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When Man Slept

May 7, 2021

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We were at the Church’s Day out
when the symptoms hit me for the
first time
The church organized a games, fun,
and mingling event at CMD complex
I was there in an official capacity with
my boss (I was his Personal Assistant)
It was supposed to be a very good day
One of those days you look forward
to
I had promised my wife and children
that I would come home to pick them
once we settle down at the event
As the PA to the pastor of the church,
I had a duty to be at the venue and
be part of the “setting up activities
We had food vendors, canopy, chairs,
and tables suppliers children
entertainment providers setting up
bouncing castles, trains, and so on
Mobile toilet suppliers, and church
volunteers to instruct and work with
in order to make the event a success
I left home very early for the venue
People started arriving at about
10 am that morning
By 11 am, the event was in full swing
It was a glorious event
I had planned to play scrabbles
(I was a two-time gold medalist at
the Nigeria Private University Games)
and chess
Suddenly I felt this searing pain in
my belly
It came with chills in my bone and
a general weakness all over
I felt seriously pressed so I ran into
one of the mobile toilets
I took off my jeans and there was
blood all over
My Jeans had been soaking in a lot
of blood seeping out of my body
I put the toilet roll to work immediately
so that i could at least feel comfortable
My wife’s HMO covered the entire family
I had my HMO card in my wallet
I told my boss’s driver that I was sick
I drove myself down to the hospital and
got myself admitted immediately
By this time, my stomach was on fire
A slow-burning, crippling, and chilling
pain that rises to climax every five
minutes and then drops a little before
repeating the cycle again
The doctor had no idea what it was
She asked me how the pain started
I tried my best to explain
She said it must be an ulcer
I said No
I was sure it wasn’t an ulcer, I can’t
even say why I was so sure
She later said she was suspecting
appendicitis because the pain
was coming from the right side of
the belly button
At another point she said it must be
a disorder, an allergy, an immune
system issue
It was a whole bag of guesses and
uncertainty
I had called my wife and told her
where I was
She arrived with a lot of energy
(If you have my wife by your side in
the time of trouble, you need not
fight again. She is an absolute
asset)
She started asking questions
Why has he not been given anything
for the pain?
I want to talk to the most superior
person here
After about fifteen minutes with my
wife, the doctor brought an injection
The syringe was full of a substance
like Mist Mag
It was shot into my veins and another
pack was given to me
I was discharged with “Once you
sleep it will calm down”
It didn’t
I drank the Mist Mag religiously,
hoping somehow that the more of it
I drank, the better I would feel
Well, it didn’t work
On Wednesday (four days after I got ill)
the stomach pain stopped
I was elated
Finally, I was normal again
I felt pressed and went to the toilet
I found myself pushing out blood
Hmmm
I went back to the hospital
I was sent off to a specialist hospital
to do a colonoscopy test
The test was done on Friday
I was told I had holes in my intestine
I was told there were five holes
I was told I needed surgery for the
holes to be plugged or I would die
within a short time
(They told me six months)
My options were to get the surgery
done in Nigeria for about 3 million
Naira or to travel to India and get
it done for a cost of 13 million Naira
(Those were the conservative estimates)
I didn’t have 30,000 Naira in my account
Ideas started coming up from all over
Appeal to friends and family
Use my wife’s TV personality status
as a platform to solicit for funds and
get some public emotional appeal
Write to the church I was working with
(It is a rich church and they will most
likely give me some support)
Crowdfunding or corporate begging
It was a problem well beyond my
human ability and I had to gridgingly
conclude that I needed God’s help
It was funny how i was willing to
depend on doctors when I thought
the illness was minor and how
quickly I decided I had to depend
on God when I realized the sickness
was major
It was unreal, almost pathetic
Moving from “I can do this by myself”
to ” God, please do this for me”
It made me feel like one of those
who were serving a god of the gaps!
A god who is useful only when they
get to problems or questions that
they cannot provide solutions or
answers to for themselves
So they fill that gap with god
because they dont have a better
answer
That was not the faith I was born
into by the Holy Spirit in 2007
I knew who I have believed
I knew the power that was at work
in me
I had seen crazy miracles happening
all around me and through me since
I was 27
This was happening to me when I was
36
Life had somehow happened in between
I had settled down into marriage and
providing for my family the natural way
I had put God and my supernatural
abilities aside
I had faced reality
Though i was still attending church
it had become more of a formality
I wasn’t even ministering again
I was doing administrative work and
i was getting paid for it
I tell myself i was working for God
but i was actually working for Naira
I had practically lost my way
My faith had gone belly up
My confession was weak and weary
I was on the Christianity autopilot
Keeping up appearances and all
I couldn’t even to stop the pity party
the sickness dragged me into
I know i needed help but it was not
help to raise funds
