God’s promise of sustenance came through in form of various divine provision from people I had no idea help was going to come from. One Tuesday morning, I was preparing to go to the hospital for my scheduled dialysis session. I didn’t have enough money to cover all the anticipated expenses for the day. My wife gave me some cash out of what she was supposed to use for her business.
On the way to the hospital, I noticed that the ride was bumpier than usual. On more than two occasions, I realized that my driver suddenly swerved the vehicle. This was unusual because Mr. Banji has a reputation of being a calm, focused and disciplined driver.
“Ah, what happened? Why are you driving like that?” I asked Mr. Banji, with one of my hands gripping the bottom of the seat.
He didn’t reply me and I got the sense that his mind wasn’t in the vehicle at all. I called him a few times before he turned to face me.
“Sir,” he said.
“What happened? I’ve been calling you since.”
“I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t hear you.”
“I realise that. Why are you distracted today?” I asked “Is there anything that you want me to know?”
“There is nothing, sir.” he kept a straight face concentrating on the road ahead.
“There is something wrong with your driving this morning. Tell me the challenge you have,” I insisted.
“Sir, I don’t want to burden you with what’s going on with me,” he glanced at me briefly.
I saw how tired and haggard he looked. His face was drawn and he had circles around his eyes.
“What’s going on?” I asked softly.
“It’s my dad, sir.” He took a shaky breath. “He’s to undergo eye surgery and I can’t seem to get all the funds together.”
I was quiet for a while. I guess it was God’s way of telling me that even though it felt like I was the only one in the world who was afflicted by a strange sickness, there were other people who were also down with one health issue or the other.
“How much?” I asked.
“Sixty-five thousand naira,” he said. I chuckled knowing that I couldn’t afford that amount at that moment.
“Give him the amount he has requested for.” I heard a voice in my spirit.
Give him? How? I just borrowed money to step out. How could I give him what I borrowed?
“I can sustain you. Give it to him,” I heard God’s soft voice.
At that point, I knew I had no choice but to give him. There were some tests I had to run at the hospital that I would have needed the money for but I decided to push those tests till the next day. I believed that God would make a way for it before the next day.
I got to the hospital, and after my regular treatments, I met someone who was in the hospital but couldn’t pay the hospital bills. I was touched in the spirit to settle the bills with the remaining money I had on me and I did so. That day, I pleaded with the hospital staff that I would settle my own bill the next day. I could not afford to purchase the medications that were prescribed for me that Tuesday afternoon.
I had no idea how my immediate medical needs would be met. But I chose to trust in God.
The Visitor of Joy
As soon as I returned home that late afternoon, Mrs. Olutola Ateniola told me that she met a lady in the traffic jam earlier in the day. The lady, a mutual friend of both of us, asked about my whereabouts. She had been looking for a way to see me for some months. Mrs. Ateniola asked for my permission to disclose my discomfort after her seeing me frail and sickly. I thought that could discourage someone who needed the encouragement of her Pastor about whatever she and her family members were going through. Hearing that she seemed desperate to see me, I concluded that she needed counselling and prayers. After all, that has been my experience as a Pastor in Nigeria. People only look for a Pastor when they need help. Once they receive help, they forget about the Pastor.
However, I looked forward with excitement to see the prim and proper prayerful lady. We have had a relationship that was thirty-six years old as friends. Moreover, I had high regards for her husband who has, over the years, proven to be a good Christian friend too. Interestingly, up to that time, I had not seen her husband for nine years. In those nine years, I think I had run into the lady on two occasions in Church events.
The lady came to see me the following morning. She did not appear shocked when she saw my dried and emaciated body. My barely audible voice did not seem to bother her either. She just kept saying, “Thank you, Jesus!” She explained that the Lord had impressed on her mind and that of her husband to pray for me about two months earlier. They had been faithfully interceding for my family and I. Then suddenly God instructed them to offer me the help I needed. So, they began looking for me until she saw my kind hostess the previous day in the traffic jam.