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Goodnews Missions Relationship Salvation

THE INVALUABLE LOSS

I know of a woman who deals in gold. She sources for them and sells them. We call her Iya.

Iya goes through so many processes before she gets to the point of sale for her gold chains. Her account game is top-notch. She cares for her gold like she would her children because she knows she was giving value to her customers.

One morning, as she walked around her store taking stock, she noticed one of her gold chains was missing. She instructed her shop assistants to make a clean sweep of the store. They swept and searched multiple times that day with no gold chain to show for it. As she sat looking at her shop assistants attend to customers, she could not take her mind off the gold chain. She got up and swept the store again by herself this time but the gold chain remained missing.

Her shop assistants kept looking at her like she was a mystery. They could not stop whispering. It is only a gold chain, one said. This store is filled with thousands of gold jewelry and she’s bothering herself with one tiny piece of gold, another said. They could not hide their surprise. They kept looking at her with so much surprise. Anytime she implores them to sweep or search again, they did grudgingly because they expected her to let it be. The gold chain is missing and that’s it. That should be the least of Iya’s worries.

Every day when Iya resumes at the store, she would ask if they perchance saw the gold chain. She wondered if they are even helping to look for it. Her shop assistants could not understand why a gold chain should bother her that much.

After thirty days of searching, Iya found her gold chain beside the bin. Her joy knew no bounds. She gathered all her friends and neighbors, throwing a party – sumptuous meals were the order of the day.

Iya screamed repeatedly at the top of her voice, “come and celebrate with me, I had lost my precious gold chain, but now I have found it” 

This was Iya’s response every time something went missing, and she found it in the most unlikely places, another time it was her brooch, after one year she found it where her husband kept his carpentry materials. The most beautiful materials were continuously found in places where they had no business being. Iya never failed to throw a party! Her reaction never shook, the same steady joy and love at finding those things again.

This is Lord’s reaction to soul winning.

The question is, are we like the shop assistants? Are we working with the Lord to ensure all lost souls come back to him?

This is one way you can bring joy to the Lord. How well are you doing this? 

Categories
Goodnews Relationship The Gospel

THE ONE TRUE FRIEND

Have you ever felt tired of being a Christian?
A little bit fed up with people, and just really hungry to show people that you are not stupid?
Extremely fed up with being taken for granted?

This one is for you. I write this with you in mind.


I used to be a hard guy. Like a straight-up hard guy. There was nothing that would have made me extend grace. Nothing would have made me use silence like a sword to those that stepped on my toes. I mean if you are trying to see what I can do, I might as well show you.


I also would like for you, my darling reader, to remember that I was a Christian too. I ticked all the boxes.


Church – Checked
Tithes – Checked
Everything, every single thing was checked.

But then, I started to get cautions from the Holy Spirit. But before I unwrap all that I am now, I must tell you how I got here.


It was a Monday. The normal hustle and bustle, a day as stressful as Nigeria. I was tired, with a sprinkle of frustration. Right on the verge of snapping but not quite there yet. All I wanted to do was smother my bed and pillow with tears.


I rarely socialized. It was always me, my journals, and my tears.


As I settled into my room, I picked up my book and began to write. Tears dropping on each page, the ink of my pen mixing with my tears, as I wrote;


Dear God,
It has been a while but be rest assured that these tests didn’t take a break.
I am tired of all I have to do, and I am wary of this void that runs deep.
I want to want you more than I do,
And I want this hole filled.
My heart is tired and my soul is shattered.


The human relationship test can be hard. Knowing what you can do in response to a hurt but getting cautioned not to can be hard. Hard to the soul. It can hurt so much you will begin to feel abandoned and like you do not count.


Before I could get to the bone of this hurt, on how I felt abandoned- I heard something. It is transient. What initially sounded like a suggestion became an affirmation.


‘I love you’, that was what I heard.
‘Can you not feel me?’
‘I’m always here’ ‘stop running’ ‘focus on me’.

Repeatedly, not once and not twice. It lulled me to sleep with its warmth and strength. Those words are a blanket to my tiredness and the treasure of a warm cup of tea, on a rainy day.


It was all I needed. It has carried me through a plethora of storms and had grounded me on days that try me. It has been ye and amen for me. The words of the Father. It has helped me caution my reaction – acting only as the Father, my friend who see my hurts, will have me.


The best part of all of this love and this friendship that makes other friendships better is the availability for all.

Even when my fellow man tries me or hurts me, I am confident about the friendship I have with Father. The one friendship my soul truly needs.


The omnipresence; for all and at all times.
You can have it too. Talk to the Father. He is waiting.

Categories
Goodnews Relationship Salvation The Gospel

TO BE IN PERFECT PEACE

“I will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in me”- Isiah 26:3


To be in perfect peace. I feel the need to analyze this scripture- but instead, I will tell you a story.


Toyin was a Jesus girl, everything about her was Godly- like everyone else she probably had struggles, but we didn’t see them. She was always in church and had a steadfast smile on her face.

