This time last year, I think I had a meltdown. Service year had been terrible. Understand that I expected the very worst, but I guess my imagination of the very worst was not bad enough. I experienced a whole new level of bad, and it threatened my faith a lot.
I began to compromise in the many places I had once stood strong, and I just couldn’t find the strength to care. I called to question many convictions I once had about God.
When I look back at how I slipped down that slippery slope like liquid mercury flowing down a sloping thing (stolen from The Pink Panther) I can only be grateful for the love of God. He really does a good job of bringing you out of miry clay.
On my way back up, I wrote a book. I have never finished reading this book after I wrote it. I realised my brain could not have brought out those things. I still remember how OM reacted to it. It brought me close to tears.
When 2018 began, I was resolved to chase darkness out of every area of my life by all means. When work was no longer worship, I quit without wasting time or really caring for the human sentiments that would accompany it. When relationship was not an equal yoking, I let go. Painfully, but it’s always worth it, if you catch my drift. Let me just say this: Do not be unequally yoked, period. And that means even with people who are believers but aren’t operating at your level of worship.
I pursued love relentlessly this year. I just wanted to roll around in the love of God, and feel that thing that made John constantly call himself the disciple whom Jesus loved. What a revelation!
God decided to do more than make me feel loved. He began to teach me, and I realised the many reasons why everything had to happen.
You see, when God teaches you, you’re exposed to the best teaching techniques the world will never get. He’s the most practical teacher. He examines hard, so he teachers with profound diligence. And every time you face the exam, you know there is no ambush; it’s all from The Book.
When God teaches, you learn to love unconditionally. People can love unconditionally until there’s a condition. Then logic and philosophy step in to rob you of the joy of love. You wonder why you have to be the “stupid” while another literally drags your love in the mud. If you’re blessed with God, he reveals to you, by example, how he was first stupid before you became stupid. In that stupidity is a great wisdom that the world cannot fathom. Great lesson there.
When God teaches, the darkness in you is exposed. To ourselves, we are good people. We have the best intentions, and we continue to tacitly judge others based on their actions. When God steps in, the hypocrisy of our actions is exposed. In many other ways, we see Jim reveal the true intents of outer hearts and we realise we weren’t so noble after all.
When God teaches, we learn. I don’t mean that as cliché. If you’ve been through the Nigerian school system recently, you’ll realise there’s really no emphasis on learning. God is not Nigeria. God is God. And when he teaches, you better learn, or that will be the only class you’ll take forever and ever. The degree to which you learn is the degree of your exposure. And his love keeps you within that which you can handle. But the spirit in you will begin to long for more of him, but he won’t let you past that barrier till he puts in you what you’re supposed to learn.
When God teaches, it’s not entrapment. He is really interested in your success, way more than you are. So when you face your exams, you have your notes with you! That’s easy, yeah? The Holy Spirit is in us, working in is both to will and to do his good pleasure. That’s not am autopilot thing. It’s relationship. He’s with you everywhere teaching you what to do and how to do it. He’s not waiting for you to fail so he can cruelly point out your mistakes and slam a fine on you, like LASTMA and FRSC.
All in all, God so loved me. I’ve made terrible mistakes this year, don’t think it’s been a perfect year. But that love has been so much my mainstay, it rings in my ears every time, and speaks to my heart. And I realise, it is part of my training.
God uses it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly – to make a honourable vessel out of miry clay.