Written by Fruitful E. John
His countenance changed as He repeated the last words over and over again. His once bright face gradually became sober. I didn’t know how I knew but I just knew – It was painful for Him to have said those words, He meant them.
“I can spend time investing on a man, but when He decides to waste my investments, I will surely replace him.” He said again, this time the words sunk deep into my soul.
“Men will hate you. Men will misunderstand you. Men will throw stones at you. You will be humiliated. But you have a choice – to choose between pleasing me and pleasing men.”
As soon as he released those words, all I could think of was Martin Luther and how he suffered persecution in his church.
“Yes! Your fireproofed church will be the first…” He said. He clearly had an insight into my thoughts. And ‘fireproof’? that was the second time He would be referring to my church that way.
“…then your family. Its going to be a pruning process for you.”
I didn’t want to get emotional before the Lord, yet it happened. Mists formed in my eyes and I let them out as tears. But for the supernatural hands that kept my legs straightened, I would have fallen.
How could I? How could I ever stand in the shoes of Martin Luther? The way Robert Liardon explained it was too horrible an experience to go through. How could I, a young lady of twenty-one stand been declared an heretic by my own spiritual leaders? How could I stand been misunderstood by my own parents? What becomes of my education? Was I about to become a fanatic in the eyes of men? Would I ever get married?
These and many more raced through my mind. I looked up with my mouth opened to complain, just like Moses did when He was sent to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt. A look at his eyeballs and I saw my selfishness. What if Jesus hadn’t died?
“Lord! This doesn’t look easy.” I finally managed to say.
“You have my Spirit. He is all you’ll ever need. Engage Him.” He replied, His voice gradually fading into silence.
Few minutes before I opened my eyes, I felt fear – the fear of disappointing Him. Then gradually the fear fizzled out as I kept hearing His last words – ‘you have my Spirit.’
When I finally opened my eyes? Oh such joy! It was the joy of discovering God’s mandate for your life.
By the time I came to myself, it was broad day light.
“Jesus!” I shouted as I caught a glimpse of the clock. It was 7:00AM on a Sunday morning. I really wished I could have solid time for my devotion. I couldn’t. Service starts by 7:30AM and the last thing that could happen to me was to go a minute late to church whether I had a function or not. That was one of the consecrations I had made to the Lord.
I jumped into the bathroom with songs of praises in my mouth as I took my bath and prayed simultaneously.
“Emma… Emma…” I shouted as I passed by our small sitting room, waking my kid brother from sleep. He must had slept off on the three-seater chair over the night.
I walked over to mum and dad’s bedroom and knocked. “Is no one going to church today?” I asked and walked off. I wasn’t expecting any answer in particular. It wasn’t a big deal. My family was not the church type. Only once in a while do we ever get to go to church as a family.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I drifted in and out of consciousness for the umpteenth time. Ordinarily, I would have placed my head on the chair in front of me and enjoyed the sleep like I always did. But I couldn’t. I looked up and my eyes met Sister Lydia’s. She smiled. She must have caught me sleeping. Her smiles made me resolute to fight the sleep again.
“Be ye holy for I am holy…” Pastor Timothy continued in his monotonous voice. Accompanied by sluggishness and unnecessary repetitions, his sermon was always a sleeping pill.
I looked over to the elders’ seat and was disgusted. Virtually five out of seven elders were either sleeping or fighting really hard to stay awake. I caught a glimpse of my dad behind the pulpit and was not surprised. The only time he could be awake during a sermon was when the sermon was just starting or about rounding up.
I searched with my eyes and found my mum in the children corner. She was playing with this cute two year old girl, her bible and her jotter widely opened on her laps.
The lady beside me dropped her head on my shoulder and shook with fright. Her pen and jotter fell off. She opened her eyes mildly and I saw how ashamed she looked. In no time, she was back to her dozing again.
…to be continued…
“Will you not revive us again: that your people may rejoice in you?” – Psalm 85:6.