Ilumination

Finding The Way

January 21, 2024

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She didn’t understand why she had to leave one completely to embrace the other one completely

Why the extremism? Why couldn’t she not embrace both and turn to both whenever she needed whichever was appropriate for her to worship at any given moment?

She was born into the blacksmith compound

The blacksmith’s family worshipped the god of Iron

It was the tradition and the accepted way of the ancestors from time immemorial

Her father had a friend from another compound and they became drinking buddies as teenagers and their friendship gradually grew into a very strong bond over the years

This friend came from another compound in their village where they practised farming as a religion and an occupation

They were known as worshippers of the god of fertility and farming and they were quite successful too

Her father’s friend had a son, her father had a daughter eight years later, both parents decided to seal their friendship by marrying off the children to each other

It was an acceptable practice and the marriage deal was brokered when she turned two years old

Her mother, who sold Kola nut as a trader started drumming it in her ears when she was old enough to hawk kola nut in the village not to hawk through the street and compound of her betrothed so that she would not become “common” in his eyes

Her father’s friend embraced Christianity somehow

It was a strange new religion which many accepted at the time simply because they wanted to please the white man

Her father’s friend had always been progressive in his thinking and open to new knowledge Religion requires that one should be gullible enough to follow instructions without investigating if the instructions are true or not

Religion requires that an individual will take the word of others for it and never think things through for themselves

Her father was a devout worshipper of the god of iron

He never asked questions, he just followed in the footsteps and practices of his forefathers

His friend however was open to new knowledge, had always admired the white man and his ways, and jumped at the first good thing the white man offered in terms of education and religion

Her father found this ridiculous but since it didn’t affect their friendship directly, her father tolerated it

Soon she was old enough to get married but on the weekend before the day of her wedding, her father died

It was the first untimely death in her family in a very long while and many believe it was because her father was beginning to get influenced by the white man’s ways too

Her marriage was postponed by a year that season so that enough time would be given for his mourning and the sacrifices that the family had to make to prevent a recurrence of another early death

When she got married into her father’s friend’s family, she discovered that it was divided through the middle

It was her father’s friend’s first wife (her mother-in-law) who was a Christian, all her children were Christians too, including her husband

The second wife was still an ardent worshipper of the god of farming while the man himself worshipped both the white man’s God and the god of farming

He had his two wives before embracing the white man’s way

His first wife took to the way so quickly that she was quickly appointed the woman leader of the local Baptist church

Her mother-in-law told her about Jesus and the wonders of His name

She knew she had to be diplomatic and obedient

She got married into a compound, not to only her husband, but she needed to fit in so she gave her life to Christ and continued to make sacrifices to the god of thunder by the side

She didn’t think either of the gods would complain because all she had to do was to give to each whatever they required of her to please them and they too would give to her whatever she needed to live a good life

She could neither read nor write but the Bible was opened to Psalm 90 and placed under her pillow to help her deal with the nightmares she was having as a newlywed, it worked because the nightmares disappeared

Whenever she was hawking or going to buy her goods in the farmsteads, she boarded vehicles made of iron and she felt safe and protected because she knew her god of iron was with her Why make her choose either?

That was her dilemma Her husband insisted on it

He forbade her from bringing the priests of her father’s idol to their compound and from having any form of association with them

She needed them to consult for her from time to time and had to resort to sneaking to see them whenever she needed their guidance

Her husband was totally devoted to the Christian God in a manner she found unhealthy

She was independent of the idols until she needed something from them to help make her life better

He was immersed fully into the worship of His God to the extent that it changed him totally from the man she married into another kind of man whose thinking and speech became strange

She admired her husband for it because it made him very wise to the point where kings and leaders of their community would come to him for counsel and insight on decision-making relating to their community and even their personal lives

He became a sort of sage whose wisdom was proven to be divine

She didn’t do badly for herself too in business

She was the most successful businesswoman in the village at a very early age

She combined her mother’s business with that of her mother-in-law and somehow operated at the kind of scale that had never been seen before in that community

She was convinced her idols helped her become the business icon she turned out to be

She and her husband served in the King’s council as chiefs

He for his wisdom and she for her business acumen

Yet they could barely tolerate each other as a couple

He did his husbandly duty to her and she produced children for him but that was all the bond they shared

He saw her and her pagan way as an embarrassment to his Christian faith and enlightened ways She saw him as a traitor who left the ways of his father for the ways of a stranger

She was pregnant seven times and she delivered eight children including a set of twins-four of those children lived

Her husband and his educated folks trained three of the children

She fought very hard before she was able to train one of them so that she could preserve her way of thinking through him

That move ended her marriage to her husband

Her audacious move to sneak the third son out of the house and send him to her older brother in another state for training without consulting her husband made him ask her never to prepare his meals or come to his bed again

She took the separation well, built her own house next door to her husband’s family house, and moved there within a year

Until her husband’s death, she lived there and had very limited contact with him

Now she is in her 90’s unable to move as quickly as she once did

Her living children had all become pastors and they were begging her to leave her idol and embrace Jesus alone as her Lord and Saviour

She didn’t understand why she had to choose

She would rather let things be and follow the path that had worked for her all her life

Nothing anyone told her or asked her to do was able to change her mind

She had chosen her path and her children had chosen theirs, she didn’t begrudge them for departing from her ways

She just wanted to be left alone to live the rest of her life in peace

A few weeks after her ninety-fifth birthday, she began to feel a terrible pain in her chest

The pain was so bad that she would be screaming like a baby whenever it held her

Everybody felt she was about to die but she knew she was as healthy as a horse and not about to die

She asked to be taken to the hospital

When she got there, she was admitted for observation

Two days after she was admitted, the GSWMI Christian Social Responsibility team went to the hospital to minister to the sick and share welfare materials to the needy

They prayed for everybody in her ward and left

She saw them leaving, led out of the hospital ward by a matron

Then she saw another set of ministers walk into the hospital ward

This time, these ministers were wearing a strange shinning and burning cloth wrapped around their bodies like bandages

They ministered to all the people in her ward but nobody came to her bedside

She was in serious pain and there was a tube in her mouth with which the doctors were drawing out the contents of her stomach but she saw that all the other people being prayed for by these people had a strange aura all about them after the prayers that seemed to have a very positive effect on them

She tried hard to get them to notice her and pray for her

She couldn’t and a strange sadness washed over her

Then she saw another set of beings come into the room

These ones were putting the hands and legs of some of the people in the room in shackles and flogging them out of the room like slaves

Unfortunately, she found herself pulled out of bed, shackled both in her hands and feet and commanded to start moving as she felt the welt of the whip on her back

This was at the point when she woke up from her dream

It was so real

She did not even know she had drifted off to sleep

She pondered in her heart what she saw and what it meant

She was afraid she might die and then find out this was her last warning, an attempt by God to warn her that there is life after death and her obstinacy might be leading her into a dungeon after death

She sent for the matron

When the matron arrived, she asked to speak with one of the GSWMI CSR team members who had come to pray in the hospital earlier

The matron made the phone call

A member of the team returned to her hospital ward that same day to minister to her

She gave her life to Jesus and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit

The next day she shared the news with her children and her grandchildren

She was discharged from the hospital a few days later and given a clean bill of health

Five months later, on January 7, 2024, She saw in the evening, one of those glorious beings with light wrap round attires that looked like bandages walk into her room to minister to her by laying hands on her head

She felt flushed with indescribable joy and a strange freedom in her body

She called her son and daughter who came to her house immediately after their church service to spend time with her and told them it was time to go home

She blessed them, smiled as she saw the glory ahead, and slept in the Lord.

It was a glorious exit.

PS: Sometimes we carry on doing the assignment God has given unto us in obedience without really knowing the impact such is having immediately apart from the obvious

We went to Eket in one of the later months of last year

We went to minister at the hospital after the Gathering

I remember being so tired that when I was told there was a plan to visit a resort centre, I just told everybody I was going to sleep

I didn’t expect to get such a glorious message several months later

I am blessing the name of the Lord for such a privilege to be a part of His plans to bring salvation to the whole world

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Thank you, Jesus

We are yours forever Amen.

 

-GSW-

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