I’m very honored to introduce you to a writer friend I met on Twitter. His name is A. Chinonso Igwegbe and I know you will appreciate his heart as much as I do. Isn’t it amazing how the Body of Christ knows no bounds … how our spirits connect through the love of God? I love that. I pray that you will open your heart to receive an encouraging word from Chinonso about not giving up because deliverance will come.
To what extent could things get in your life before you stop trusting God?
He was a Nigerian missionary who went to the neighboring country (Cameron) to preach. After the missionary work that lasted for days, he decided to travel home by sea. It was very smooth sailing until suddenly, there came a very mighty storm. As mighty as the storm was, it scattered everybody and everything in the ship.
Luckily for all of those aboard the ship, they had their life jackets. Everyone of the people were scattered in different directions, but the missionary found himself among one set of people, five in number. For hours they were floating on the sea hoping to be rescued, but minutes turned into hours, and hours turned into days, yet no hope of survival.
Having been there for a complete day, one of them called to the others, “Friends, I don’t think I can make it anymore, but if any of you manage to make it, he should tell my family what happened.” After saying this, he told them how to locate his family and released his life jacket and drowned.
The following day, another one of the ship’s passengers said the same thing, and released his life jacket and died. They kept dying one after another, and day after day until it remained only the missionary. It was a very difficult situation for him knowing that those he started the journey with had given up. At that stage, the missionary had only one option and a decision to make – an option either to live or die, and a decision either to give up like the others and die, or to hold on to his faith and wait for the next thing since the chances of survival was not probable.
On the seventh day, this man of God lifted up his voice and said, “God, I will sing for you, and if after singing and nothing happens, well, whatever comes my way, I will see it as your will.” He sang as his strength could carry him, hoping to see a miracle, but God was no where to be found. Heaven was as it was the other days with no sign of a miracle or trace of God’s deliverance.
You may remember Job. It was at this same stage of despair that Job found himself and said, “Behold, I go forward, but he [God] is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” ~ Job 23:8-10, KJV
According to the missionary, he said that sharks would come and go without hurting him. And having stayed the eighth day, he sang all the songs he could sing, prayed all the prayers he knew how to pray best, spoke in divers tongues as he could, and yet, there was no trace of a miracle. He did not give up, or murmur against God asking why he should not send help to him since it was God’s work he went to do. The missionary could have complained that if he had stayed home he would not have met the storm, but he thought of something Jesus said, “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'” ~ Luke 17:10, NIV
Our duty is to pray and it’s God’s to answer. We cannot force him to answer our prayers. He only answers when he’s pleased, and not when it pleases us.
On the ninth day at sea, nothing happened. On the tenth day, just like any other day, there was no trace of God in the morning, but SUDDENLY, there was an oncoming ship that had lost it’s way. From a distance, the people on the ship sighted the missionary in the water, but they could not tell what it was. All they knew was they saw a floating object on the sea. And when they came closer, they discovered that he was a human being. Trying to pull him into the ship, the missionary’s skin started peeling because it had been soaked with water for days, but they managed to get him in. According to the captain, they lost their way not knowing that God was at work to save his faithful servant.
“For in just a little while, ‘He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrink back, I will not be pleased with him.’ But we are not of them who shrink back and are destroyed, but of them who believe and are saved.” ~ Hebrews 10:37-39, NIV
What do you think would have happened if the missionary had given up on the seventh, eighth, ninth or at the early hours of that tenth day? Most often we never can tell how close we are to our testimony, success, or deliverance, before giving up. Our salvation is nearer than when we first believed (Romans 13:11).
The more day breaks, the closer we get to our deliverance. Don’t give up.
A Tweetable to Encourage Others
Chinonso Igwegbe is a writer, motivational speaker and author of Crushed But Not Destroyed.
Crushed But Not Destroyed teaches us that sometimes a loving God could allow the season of brokenness in our lives, but that does not mean he hates us. It makes us understand that God would one day take us to “Gethsemane.” A night before His crucifixion, Christ went there with three of his disciples, not for merriment, but for preparation. And when he could not bear the pains anymore, he asked if it would be possible that the cup be taken away from him, but later allowed God’s will to be done.
“Gethsemane” is the darkest night in the life of every individual. It is a place where your prayers may not be answered when and how you would want them to be, but God understands how you feel, and he will answer you in his own time. You may be crushed but one thing is certain, you will not be destroyed. You may purchase Crushed But Not Destroyed at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore.