you give up will be an inspiration to someone else.

In that day you will proclaim, “This is my God! I trusted in Him, and He saved me! This is the Lord, in whom I trusted. Let me rejoice in the salvation He brings!” [Personalized NLT version of Isaiah 25:9]

None that wait on God shall be ashamed [Psalm 25:3].

Disclaimer: The legend has no proof; it just comes as folk tales in the mouth of some old villagers. Souce: The Legend of the Kolar Gold Fields.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

God Let Me Show You How To Fulfill Your Promise

When I had the dream that implied Mr. Rita will be my husband, I could not wait to see that dream come to pass. I did not ask the Giver of the dream to show me how it will be or how I could prepare for the promise ahead. When 6 months into the relationship Mr. Rita he had not said anything, I decided to show God how to fulfill His promise by introducing sex into the relationship.

Many ladies feel that sex is the way to a get a man. If you want a damn good man, passionate about God, I tell you, sex is not the way. It will only make him see you as cheap, and with time you will become “see finish”. You lose the essence of courtship and your judgment will be clouded.

What is now a source of bonding in our marriage was the same thing that made us grow apart in our relationship. He was not happy that all his "efforts" to be a godly man had suddenly shattered. He was no longer growing spiritually. Each time after we had been together, we both felt guilty. I felt frustrated that after giving myself to him, he was not discussing anything about marriage. Infact, he began to have more females flocking around him who seemed they could help him in his situation. All our efforts to stop was not working – maybe for a day or two, and we were back to square one. In such a situation, you will feel so guilty to even pray or go to church. We have many Christians today, including those holding positions in church, who are sinking deep in sin and cannot do anything about it.

Lots of things happened that led us to get help from our Pastor. Restoring sexual purity is not something you do by your power and might – you need the grace of God and you need someone you can be accountable to. I remember her words, “God is more interested in your soul than your service”. She wanted me to understand the price Jesus Christ had paid for my salvation, and not take the grace of God for granted. She told me to stay away from Mr. Rita if I was serious about regaining sexual purity. I disobeyed and did not tell Mr. Rita. When she found out, she sent for him and told him not to ever communicate with me again – no texts, phone calls, emails, flash, visit, etc. Being a man who was serious about his salvation, from the church office he called me and told me the news and said goodbye. And that was it. No more Mr. Rita.

I cried. I was heart-broken and everything around me suffered. I doubted God. I resisted being a Christian for a while. Then I stumbled upon the scripture, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame…” [Hebrews 12:2]. As I meditated on it, I realized that Jesus Christ endured betrayal, brutality, pain, and shame just for me. What then was fixing my eyes on Him and learning how to close my legs before marriage compared to what He went through on the cross (even if it was only me on earth, He would still have gone to the cross)? Then I began my journey of getting to know Him (February 2007 – 1 yr plus after the dream).

Six months of not seeing Mr. Rita and focusing on God, His word, and Church, helped me to grow as a Christian and help in shaping me into who I am today. When finally I saw Mr. Rita, and he had not married someone else, we started courting. This time doing it the right way. I learnt how to have fun with a man without involving sex. It is beautiful. I developed the best relationship ever with the opposite sex. I saw the innate beauty and handsomeness in this child of God whom I call my king. Six months later, Mr. Rita had indicated interest in spending the rest of his life with me. If a man is able to keep himself sexually pure during courtship, endure waiting for the evolution of a woman, that man will be easy to trust and will think twice before defiling his bed.

When I reflect, I laugh. 2 years went by because I wanted to show God how to fulfill His promise. When God has promised something, it will come to pass. But He does not need our “help”. Trying to help God only leads to disappointments, delays, pain, and sometimes, losing the dream. God is self-sufficient – He is God all by Himself and does not need our “help” to realize what He has promised. He needs us to simply obey His instructions and follow His leading. If you are at a point where you are waiting and it seems nothing is happening, ask Him what you should do and be ready to obey.

And the greatest shocker for me was when Mr. Rita told me that the sex was not his reason for marrying me. He said sex can be got from any woman and anywhere. He was looking for more and if he did not find what he wanted in a wife in me, he would not have married me. My unmarried sisters, please take note. Don’t give yourself for free.

Don’t try to show God how to fulfill His promise for you. He that promised is able and faithful.