Much more than me (Guest post 1)


“Jeeeeesus, help me.” I bawled.

The doctor took one long look at me and resumed her procedure as though oblivious to my pain. The catheter she fed into the vein below my  elbow plunged me into intense agony. It hurt like nothing I had ever experienced before. This was a deep-vein intravenous and not the usual one on the wrist. Short of yelling the place down, I was in super turmoil as she yanked the catheter out again. She poked and prodded looking for a good vein and I sang yee o with every jolt of pain. Modesty was not required at this time; I just had to give vent to my discomfort.

It took an excruciating thirty minutes of threading needles through my delicate skin before we finally had a breakthrough. Did I breathe a sigh of relief? Not yet. It was just the beginning of the journey and it was too late to back out. Had I known it would hurt this much, I might have delayed the procedure and worked harder at getting divine healing; painlessly. But then this procedure was needful and urgently too.

If the Lord revealed every hurdle, pain or valley we’d pass through before time, many of us might think twice about going on with Him. However, God in His infinite wisdom reveals the glory to come so that it would cushion us against thoughts of hopelessness when we momentarily swing through the valley.

Catheter in place, surgical gown donned and final prayer mumbled, I took the short steps down the hallway to the white room. Lying on the cold hard table, I stared at the ceiling refusing to admire or even acknowledge the little gadgets displayed for butchery. My heart thumped wildly. Scenarios of life bombarded my thoughts, pretty much like ‘my life flashing slowly, slowly before my eyes’. And you know the all-important question people often ask when they’re in this kind of situation, ‘Will I die?’

The question I asked was, ‘Lord, did I not reckon myself healed?’ I was desperate to know if all my confessions, prayers, study and stance of faith were not enough to qualify me for a miracle because I saw myself healed. Here’s a quick reminder of how faith works:  Faith is energized by a good grasp of God’s word, an absolute trust in God that translates to immediate action. Just as the scripture:

‘If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this Mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the root and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Luke 17:6.

The Lord didn’t give me an answer so I went ahead to remind Him of His many promises and why I shouldn’t, wasn’t ready to cross to the other side.

A couple of hours later, I was back in the recovery room under heavy sedation. When I finally came to, I screamed the place down. The anesthesia had worn off and my body recoiled at the intense pain. The tender care of the nurses who bathed me every day and the doctors who oversaw my recovery propelled me to appreciate and thank God for good doctors, equipment, nurses, environment and just everything I could comprehend at the time.

Having surgery didn’t negate my faith. God could have used any method at all to heal me. The issue was for me to trust Him. Remember when Jesus mixed saliva with dust to make mud to heal a blind man? We would say that was crude but it worked didn’t it? The next day, I got the depressing news that I would have to go back for more surgery; something else was wrong.

Like most people, I had hoped for the boom-type healing where I would later stand on the pulpit and recount how God’s awesome power zipped through my body in an instant. However, in reality what I needed was reconstructive surgery.  I had faith for the diagnosed symptoms but was unaware of the other life threatening issues at stake so my faith couldn’t have worked without medical intervention. That’s why doctors are a blessing. When I finally understood what was really wrong with me, it was easy to ask, speak and apply God’s word to the remaining two procedures which were like a walk in the park.

On my second visit to the white room, by which time I had become accustomed to the not so glorious scenery; I said a short prayer, not asking for anything, no discussion, just a ‘thank you, Lord for life’ when I heard the Lord spoke.

“Daughter, I am taking you through this route in spite of yourself, in spite of your faith. Through this you can appreciate others in pain, encourage and help them trust me in their situations. This is not about you; it’s about me, my plans and my purpose.”

 

‘What!’ This isn’t about me? I can’t even feel sorry for myself and gather pity party for what I’m going through? I ruminated. The pain and agony I’d been through and the earth-shattering news that I had a life-threatening issue that required swift surgery isn’t about me?

Moments later, the anesthesia engulfed me in a deep sleep. I was discharged with full instructions on how to care for myself for the next six weeks. The doctor warned that I may never fully recover and there was a likelihood of recurrence in a very short while. Determined to go beyond the doctor’s report, although I took labored steps, I attempted things I was physically incapable of. I let God’s word take full control as I spoke and claimed healing and health. Within four weeks I was back on my feet, resumed work, got a very positive report during the third check-up and up till recent times.

