This name I bear

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we have been called Christians, our every action must show that.

Hello Lovely Family, it is with sober hearts that we bring this reflection. We have prayed and we believe that God will open the hearts of our minds so that we can take a good look at our lives, see the areas that scream for improvement and with honor live up to the name we bear. 

 I am ashamed to call myself a Christian. For it is an honor to bear the name Christian, yet I have smeared it with my sin. I have stained it with my guilt and I keep my head down in shame. How can my lips profess one thing and my hands do another? How can I with the same lips call you Lord and master yet an insult is never far off. I who should seek to your will is filled with the desire to please others, my heart lusts after another.I move one step forward, I pull back a thousand steps. Something keeps pulling me back and I struggle against the tides. I know you would tell me to go with the flow. But I would like to ask: what’s the flow?
This flow that makes me question myself, this flow that leaves me bereft of words, this flow that feels akin to my person.

 My Instagram bio has Christ lover, Daughter of God, Man of God, Kingdom child, the same goes for my twitter handle. I flaunt it so proudly, scream it loud. Yes, the world must know that I am I a Christian even though my lifestyle says otherwise.I profess my love for you,like an alabaster jab filled with oil, I continuously pour words of libation on the altar of my love for you. I never get tired of letting others know that I am a Christian, yet my life is in shambles. You are so far away I tell myself,these ones are closer, I can see them.

This desire to please others consume me. I shake it off only to feel it come back in a different form. I love one whom I can’t see, and I ought to please Him. But there are so many others who I see and feel that I shouldn’t have to lose them. Remember that you cannot love God whom you have not seen if you do not love your neighbors. I lie Lord!Twisted your words to please myself, to assuage the guilt I feel.For you are Love, for it is the love of you in us that prompts us to love another.

I am stuck fighting a war that I feel like I am losing, this war is worse than the world wars combined. It’s a war in my spirit, a war for dominance – total dominance. One person must win for within me there is space for only one Being. One Being who would have total control.
I must have Faith and what does Faith demand- total submission to the will of another. You see I like to tell myself that I have faith, you know that mustard seed kind but I am gradually loosing that Faith.
The world is gradually pulling me into its arms, it holds me fair and seduces me with promises of beauty. But then what is beauty? When my soul is raw from pain. What is beauty when I am ashamed to look within. What is beauty when I can barely recognize me. You see I try and I fall, and I am tired. My arms are covered in bruises, I want to lay where I have fallen.

I have become a two-faced liar, I should have said two-faced Christian but the sacredness of that name, the weight of the responsibility that the name brings is one I have not borne for a long while. In church I sing Oh how I love you Lord, you see that’s my favourite song. I love you Lord, I think I know what Love is. I think I do love you, but the truth is I do not love you as I ought to and I do not love you enough, for you do not hurt the one you love. The desires of the one you love are supposed to be topmost in the mind of the one who loves but this is not true for me. Your commands to sum it up are this: “Love of God and love of man.” For if I love you, I will keep your words, I would not make for myself another god, money and its pursuits, the desires of the flesh and others would not be my god. I would hold your words in high regard and not profane them. If I loved you as I professed, I would honour my parents, not covet another’s properties.

I remember the words of the psalmists in Psalms 51:3 “…my sins are always before me…” I tell myself that I am not that bad. I am in church every Sunday, I give my tithes and try to keep your words. Defending my every action, no time to take stock and look at my life and see areas that need to be checked and worked on. I constantly make the sacrifice on the cross a sham and continuously send you to Calvary. I look now and see that Calvary was and is the greatest act of love. To give up one’s self for sinners, the sinless one dying in place of those condemned to death.

You offer me salvation and love; this journey you have called me is one filled with obstacles, but your grace is enough. Your love is a shield around me. Even when I feel like giving up, I see your grace.
You let me know that all my efforts are not in vain. You let me see myself through your eyes- an imperfect child of a perfect God. I am amazed that you care. You know that passage Psalm 8:4 that says who is man that you should care,mortal man that you are mindful of him. That’s how I feel, you are aware of every single step that I take, every single tear that I shed, every mistake that I make. You see the often not-so- sincere attempts at repentance. I am scared that I would leave earth without your love. I do not want to be afraid, I do not want fear to be the guiding force, I want love so deep, so pure to compel me to serve you.

