GOD’S LOVING KINDNESS TOWARDS ME
(I know how to abase and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learnt both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me) – Philippians 4:12-13
I want to testify about what God has done for me and the classes He started taking me through two months ago. I know I still have more to learn but I thank God that I have been taking my classes well, and I know I’ll keep on passing them.
He has been teaching me how to trust Him. God has made me understand that He does not need my input before He does what He wants for me. Before my dad lost his job, it was easy for me to get money whenever I wanted. I never lacked because money always came my way. However, after he lost his job, everything turned around and things became hard.
Before I came to God’s Lighthouse, I had friends I could always go to for help. However, nothing went for anything. I would always have to mingle with them and do the bad things they did. God helped me sever the relationship I had with those bad friends. This has made me learn to look up to God alone. I had gotten tired of calling home because they would tell me that there was no money. Most times I could not get the things I needed urgently.
Earlier this year, I had only one pair of shoes. It was the kind of shoes that should have been worn only on special occasions. But I wore it every day. I would wear it to our Law Students Annual Dinner year after year. I woke up one morning and asked God for new shoes. After the prayer, I went about my morning duties. While I was sweeping, less than two minutes after the prayer, my neighbor brought out a new pair of shoes he had never worn. He said he did not need them as the dress code for his department did not include corporate (formal) shoes. I told him I did not have money to buy it. He gave me the shoes for free. I was so happy and thanked God for answered prayers.
Before the May Retreat we had, I was broke (financially down) and needed money to buy clothes and inner wears because the ones I had were old and looked worn out. I asked God for money to buy new ones. Although I had some money, I could not use it to buy those things. I had to keep it for feeding, transport to church and offering. So I decided to just trust God for those things.
Two days before the retreat one of my Lagos friends came back to Akwa Ibom state. He was staying with his aunty. He came over to visit me and noticed how dry my house was looking. He asked why, I told him things were not too buoyant with me. He said he would see what he could do about it. The next day, I went to clean the hall we were to use for the retreat. He called me to ask for the keys to my house. I described where the keys were.
When I got home from cleaning the hall, I almost could not recognize my house anymore. It was filled with so many foodstuffs. In fact, there were some that I would not have bought for myself at all generally. Then I saw another bag that had 3 boxers and 2 singlets in it. When I saw this I was so emotional and my eyes nearly watered. It was amazing. I had asked for God for only one pair and He provided more. I really want to thank God for His goodness.
Last month, I didn’t have money but was looking up to God. Previously, I had friends I could call for help. I was sure that they would not disappoint me. However, recently whenever I asked them for help, they would all disappoint me. Some would tell me not to come to their houses or they would just not show up. With these, God taught me that He does not need my input before He provides for me.
One day, the Holy Spirit had already told me He would provide dinner for me through my neighbour. It almost looked impossible because when I got home, his house looked like it was locked. I thought he was not around so I went to my house to take off my clothes. Just then, my neighbor, Emmanuel came knocking at my door to inform me he had just cooked and invited me to eat.
Lastly, I had called my mom to ask for money recently, she complained there was none. So I decided to call my uncle who had been helping me whenever I was in need. My mom instructed me not to call one of my dad’s brothers. She said the man liked people begging him a lot before he could send me money. She said if he wanted to send money to me, it should be of his freewill. So, I called another of my uncles I had in mind but his phone was switched off. I needed money that day to photocopy past questions to help me study for my upcoming examinations. While I was wondering what to do, the Holy Spirit told me to go and give the materials at the photocopy centre. I was wondering how I would do so without money to pay for them. But then I obeyed and did so. Then my phone rang and my uncle called, the one my mom had earlier told me not to call. He told me he was sorry and was at the bank trying to send me money I hadn’t asked him for. He promised I would get credit alert in no time which I did.
I have learnt that I can always trust God even when I do not have it at all together. When the Pastor told us of how He had asked God for money in passing and God gave him money above what he had expected, I could totally relate because I had experienced these things myself.
Persecution from Friends: I Count it all Joy!
I want to thank God that I have been able to experience persecution for His sake. After the retreat, I felt if no one would slap me or point a gun at me for Jesus’ sake, I have not faced persecution. Then, my friends actually started mocking and reviling me. I initially did not feel it. But yesterday, after I had finished the paper I had for my examination that day, on my way home, a colleague joined I and my friend to board a tricycle (keke). I had invited him to church once.
He turned to me and said that I looked dry and unhealthy. I told him I had stayed awake all night studying for the examination. He told me to shut up and then he said it was the church I had started coming to that has drained me. He also said I was carrying this “church thing” on my head as if it was only me that wanted to make heaven. The other guy just kept quiet though he was listening. It got to me in a way. However, I woke up this morning with the Scripture, Philippians 1:29 on my mind. The Holy Spirit reminded me of what the guy had said. I know I love God and He loves me too, but the test to show your love is that you suffer persecution for His sake. He reminded me that it’s not just to believe in Him alone, but to also suffer for Him. I told Him I was happy to suffer for Him. I was happy that it is a sign that people know that I have made up my mind for Him.
He told me that I have not been thanking Him for the minor persecutions I have been passing through. Before, I used to live in the library. I would get materials and share them to my course mates. It is quite different now I have to give God my time a lot. My course mates would have study materials and not share them with me. When I ask, they would tell me I am a pastor and they would not give me. They would laugh me to scorn. Recently I started joining them to laugh because nothing could steal my joy.
While writing examinations, I never used to ask for lots of extra sheets before. But this time, even when I have not prepared well for the examinations, I would collect extra sheets. God is just so faithful. One evening, my brethren and I had made plans to go for night class to read for the examination we had the next day. But they could not make it so I ended up coming out to class at night alone. I read as much as I could until I decided I would not kill myself. So I slept with the intention to wake up later in the night. Then I had a dream where I and my brethren were reading a particular topic “Character Evidence”. When I woke up, it was 2:30 a.m. I needed someone to read with. So the Holy Spirit led me to meet someone. She told me she had not read and needed a reading partner. I told her that I needed to read with someone too. So we read the topic together, it was even the girl who taught me since she had read it before.
The next day, I was to write exam in that course. When I saw that particular topic as a question, I answered it with extra sheets. I just want to thank God and I trust that He who began the good work in our lives is faithful enough to complete it. So, even in ten years’ time, He will help us keep burning for Him.