Even if I was really going to die, it
is a pathetic thing to die like a
faithless dog
I should make my exit with boldness,
with my head raised high and my
voice booming and echoing of life
and the reality the Holy Spirit at work
in me
I will not die with my head drooping
like a mango fruit hanging from a tree
I am strong and bold and able
My spirit is not sick and my soul is
not weary
I am confident that God is able to
rescue my body from the hole it had
dug itself into but even if God didn’t,
I am still not godless!
My status in Christ remains unchanged,
my reality is unsullied, I am full of
eternal life and I cannot be broken by
some holes in my intestine
I stirred up my spirit so much that my
entire body began to tingle with the
pulsating power of the Holy Spirit
The doctor had advised that I must
be eating a lot of beans and vegetables
In fact, she ordered it
No sugar and no carbohydrate of any kind
She said the beans have enough
carbohydrate to help me in that season
I had to stop wearing a waist belt
It was hell tightening one
I had to settle for suspenders
I disliked beans naturally but I learned
to love it
Ewa Iganyin, (a special beans delicacy)
became my favourite meal
I refused to carry the weight of the
sickness in my spirit
I was playful, jovial, happy, enthusiastic
and joyful
The only challenge I had was sitting for
a long time, driving for a long time, not
eating on time, and occasional pain
that would hit me from the core of
my being and leave me doubling over
in pain
What’s that compared to the joy of
the Lord that is bubbling through my
spirit every day
I cried but only in my flesh
The pain was actually excruciating
Most times I talk orlaugh at myself
I will say “Gbenga, you’re stronger
than this, stop being such a
namby-pamby”
I was determined that if I was going
to go out, I will not go out like a wimp
I have every right to determine the
course of my life and how my story
ends
I refuse to be remembered as a broken
and weary soul
I have the life of God in me
Sickness will not rob me of my dignity
Every night, I will read the scriptures
out loud, pray in tongues for one hour
(Sometimes i will be so stirred that I
won’t be able to sit)
I will be pacing and roaring
(Not making noise outwardly and
disturbing everybody) but
making a lot of hullabaloo in my spirit
A stirred spirit is a joyful habitation
I’d find myself waking up sometimes
in the middle of the night only to
discover I had slept off on the chair
or in my sitting room while
fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit
I didn’t beg for my healing
I was not afraid of death
I have never been afraid of anything or
anyone since I gave my life to Christ
It was the pain I hated
I didn’t like being uncomfortable, so I
was fine as long as I was not feeling
the discomfort
My spirit was ebullient too, contagiously so
I started ministering to the sick and weary in
the weekly fellowship of a teens church
close to my office
The intensity of my fellowship with the
Holy Spirit left me with so much energy
and light that I cannot keep all to myself
I changed churches too
The church where I was a PA was not
allowing me the room to fulfill my
ministry
I started attending another church where
I was allowed to teach Sunday School
and minister on weekdays
One day, while I was preparing to minister
on a Tuesday
(I was in my office, preparing for the
service)
I came across this verse of the scripture
1 John 4:4
It says “Little Children, you are from God
and has overcome them, for He who is
in you is greater than he who is in the
world”
I personalized it and started saying it
over and over
“I am from God and I have
overcome for greater is He that is
in me, than He that is in the world”
I began to apply it to my teaching,
trying to make my hearers see that
whatever challenge they are facing
at that moment was nothing!
And it struck me
Greater is He that is in me!
Greater is the One in my Spirit!
Greater is the Word of God in my
bones!
Greater is the one in my flesh
Greater is the one in my intestines
Greater is the one who I hail from
Greater is the eternal life that I
received when I gave my life to Jesus
Greater is the Holy Spirit that came
upon me than the Human Spirit I
received from my parents
The Greater one lives in me
Hallelujah!”
I was so stirred by this reality
I got to church and set the whole
atmosphere on fire
We prayed in tongues and declared
Him to be greater
Something happened in that service
that day
Two ladies who had been waiting on
the Lord for the fruit of the womb
got pregnant a few days later
I wasn’t sure if that was the day I
was healed but I was healed!
A few Saturdays later, I was going
to church for Sunday School preview
when my wife shouted “Honey, why
are you wearing a belt?
Wow.
I had worn the same jeans I wore to
work the previous day
I had worn a belt instinctively the
previous day without feeling any
pain
I was wearing a belt again that afternoon
It was well tightened and I felt no pain
or discomfort
That was how the whole sickness saga
ended
I never went back to the hospital to
confirm anything
The blood thing and pain thing stopped
The beans thing ended
I was healed
I have been healthy for over five years
Greater is He that is in me”
Hallelujah

PS: I learned to live from my Spirit
from that period
I do not live from the flesh or from
the Human Spirit
I live from the Holy Spirit
I dwell in Him and my entire being
is made alive by Him
I did not make the mistake of
allowing life to happen to me
again
The Holy Spirit is the one who sets
the agenda of my life
He orders my step and my life is
wholly lived in Him
Hallelujah

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