By Wale Adeduro, PhD
Agony: Confusion Disillusionment
My mother was in anguish as she looked at the lifeless body of Ropo.
As I later learnt from my mother, Ropo was born as a consolation for her mother whose husband, Ropo’s father, died on the day Ropo was born. Although she was not the first born of her mother, Ropo’s mother was very fond of her because she has a striking resemblance with her late father.
Meanwhile, the rescue team took victims who were alive into various vehicles.
“O ti mu Omi o” a croaky weak voice broke through the morning cacophony to announce the resuscitation of Ropo.
My mother who had been searching for my brother to know where his tiny voice was coming from dashed towards where Ropo’s body was.
“Thank you, Jesus!” my mother danced hysterically as she saw Ropo drinking water from a plastic cup. The one who was assumed to have died was alive.
“Whose son is this?” a woman shouted at the top of her voice. Without knowing the direction from where the voice came, my mother screamed, “Adebolaji is my son”. My mother discovered my brother lying helplessly under the tire of the badly damaged bus. As if under influence, my mother mustered all the energy she could. Like a Sumo wrestler, she lifted the bus tire from the chest of my brother. The entire wailers burst into shouts of joy.
My brother was rescued with only slight bruises. My mother, my brother, Ropo and I were all rescued and immediately evacuated to a hospital in Sagamu, about thirty minutes’ drive away, for emergency care. The next day, my father’s elder brother, Mr. Afolabi Adeduro, who was a staff of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) moved us to LUTH for intensive care. Unfortunately, Ropo died from complications of the injuries she sustained.
The death of Ropo greatly shook my parents. Fifty-three years after her death, my parents are still sad when they remember the death of their young and lively maid.
I later learnt that my parents were very shaken by Ropo’s death because I was actually on her laps when the accident happened. So, it was a miracle that I survived the accident which took the life of my carer. Till today nobody has been able to explain how I was snatched from the hands of the death that terminated the life of the good young woman who carried me in her hands. While she could have protected herself at the age of 19, I was a helpless baby who was just 36 months old on earth.
My escape from death at that tender age was a miracle indeed. It was the beginning of several manifestations of the sustaining grace of God in my life.
When God is determined to sustain you in life, He ensures that you are marvelously helped by divine forces and people of goodwill. For example, king Uzziah’s fame spread far because he was marvelously helped by God, till he was strong in 2 Chronicles 26:15.
Receiving God’s Sustaining Power
God’s sustaining power primarily manifests in five diverse ways.
- He shows you mercy. “It is of God who shows mercy”. The Bible in Psalm 103:8 avers that our God is “plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Him”.
- He preserves your life even in a cursed land just as He did for Rahab, the harlot, in Joshua 6:11-12.
- He shows you favour by marvelously helping you despite your personal limitations. 2 Chronicles 26:15 is a proof that when the time for God to manifest as your sustainer comes, God will bestow His timely favour on you according to Psalm 102:13.
- God will strengthen you to withstand pressures, afflictions and disappointments to sustain you. Psalm 27:1 assures us that the Lord is the strength of our lives. Christians should know and believe this truth. Strength only comes from God. Strength does not come from the crowd of sympathizers or professional advisers. You can only derive strength from the joy of the Lord based on the scripture in Nehemiah 8:10.
- God’s love based on His nature stated in 1 John 4:8 as the personification of love, is the foundation of His sustenance in the life of the Christian. This is why those who are sustained by God bear eloquent testimony to His love. Genesis 1:28 which talks about flourishing to the point of dominion is only possible in the life of someone sustained by God. In Genesis 26:1-22, the struggles, resilience and ultimate testimonies of Isaac were the evidences that when God is your sustainer, you will overcome all obstacles and afflictions.
God’s sustaining love is not a one-time affair or a flash in the pan; it is the manifestation of a continuous, unbroken and flourishing support for a Christian in all seasons. But there is a caveat if you want to enjoy God’s sustaining love: you must consistently show love to God. God expects you to draw closer to Him to stimulate Him to draw closer to you in return.
Bear in mind that when you show love to God, you are not doing anything unusual, neither are you doing God a favour. When you show that you love God, you are merely reciprocating a gesture at a lower level. While you were yet an enemy of God, He showed love to you according to Romans 5:8. The absolute truth about your relationship with God is that God made a costly sacrifice to first show you love. When He offered His only begotten son to die a painful and shameful death as a ransom for your life according to John 3:16, He was investing to harvest your love.
As you partake in God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) by showing love to God and your neighbours, you will be positioned to enjoy His power as Jehovah ElSustainer. Therefore, no weapon fashioned against you shall prosper.