Pilgrim’s Progress: Lessons from my hiatus

by Akan Nweke

For over a week now, I have been ill.

A case of upper respiratory infection with some fever left me sore and brow beaten. Just when I was getting into the antibiotic dose, I turned round and felt my son burning up. And then I just snapped; I couldn’t keep getting tossed around like that. I lifted up my eyes to heaven and cried out, “Oh Lord, heal this child for me” and I think the angels must have echoed Amen. By morning he was completely healed and running about the place. God’s word is still true; he still heals.

Psychologically too, the devil has been playing tricks on my mind. Whispers of things like, “Just give up, why do you really think people are living the way they are; it’s because it is hard to follow this your God”

Feelings of depression from overwhelming commitments, work, career, finances, family conspired to provide a new meaning to Elijah, Job and Jesus’s experience.

For with Elijah, after being overwhelmed because of Jezebel’s threat to annihilate him, he cried out to God and said, “It is enough, now, Oh Lord, take away my life”….. (1st Kings 19: 4b)

And Job, who was a man who feared God and eschewed evil was stripped of his robust hedge and he, stricken with boils and a shadow of his former self, sat in ashes, scraping said boils with a potsherd, the picture of utter dejection and uttered the words in Job 17: 1

“My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me”

And finally Jesus, the Saviour of our souls ( I love that appellation; it speaks to me) when it neared the time of his death cried on the cross with the nails in his flesh and  blood dripping down his forehead, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

It must have really felt that way;  a separation from the Father is tough.  It was something that had not happened before. I felt that way too.  A feeling of being forsaken. Do you feel that way sometimes?

God help those people who in their time of distress do not have good friends and family around. You can really just do anything at that point. I thank God for my best friend who spoke just some commonsense words that prevented my slipping up and giving in to the devil’s lies.

What kind of people surround you? It could make the difference between making your destiny or marring  it.

And then there is the other matter of what goes into your gates; eyes and ears. I subscribe to a great number of internet news sites and blogs and it is amazing to say the least the vast number of humanistic views being bandied around. Apart from a stark disregard for all things godly, there also seems to be a wave of narcissism where promoting self over others seems to be the order of the day.

And I just had an epiphany lately, “Akan, the moment you begin to think you deserve something more than someone else, you’re going to hurt them”

And that’s a rule. Politicians in power, once ridden of their sense of entitlement to public funds would cease to help themselves to it.  Young people would see that running away from the mandate to serve and the opportunity to build a legacy for the future because of an occupation with ‘all things personal’ is ‘hurting’ the world.

It is important to be well convinced in your belief and value system before a period of adversity comes because you are surely going to need to draw on the strength of character you’ve built over the years.

What character are you building now? Does it occur to you that all the bad leaders we have now were once young people? What did they do when they were young? All those who help themselves to public funds and misuse public office were once university students, college graduates, young professionals etc.

There are too many influences waiting to swallow up the man without a vision and a plan to build character. It won’t be hard to see then why and how they fall when it matters most. You must protect yourself now!

These are the things I’ve learnt during this time of convalescing. I hope you’ve been motivated to move on. I’ll be with you next week and hopefully I won’t have any more long spells of absences. Bless!

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