Toyin was like an extension of God. She always had a compliment to give. Best believe that was not all she gave. Toyin was my roommate and had the above scripture written on a sticky note and pasted on her wall. Every morning before she left the hostel she would recite it- and I used to wonder why.

To me she was peace on legs, why did she need the reminder?


It was Wednesday and we had a test, Toyin is a law student – we both are. After this test, we came back to our rooms and she’s had so many missed calls. She calls back, and the news is tragic, both her parents had died in an accident.

She screamed once. This was her only reaction. She, then, turns to her scripture and says it repeatedly. This was how she slept through that unfortunate Wednesday.

However, as days passed she kept whispering these words that are most likely to a random person, letters- but to her promises.


I know you are wondering if we ever spoke about it. Yes, we did, 2 months later when she was back to herself – well almost. She still cried herself to sleep every night.


This was how the conversation went:


OG: Toyin, how can you be so happy? God just took the people who loved you most on earth away. How are you still living?


Toyin: OG, God will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in Him. I want you to understand that just because I say these promises, I didn’t question God or I wasn’t angry with him, does not mean I don’t feel the intensity of what happened. Death is contrary to everything He has promised, but me staying angry with God, will mean to question his love. OG, what has happened doesn’t change the fact that the Father loves me recklessly, or that I will trust him with my future.

These words are reminders to me, and each time doubt crawls in, I am reminded of the perfect peace that I have, once I trust Jesus.
Perfect peace comes by acknowledging the ugly parts of this world and knowing that my mind will remain intact through it all.


Perfect peace is the wing of a dove, called trust.
Perfect peace is going to bed knowing that you will most likely fall, but Abba would not let you fall.
Perfect peace is still trusting God when our plans do not work.
I say it every day, to remind myself to trust God- because OG, who else will die for me?


Hey you! This story is fiction- but it was the only way to explain this scripture. I want you to know bad things will happen, even when you carry Jesus on your head, bad things will still happen. Proverbs 24:10 is an assurance that trying times will come but we have the Prince of Peace by our side all the time. He is always there and ready to help. Ready to still the turbulence and give you peace even as you walk through the fire and great waters.


This is me reminding myself, and reminding you to trust God. Live in perfect peace, and like the lyrics say- Jireh you are enough. So, if all you have is God, you will still be happy, content, and in peace.

Categories
Missions Missions Salvation The Gospel

THE FATHER’S BRIDE

I

I have always wanted a grand wedding.

Flowers and light.

An event that was pure bliss, nothing more and nothing less.

I have always wanted grand gestures and public affection. A love that was not shy and ashamed.

I have always been a giver; you can be sure I wanted a giver too.

I wanted all of these things, and a list of another million – I got them and lost them.

The greatest of all that I have lost is time.

The time I wasted sinking in undeserving thoughts and rejecting all of the love that was being offered to me. For the years I stayed looking for things that I would not even accept if they were given to me, it was like a treasure hunt. Looking for what you would not use because of the thoughts that you were not good enough.

I stayed longing for things I wasn’t ready for. It was tragic.

WAS

I have always known God too. The type of knowing where you walk across the street from someone that is really a stranger but you shout a ‘Hi’ with excitement that has no root. That is how I knew God. That is what it was, surface-level knowledge. I popped in when I was drenched in needs and disappeared when satisfaction was my stench. I don’t know why and I don’t know how but this relationship might have as well been called complacency.

This was me. Screaming from the rooftops that God was good and not really knowing God’s goodness. Testifying of his love, and not accepting his love. Talking of his mercies and not understanding his mercy. I was the opposite of everything I said. No vulnerability.

AM

I don’t know whether to say I found God, or he found me. I like to think he wooed me.

He gave me sixty and six love letters, each one explaining why I am deserving of his love.  A bundle of reasons why guilt should be non-existent. He used Paul to show me how significant I was to him no matter what I had done, and David to explain that nothing I had ever done was too much for him to forgive.

He showed me Esther, the kind of confidence that comes with his love, and Hosea the selflessness of his love. Lot to show his goodness and Joseph to show that he was all I needed.

I was convinced that with this love, there was no betrayal. He was honest and he wouldn’t let me down.

AND NOW

Standing here, owning that I am fearfully and wonderfully made- regal in a way that drapes and satin cannot make me. Confident and sure of eternity with my lover. He starts his vows;

Whispering to me, his voice dressed with strength. Each word clear- without confusion;

“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I have proved my passionate love for you, by dying in your place. I am a safe place of shelter. I’ll never stop believing in the best for you”.

“When you fail to love me back, I will not be defeated. I’ll never give up on you. There is nothing that will separate you from my love, this love will triumph”.

“Our love is perfect and drives away all guilt. Yesterday does not matter, I still love you I want my love to continually nourish your heart.”

“These are my promises”.

With tears in my eyes- not tears of unbelief but of gratitude, that I am known fully and loved just as much, we share a warm embrace.

This wedding beat my wildest imaginations, best believe.