Imagine me, standing at the podium of a church during testimony time and my testimony goes thus.
“My name is Adekunle and I worship in this church. Yesterday, being Saturday, my wife and I went to a mall at Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria to buy some stuff and get the prices of certain home appliances. Just as we got into the shop, four dare-devil armed robbers came into the shop we were visiting and started shooting at random.
We immediately dropped to the ground; bullets were flying everywhere. A lady beside us got hit by a bullet and died immediately while another guy was hit but survived. My wife and I came out of that incident unscathed. Praise the Lord”.
I am very sure that the whole church would be on their feet praising God on our behalf. The noise level would be over the roof and everyone would be shouting: God is good. What about my wife and I; we would probably be on the floor, rolling in adoration for the second chance in life. The dedication of our lives to the service of the house of the Lord would be on another scale.
Okay, of a truth, the above never happened. We did not give that testimony neither did we generate that excitement in church. Let me explain what really happened to us and you would wonder why God does what he does.
In October 2007, we were barely one month in marriage. On that particular Saturday, my wife and I were “home alone”. We had agreed a day before (that was on Friday) that we were going to the mall at Ikeja (Lagos Nigeria) to purchase somethings and also get the prices of certain things. Early on that Saturday morning, I gave my wife the money we were going to use for the purchase and she kept it in her bag; we agreed we would leave home at 11am, so that we could get to the mall at about 12noon.
At about 11am; we were ready to leave when the unexpected happened. My wife could not find the money she kept in her bag. The house door had not been opened to anyone and there was no other person in the house beside both of us. Funnily, I remember seeing her put the money in her bag. So, I joined in the search for the money; that bag “suffered”.
We both searched through that bag many times and everywhere in the house until we were tired. At that point, I told my wife to join me in a short prayer. We prayed to God that though the disappearance was mysterious and we did not know his plans for that day, we would not be going out again even if we found the money. That was it; we stayed at home.
At 3pm that day, I felt a hunch to search the bag again. That was the same bag I had searched personally about 3 times. I took the bag, saw a small tear in the lining of the bag and found that the money we were looking for was hiding in between the bag leather and the lining. I had no idea why God held us back from going out but we were thankful.
Fast forward to lunch-hour the next Monday. In my office, we used to get security reports. The security report of that Monday mentioned a robbery incident that happened on Saturday at 12 noon at the particular shop we were to visit. Robbers shot sporadically, a person was killed and another sustained gunshot wounds. The moment I finished reading the report, I called my wife to explain to her why God kept us back; we sympathized with the victims but that could have been us.
This event generated some serious discussions in our house. If God were a man, he would have preferred the testimony in the second paragraph above. If I had not gotten the security report, I would never have known the reason why those things happened to us. Since then, we say this prayer in our house: “Oh Lord, we are grateful for the testimonies we did not get to give”.
There are many times that your car breaks down after you have done all the maintenance you should do or a person, who is normally dependable, disappoints and we find it really hard to forgive and move on. The question you should ask is: What is God teaching me? Don’t be the guy or lady that is swift at cursing God or other humans because things are not going as planned. Patience is key if we are going to get to our place of glory. Learn to ignore, learn patience, learn to forgive because in many situations, especially if you are in the center of God’s will, God may be teaching you something.
More importantly, learn to be grateful in every situation.