You see, this was not just about faith and divine healing because all along it wasn’t about me. There was a bigger picture than my little situation that God was interested in. Not that my pain didn’t matter to Him; it did, more than I’ll ever understand.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities…” Heb 4:15.

I’ve had the luxury of instant healings in the past and that could easily put me in a position to judge people who are unable to fully grasp His word for healing or even discourage those who truly need medical intervention. Healing is not always instantaneous and constructive miracles are not as common. Besides, if we cannot aptly apply the word of God to combat a common cold or headache, we certainly cannot for a tumor or cancer.

But the real issue here is that even if I had enough faith to be healed without medical intervention, God chose to override it. Sometimes we get so complacent with God’s blessings we take it for granted. We get out of school with honors, get a sterling job and fabulous pay with trips abroad, get married, pop out two or three kids, our bodies are fit and healthy and everything is just honky-dory.

Now the question is: If God were to ruffle our cute little existence with a series of impossibilities would we still serve Him?  

Could a season of lack, for instance, compromise your integrity? Imagine praising God on an empty stomach and no hope of breaking your circumstance-imposed fast. Some of us need a season of lack to fully appreciate giving. Our triumph over trials (“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:3) could be the only unspoken sermon someone would need to receive Christ and get into God’s kingdom. “You are our epistles written in our hearts, known and read by all men.” 2 Cor 3:2

But let’s hear it from a man whose life is such an epistle:

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Cor 12:7-12

Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’ had nothing to do with his lack of faith. It had everything to do with God’s infinite purpose. If God means business with you, He will ruffle your feathers till He squeezes every ounce of flesh out of you and remold you to be EVERYTHING He created you to be and steer you in the direction of your destiny.

I then began to understand the reasons behind ‘some’ not all of my adversities because ‘many are the afflictions of the righteous’. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying every sickness, infirmity or adversity comes because God has a higher purpose. God does not get any glory in sicknesses, diseases or self-inflicted adversity.

Our lives are not solely about us. How dare we live as if we’re all that matters. You, me, us, we might be the only opportunity someone may need to meet the Saviour. We might be the one God wants to use to deliver an individual, a family or a nation. It is only what we do for God that counts for eternity and that’s why it gives me great pleasure to know that there’s profit in my pain. And really, it’s an honor to be used by God in anyway He deems fit.

So my question to you is: ‘Are you too busy minding your business, living your life for you such that you can’t be bothered about others? Or can God count on you to be His instrument of salvation? Will you permit Him to use you to show the world what real compassion is when He puts you in the shoes of those in need of compassion? Will you permit Him to show you what giving is really all about when you gaze at the cross and see the ultimate giving in action?

If so, get ready because like a tornado, He’s going to rip through your life. But remember that AFTER EVERY CROSS AND THORN THERE’S A CROWN AND THERE’S A GLORY.

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 1 Cor 9:25

Now you have a choice, you can choose.

P.S:  Olusola is a wife, mother and a God lover. I will be featuring her posts for the month. She blogs at http://www.histiara.com. Please check her out. She’s got the Word for the season

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lara Daniels
    May 27, 2011 @ 15:53:45

    Amazing..amazing testimony! Waoh! Thank God for his mercies, his goodness and his uncountable ways of meeting our needs and solving our problems. You can’t put God in a box ever. He is infinite and he through us, he shows what he can do.

    As a nurse, I have often batted heads with pastors who believe that there is only way to healing, which is, the BOOM type of healing as Shola mentioned here. But I always share with them Elisha’s reply to Naaman to go bathe in the River Jordan. Only God knows the healing properties that were in that River, that God placed in there, mind you. I also share with them the testimony of Christ’s mud rubbing on the blind man. Scientists will soon be discovering the healing properties in that mud – by God’s grace, and then we’ll use it to cure all the blind men in the world. The bible says that the things hidden is for the Glory of God, and the things revealed is for the Glory of man…that God may be glorified in us. God is awesome…so amazing that he created all these things for the healing of our bodies…and all of them were created through his Word, mind you…so if it is used to cure us, then his Word is actually what healed us. In order words, we did get the BOOM healing, just not in the way we thought we would.

