One of the fears I have is that my children might not know the pain and shame I went through with my wife in the ‘wilderness‘ in order to reach where we are now. They might not understand and value my walk with Jesus. They might admire the glamour and the recognition of being my children, but there was a price before the prize.
The wilderness experience is a training ground to humble a person. It’s a training school to prove what is in your heart. The wilderness experience humbles an individual in the journey of faith, and it teaches you to depend on God absolutely.
I remember this same Umuahia years back. Close to 20 years back, a pastor invited me to come preach in his Church. On Sunday, I came down from my room in the hotel to start the car, but it refused to start; it was a Datsun Laurel.
I needed to go and preach that morning, so I had to suck fuel to put into the carburetor, but it still refused to start. Imagine sucking fuel with your mouth on a Sunday morning as a guest speaker and a medical doctor of many years experience.
I can still feel the deep pain and tension.
As I was struggling with my car while praying all kinds of prayers, a young man emerged from the same hotel; he just started his car without entering it with a remote control.
I felt very bad. There was a deep pain and humiliation, but ironically I was not really angry. There was a kind of emotion I had—it was mixed with the joy of service to God, but with a knowledge that those hardships were not going to discourage me. I knew they were temporary; I knew I was going to have a great future.
I left the car and I can’t remember how I got to church with my wife. I still preached with great unction as if nothing happened.
By Wednesday, the same week, I had spent about 15,000 Naira on the car. It managed to take us to Kaiama, about 800 km away from Umuahia, and the headlamps went off at night. I tried to drive it to Ughelli with flashlight but it was too risky, so I parked it under the bridge.
My wife and I boarded a bus and got home by 11 p.m. I later brought a mechanic to recover it. I sold it after that trip.
Sometime later, I met the pastor who was my host; he did not even ask if I got home safely then. He told me I was a really a Christian. He said that he thought that when he gave me the 13,000 Naira honorarium, I would be angry, but I was not.
There was something I settled a long time ago in my mind—I willingly went into ministry. Even if I did not hear well from God or even if I called myself, no man called me. My rewarder is Jesus. He can use men to bless me, but I don’t get frustrated by unappreciative people. I don’t know the whereabouts of that pastor that hosted me, but I have been always treated as royalty anytime I come to Umuahia.
Those humiliating circumstances helped shaped my life.
I am always thankful to God that He did not let me remain the way people thought I would end up in life, including some of my in-laws, who called me a fake doctor and pastor.
His grace is sufficient for me.
God Bless You.