A couple of weeks back in a mail with one of our blog readers I admitted for the first time that I was tired. I wasn't only tired I was kind of angry with God. I wasn't angry for the sake of being angry but because I was tired of doing the right things, praying, sowing, tithing, praising, fasting and endlessly hoping. So I got tired and angry.
The day after that someone gave a testimony in church and that's what I want to share with you guys, I'll keep it as brief as possible.
*Mr Chuma was married with three daughters and as most men do, he desperately wanted a son. His wife was also keen on giving him a son but they needed to be careful lest she get pregnant again and have another daughter. So they went to see this very popular doctor in Ikoyi who's expertise it is to help women get pregnant with a child of their desired sex. After trying for a while Mr Chuma's wife got pregnant with twins! The couple were overjoyed. Mrs Chuma delivered a girl and a boy but unfortunately a few minutes after delivery the boy died, leaving them with just the little girl.
Several months passed and when the girl should have started speaking she didn't. The little girl turned 2 and still no words, and she couldn't hear either. It was then it was discovered that the little girl was deaf and dumb. Mr Chuma was distraught. He took the girl back to the hospital in Ikoyi and to several specialists but none could help her. Mr Chuma could not accept that his own child was deaf and dumb. In his word "there is no deaf in dumb in the history of my family, or in my village. Why is my own different?"
It was then that Mr Chuma ran to The Lord. Now besides this issue, Mr Chuma's wife had been trying to get a job for over seven years. She was a banker before marriage but took sometime to have the first child and ever since then her applications were never successful. She had tried everywhere and even applied for jobs that were below her qualifications but all to no avail. Plus the couple still wanted a son. But Mr Chuma's primary concern was his daughter's defects.
So he started going for mass, daily. And after mass he would kneel before the blessed sacrament and cry out. He did this everyday for over two years and nothing changed, yet he wasn't deterred. Everyday before it was the little girl's closing time from school he would go for mass and go and kneel before the blessed sacrament and pray. Also he decided to sow a seed so he went to the Seminary and told them that he would like to see a seminarian through the years of school, be responsible for his fees, feeding and general welfare, from the start till the day he became a Priest and began going that. Years went by and nothing changed. Still he wasn't deterred.
A year or so later wifey became pregnant again.
Mr Chuma continued to take his child to school and continued to go for his prayers everyday. One day after he picked the little girl from school he took her with him to greet a reverend father he had heard so much about. On getting to the office the reverend father held the little girl and said "How are you?", to which the girl immediately replied "fine". Mr Chuma thought he was imagining things. Father asked again "What is your name?", and she replied "My name is Chinyere". Mr Chuma was stunned. For the first time in her life after 5 years his daughter heard and spoke, for the first time!
They went home and they were celebrating and wifey went into labour. Mr Chuma went to church nearby to kneel before the blessed sacrament and pray for his wife's safe delivery. While still on his knees he got a call. Wifey had safely delivered a bouncing baby BOY! Mr Chuma nearly fainted from joy as he ran to the hospital to meet his wife, but before he got there he got another call, this time on his wife's phone that had been in his pocket. The call was from a bank that his wife had applied to over a year ago, asking her to come and pick up her Offer Letter the following week!
All within 24hrs God answered his prayers of several years; gave him a son, his daughter could talk and hear, and his wife had a new job after more that seven years of unsuccessfully job hunting, writing tests and attending interviews.
Mr Chuma broke down in tears of joy as he shared his testimony with the church and the whole church was in uproar.
Today when I heard someone say we have to be childlike in the way we trust in God I just remembered Mr Chuma. It's so easy for us to pray with expectations but when we don't get what we want when we want it we become angry, tired, doubtful and disillusioned; Why God? What else do you want me to do? What else should I do that I haven't done? How much longer do I have to pray? Is it that you haven't been hearing me or what? I thought they said nothing is too difficult for you?
This man was blindly and childishly believing in God for several years, living holy, sowing regularly, praying ceaselessly, fasting steadfastly and never missing mass for a day. Yet he got no answer for several years, still his faith did not waver.
No, I don't want to have to pray for long before I have my prayers answered but I needed to hear this to remind myself of that very cliché sentence; "delay is not denial" and to enjoin anyone that has long been hoping in God to hear and answer their prayers not to give up on God. They say it's always darkest before dawn. Your morning might just be a few minutes away.
Also although the person who gave this testimony is catholic, I don't think his prayers were answered because he's catholic or because of the blessed sacrament BUT because of his unwavering faith and steadfastness.