Remember whose you are, Return to me says the Father, I stand and knock at the door of your heart, and I offer you Redemption so that you might Rejoice in me and that one day our Reunion in heaven may be all that you have dreamed of this side of heaven.

This name that you bear isone that I have called you by, I call you Child, you are mine, I knit you inyour mother’s womb, I have known you since the beginning of time. You are mybeloved, loved just as if you were the only one that existed. Christian, Christ-like,following the path of Christ is your mission, bear that name with honor andlive up to your name.

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The Story of One Man retold—concluding part

Hello lovely Family. We trust that you have anticipated the concluding part of the story as much as we have and we loved writing it too. We are so s no spoilers). We always hope that our posts inspire you to do better and live right with God. Now dig in. 

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Was I ever going to beat cancer?

Was this how my life was going to end?

The tumor was growing instead of shrinking. The doctor said they needed to increase the dosage of Divalproex because of the seizure I had experienced. I also needed to be admitted in the hospital for observation and intensive chemotherapy. How much worse could life get?

I go to use the restroom and I get a look at myself in the mirror and I am shocked at what I see, sunken eyes, gaunt cheeks and I looked like a shadow of myself. The chemotherapy had turned me bald and still the tumor showed no sign of reducing. Three weeks later, I was still in the hospital thankfully my blood pressure had reduced, and I had not had another seizure.

The doctor came in one morning and said I needed another MRI scan to determine the size of the tumor. This was the third MRI scan I had done. The results were as I feared, the tumor was not shrinking, and I needed a kidney transplant and brain surgery immediately. The total cost of the operations ran into hundreds of millions of Naira as I needed to have the operations in India plus there was the cost of rehabilitation. The liver infection had been treated so I had something to be thankful for.

The scheduled date for travel was in a month’s time and all I needed to do was continue dialysis, radiation therapy, conserve my energy and raise the funds. I had prayed and prayed and still it did not look my miracle was forthcoming. So many times, I felt like giving up, I wished death would take me. God can’t you hear me? Why won’t you heal me? I have faithfully served you and kept your commandments. Why do I have to be besieged by this illness? Why has all my life’s efforts gone to waste.

My friends came to the hospital to see me three weeks before I was supposed to travel. I had just finished another radiation session and was drifting in and out of consciousness. “Why would you sell all your properties joy?” I faintly hear my childhood friend speak with quiet displeasure “do you honestly think he can survive this? I really doubt” Jide another friend speaks, and I can hear my wife sobbing. I open my eyes faintly and see two of my friends and my older brother looking serious. I was about to attempt a greeting when I heard my brother speak “I always told him to renounce that his white God. I blame my father for allowing him to live in the white man’s land. This their gentle God cannot do anything for him and I doubt any would. The best thing is for him to perform his maturity rites to our deities, renounce this white God so that when he dies the ancestors can receive him with open arms. “I see my friends nodding in agreement, for the first time ever I see my wife helpless and confused. These guys had given up. They already were planning my demise. What hope did I have? I thought they were Christians, we all worshiped in the same church and they were all elders in the church. Had suffering and trials caused them to turn their backs on God or did I not know their true selves. These people knew my position! Why would they do this to me I think angrily. I raise my left hand. It took a while for them to notice me during their dubious planning. My wife rushes to my side and I signal for pen and paper on which I wrote these words that changed it all “I WILL NEVER RENOUNCE MY GOD, FOR HE IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD” I press the bell for the nurse and ask to be left alone.

I sigh and close my eyes. I think of all I’ve been through; the thought came again “why me? Why?” and then I heard His voice quiet, yet firm and clear “why not you?” did I hear right I mused and heard it again “why not you? You are not the first and won’t be the last. Even I bore my cross, I bore it for you. So that even if you pass through trials and tribulations here on earth, even if your heart is broken and you lose all on earth, you may gain all in my father’s kingdom. There’s one thing more important than all these, and it’s reigning with me in my kingdom” as tears stroll down my face I hear what sounds like a sigh, followed by these words “I know the thoughts i have for you, they are of peace and not of evil. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers you from them all” I feel a sense of deep peace and drift to sleep.