    Thank you so much Tolu for sharing Shola’s story and I hope it blesses many people who are looking up to God for something but have not yet recieved because they keep putting him in a box.

    Reply

    • maidofheart
      Jun 06, 2011 @ 10:30:54

      Wow! Lara, you just shared some nuggets. Through these stories of Naaman and the rest, God was trying to give us a sense of the healing properties of things around us, things that He created. And man keeps discovering many more that God hid in different places. And you’re right, there is not one way to healing. God could use any method. The issue is to place our trust in Him as the healer. I can imagine that as a nurse, you would see the foolishness in a lot of decisions made in the name of faith. I took me a while to figure it out too as I wanted the ‘Boom’ type of healing. I pray God opens our eyes and gives us wisdom.

      Reply

    • maidofheart
      Jun 06, 2011 @ 10:32:21

      Again, thank you Lara for your response.

      Reply

  2. Tolulope Ilesanmi
    May 27, 2011 @ 18:10:06

    Beautiful. Beautiful post. I love this question, “If God were to ruffle our cute little existence with a series of impossibilities would we still serve Him?” It is an all important question.

    I had a situation at work one day, shortly before my wedding. I was informed that I would not be promoted and I really needed the promotion. Like a spoiled child, I was upset until God asked me, “Does God become good when good things happen to you or is God good all the time?” I realized that God is as good when I am passing through the wilderness as when my world is as I want it to be.

    One of my cornerstone scriptures is Hab3:17-19. What keeps us going is not the good “things” happening but the fact that “the Lord God is my strength…” Everything else may change for the worse but my strength remains. The amplified rendition of it is so beautiful that I would like to reproduce it here:

    Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls,

    18Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation!

    19The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

    I doubt if we have started to know God until we can rejoice in Him even when there is no earthly reason to rejoice.

    I also love the point about God having a purpose that transcends me. I think everything that happens to us goes beyond us and goes beyond our time, to future generations.

    Beautiful post, as usual.

    Reply

    • Rachael
      Jun 01, 2011 @ 00:59:41

      Hab. 3:19–There is a beautiful book written based upon this verse. It’s called Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard.

      Reply

    • maidofheart
      Jun 06, 2011 @ 10:44:40

      Tolulope,

      You nailed it with your response…God is good no matter what.
      Amazingly, the scripture you shared brought some things to light, things that had turned into questions I’ve been asking myself not about God’s faithfulness to me but about my faithfulness to God.

      You so aptly put it here: ‘I doubt if we have started to know God until we can rejoice in Him even when there is no earthly reason to rejoice.’

      That’s where God wants us to be in that place of perpetual rejoicing.

      Like you said, ‘God having a purpose that transcends me’ is what this article is all about. Thank you, Tolulope.

      Reply

  3. Omonaikee
    May 28, 2011 @ 19:07:19

    God moves in our lives in different ways for his own purpose and it’s an adventure being in relationship with him. thank u for sharing yours !

    Reply

    • maidofheart
      Jun 06, 2011 @ 10:46:38

      Omonaike,

      It certainly is an adventure being in a relationship with God and everyone’s situation is different and tailor-made. I appreciate your response.

      Reply

  4. Jaycee
    May 31, 2011 @ 00:17:48

    Wow.

    Reply

  5. Buky of Bukville
    Jun 01, 2011 @ 15:34:40

    Maid of Heart. What a great post, what an amazing writer you are.

    “If God were to ruffle our cute little existence with a series of impossibilities would we still serve Him?

    Yes, absolutely Yes. Thru life trials I have seen God show up just when I’d given up. First comes the trial then the victory thru Christ.

    2 Cor 4:17 – For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;

    Thank you once again

    Reply

    • maidofheart
      Jun 06, 2011 @ 10:50:08

      Thank you, Buky, for the kind compliment. God is amazingly faithful isn’t He? He always shows up at the right time. I love love the scripture you shared. It just sums up the entire article.

      Reply

  6. Adetutu Adesoji philip
    Jun 01, 2011 @ 15:36:29

    In any case, we must seek to be like Jesus. He was moved with compassion in may occasions in the scriptures so also we to our immediate environment.

    Reply

  7. maidofheart
    Jun 06, 2011 @ 10:56:46

    Yes, Adetutu. That’s what we should be; people of compassion. We daily strive to be like Jesus.

    Reply

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