“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 Corinthians 1:3
On 11 March, 2023, I lost a very dear friend, who was equally a huge gift to the body of Christ in Nigeria. His name is Awolo Ekene, popularly known as Eky D. He was the official drummer for Minister Sinach.
Ekene was a great friend and a cheerful soul; one of the few focused, dogged and resilient young men I know. He attained local and global heights many wished for, yet he remained very humble, kind and selfless.
Receiving the sad news of his demise left me shocked and subsequently left me heartbroken when it finally dawned on me that I’d never see or speak with him again in this hemisphere.
I cried a lot and there were days I literally couldn’t feel my heart. But I thank God for His word and the Holy Spirit who comforted and continues to comfort me and all the loved ones Ekene left behind. I’m also very grateful to my husband who comforted and helped me to come out of the darkness that was threatening to overshadow me.
One particular thing that helped me in the early days of my grief was when my husband shared with me the Open Heavens Devotional of Thursday, March 16th, 2023.
THEME: THE WORD HEALS II
MEMORY VERSE: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:18
TEXT: PSALM 147:3, PSALM 119:50
Reading the above texts and especially the story that Daddy GO shared in that devotional, was like life, strength, and comfort were literally being infused into me.
I’ll share the story below, so perhaps like me, it’ll strengthen and comfort you too, if you’re going through grief.
“Many years ago, there was a boy I loved so much because he was very committed to God in evangelism. During his National Youth Service Corp year however, this boy died. His fellow Youth Corpers came together to pray for him, but then he came back to life, sat up and told them, “God asked me to come and tell you that you are disturbing Him; stop praying” and he died again. When I heard the news, I was really heartbroken. As a Pastor, I had to put up a bold front to everyone, but throughout that period, whenever I got back home, I would cry. I was really heartbroken.
“One day, however, God sent His Word to me, saying, “My son, why are you so sad” I responded, “It is because of the death of this boy”. The Word came again, saying, “No, that is not really why you are sad. You are sad because you and the boy are apart; now he is in heaven and you are still here on earth”. I said, “That is true”. The Lord then said, “If you are going to a far country that you have never been to, won’t you be happy to have someone you know go ahead of you so that when you arrive, there would be someone waiting to welcome you?” I said, “Yes”. The Lord then concluded thus: “Your boy has only gone ahead of you; when it is time for you to arrive, he will be waiting to give you a warm welcome”.”
I deeply thank God for sending His timely word and this story to me when I needed it most. I also pray for everyone going through a loss, that God will comfort you with His word because truly, the word heals.
Other ways that I am healing and coping with the loss of my dear friend is by praying for his wife and some others who were closer to him. I also send them messages of comfort and encouragement.
Ekene’s sudden demise is a harsh reminder that this life we live is just a vapour. One moment we’re here, the next we’re gone.
It’s a rude reminder that the only moment we truly have is NOW. So, why do we procrastinate like we know what will happen tomorrow?
Hence, in honour of the beautiful memories of my friend, Eky D, I’m more intentional about how I spend my time, steward my friendships/relationships and carry out God’s assignments for my life. Our time here on earth is indeed short; we must make the most of it while it lasts so we’ll give our God and Maker a worthy report when He calls us home.