My wife sold the properties and with few of our closest friends contributing we were able to raise the funds needed. We went for the surgeries in the India, with all that was left to my name, my wife, a dash of hope and the resignation that my life was in God’s hands for Him to do with it as He pleased. Was I scared? Definitely! Did I have worries? Yes, but there was a peace in my heart that God had me.

The operation was successful, but I was in coma for 4 weeks post-op. My wife apparently had to be admitted too as the whole stress had taken a toll on her health. The carer became the one being cared for. Whilst unconscious I had an experience I would never forget. I saw myself at what looked like a court…I saw the fiercest looking judge ever. He was shining bright and couldn’t be looked at. I saw a beautiful but wicked looking man, he was the accusing attorney. On the right side of the judge was another bright shining man. I saw him come to me in the dork I was in. He held my hands, He called my name, and smile at me. He took me to the front of the judge and I heard Him say “I died for him, I was crucified for him, I died that he may live. Father!” Father! Father! OMG! I thought as it dawned on me “Father, he is pure, without transgression. He is clean and we’ve all (stretching his hands to capture the accuser) seen that there is no iniquity in him, so it is time father, it is enough. The accuser has had enough” I hear the beautiful wicked lawyer try to speak but he was cut short. I heard the judge speak, His voice none could dare interrupt. But I hear the love in them, telling me He is proud of me and that though weeping had endured for a night, my morning has come.

I wake with a start and feel energized like I did in my twenties, I asked for my wife and was taken to her and she had recovered too. The doctor asked us to rest and take some tests. I knew the results will come out clean, but we go anyways. I told my wife my experience and she was amazed.

The doctor comes to check us the following day, stating all we already knew with even more dazing news. Our health couldn’t have been better…But my wife, my wife was pregnant! I know you are wondering how she got pregnant, that’s God for you. She had been pregnant all along without us knowing. I think I know when this happened, some weeks before I had the seizure that sent me to the hospital, but we never expected anything to happen as she was already in her menopause. Nothing could take away the joy of that news we were going to be parents again. How?! Oh God!! Oh God!! I find myself in awe of his works.

We went back to Nigeria, and the management of my company decided to compensate us for the jobs we lost. Surprisingly my boss had started his own company and decided to make me a partner. I could hardly believe that all of these were happening at the same time. I got everything I lost in multiple folds. My wife, ah yes, my darling wife put to bed and had quadruplet. Of all the ways God could have chosen to bless, the miracle of new life was the best of all. I am grateful for all I have experienced and thankful for his manifold blessings. The rest of my life has just started and the best is still to come.

 

I know you have been wondering who I am. My name is Job. Thanks for coming along with me on this journey and here are the lessons I have picked up from this season of trails.

 

  • God knows everything we go through. He is ever aware and because He does not give us an immediate response does not mean he is unaware.
  • In the face of adversities trust God. No matter what life throws at you, no matter the challenges, trust that God will see you through and He will rescue you. It is easy to trust when things are going on well but learn to trust God even when problems abound.
  • Seek to find out what God is teaching us in whatever season of our lives we find ourselves in. He might be teaching us humility, seeking to draw us to himself in prayer. So instead of asking God why me, ask what am I supposed to learn from this.
  • Bad things happen to good people and although friends may fail us God never fails.
  • Our trails can make us bitter and hardened or it can make us better and dependent on God. Which will yours do for you?
  • God limits the trials? He will not give you a test that is more than your ability to bear it.
  • Ultimately, God is in charge!

 

If there are other lessons you have learnt, please drop them in the comment section.

Also, if there are other bible characters you would like us to remodel their life stories, please let us know also in the comment section.

Stay tuned with us until next week. Do follow us on all our social media platforms @Godlywomenarising. God bless you all. Don’t forget to share, like, comment and subscribe and tell a friend to tell a friend.

 

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