A Moment of Testing. It’s Only for A Moment

I begin with a quote from John Piper:

We will have everything we need in this life, including painful things necessary to bring us to glory.

This week has been a moment of testing. A test of my patience, a test of my faith, a test of my resolve, and a test of my joy. I got betrayed by a very good friend, and it cost me some good amount of money and time. I also lost my step-sister on Thursday.

But yesterday morning, in just a moment, in just some seconds, under the razor of the tonsor, God spoke to me in a way that I never imagined. He spoke through the barber as he shaved my hair. The message was clear. God spoke from His word, and as I sat listening to the prophecy that was coming through this young man, my eyes filled with tears.

He spoke about my soon-to-be launched book and how it was going to impact greatly on the lives of people. He spoke of the challenges I had faced that week and how He was going to turn all of them around for my good. He spoke to me. He spoke to me…through a barber.

It was in a barbering shop…with Christian music playing at the background. It was a barbering shop with printed sheets of scriptural verses pasted all around (cf. Deut. 6:6-9; 11:18-20). There was no way anyone who came to the shop could avoid reading them.

He spoke to me. He spoke to me. And by the time he was done cutting my hair, I had received healing, I had received encouragement, I felt a heavy burden lifted off me (cf. 1 Cor. 14:3). That wasn’t all. In the afternoon of the same day God spoke again, this time through my wife: “When challenges raise their heads, you count your past miracles and believe that this one too will be a miracle.”

God speaks to us in so many ways. He has prophets in both the mundane and spiritual moments of life. He doesn’t speak only through those with titles such as ‘prophet’, ‘pastor’, ‘reverend’, ‘bishop’. He speaks through His children, in whatever profession they are. And the great thing is, whenever He speaks, He speaks from His word, so you know He is the One speaking.

Let your profession and workplace be a tool for helping someone find joy, encouragement, comfort, and salvation in the Lord.

God is faithful. No matter what you are going through, if you hold on to Him, He will crown you with victory. You won’t drown.  

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Cor. 1:3-4)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isa. 41:10)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deut. 31:6)

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isa. 43:2)





How Akua Agyekumwaa’s ‘Hurt People, Hurt People’ Opened My Eyes

Though I am half-way through Akua Agyekumwaa‘s Hurt People, Hurt People: Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Abuse, this is what I have to say already about the book:

Interspersed with stories of abuse, Akua Agyekumwaa explains in layman’s understanding the nature and consequences of abuse, and provides remedies for tackling abuse, pain and depression in whatever form they appear. The stories assure any victim of abuse that they are not alone in their plight and that healing is possible.

Until I started reading Akua’s book, I never knew that what I experienced as a child was the reason for my prolonged dislike for my dad and my low self-esteem during my senior high school days.

I once innocently lighted a paper with a match stick in our bedroom. As a young boy, it never occurred to me that the place could have caught fire. When my dad returned from work to learn about the incident, he got angry and for the first time (which will also be the last), I was given six painful strokes of the Nigerian cane.

The other experience involved my mum. I used to wet the bed a lot and so my mum decided that I sleep on a mat on the floor while my younger brother slept comfortably on the bed. Severally, she will scold me in front of him. Until my bed-wetting ceased, this was my plight. And as a way of ‘curing’ what my grandma termed as a ‘spiritual disease’, I was butted with an unripe finger of plantain by a ‘specialist’.

For many years after these experiences, I felt that I had been adopted or that either my dad or mum was a step-parent. I decided to look for evidence. One day when my parents were away from home, I searched through their belongings and found their marriage certificate. I verified the dates and found that my claims were false. Since then, I was assured that I was my parents’ child.

However, it still never occurred to me that I had felt this way because of the childhood experiences I have described above. After I confirmed that I was a biological son, I tried to understand why I had felt that way. I never got answers and so I settled for a spiritual reason. I told myself it was the devil putting ideas in my mind.

But after reading Akua Agyekumwaa’s book,“Hurt People, Hurt People”, I have gained an understanding of why I felt I wasn’t a biological son of my parents. It was the abuse (physical and verbal, but more psychological) that I experienced as a child.

Many people conceive of abuse as something physical and visible. People may want to see a mark, a scar, blood, etc. before they consider an action as abuse. But psychological abuse is so deadly that it can lead one to commit suicide. Akua opens our eyes to see how not only physical abuse is a problem, but also how psychological abuse is deadly.

As Akua notes, healing is possible and it is in the chapters on healing that you see Akua’s inspirational gift wrapped up in her writing. I am glad that as Akua touches on healing, she declares that Jesus is the Ultimate Healer. I recommend this book without any reservation.