Soooooo…….this is the most time I have spent away from you lovely people and it’s partly for a good reason i.e. exams. All the same, I still owe you all a massive apology and thankfully the Lord has taught me the importance of apologizing when I’m wrong. So I’m sorry for being away for so long guys and I will do my best to ensure it doesn’t happen again. As long as I’m inspired and led, you will always get a word or two from me.
I must say that I tried putting up a post a few days ago but I wasn’t getting any word that resonated with me. Yesterday however, I got back from work (I’m in Dubai for work for two months by the way, God has been absolutely awesome this year) and I decided to flip open my bible and get a couple nuggets of wisdom. The first page I flipped to was Isaiah 58. Now I was about to skip past the passage cos I knew it had to do with fasting but something encouraged me to read it again. And like most times with God’s Word, the well-read passage took on a new meaning.
If you don’t know by now, I’m passionate about my country; trust me this is a pretty new development. My more recent posts can attest to the new-found burden I have for my nation and it seems God wants to extend it to the world but that’s another post for another day. So as I read Isaiah 58, it brought together some of the lessons God has taught me over the past couple of months concerning the state of my nation and its people.
Many of us have prayed over and over again for the state of our nation and a number of us have even called fasts but unfortunately it has stopped there. These acts have not changed who we are or how we interact with people especially those that are less fortunate than we are. Isaiah 58:2 (NLT) says:
“They act so pious! They come to the Temple everyday and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me.‘We have fasted before you’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed?. We have been very hard on ourselves and you don’t even notice it!’
This paints an eerily accurate picture of Nigeria today…..need I say more? God goes on to say:
“I will tell you why!” I respond. It is because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep fighting and quarreling? That kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.
Verse 6 goes on to say:
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them and do not hide from your relatives who need your help. Your godliness will lead you forward and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.”
“Remove the yoke of oppression. Stop pointing fingers and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then the light will shine out from the darkness and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon”
This passage spoke to me on two levels. Firstly, it reiterated the fact that the problems of our nation are rooted in poverty. If we want to get our country back on its feet in terms of the economy, politics and security we need to attack poverty on all fronts, micro and macro. We keep praying to God to save our nation but we get off our knees and go ahead to abuse those under us. Who do you think robs you on the street or joins Boko Haram? So what are we doing? Start with the people who serve you at home; your cooks, security guards, househelps, etc. Treat them with respect and try as much as you can to give them a better life. What are you doing in your church? Your community? How are you giving back? It’s never too late or too early to start. You’re never too young or too old to make a difference. If only we learned to look beyond ourselves.
The second thing it said to me is that each and every one of us as individuals hold in our hands the solution to the problems our nation faces. In order for the darkness we currently face to become light, we must , EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US address the need we see around us. The solution to Nigeria’s problems don’t lie in the hands of the government; they lie with us. And it only needs to start with an enlightened few. Verse 9 says that light will shine out of the darkness first which means light will first shine in the midst of darkness before it spreads and everywhere is as bright as noon.
That’s my message for today guys, I hope it speaks to you. We all have a role to play and the more we obey, the more we will be given and the better our nation will be.
1) Save the date!!!! The CONVO by IJustMetMe comes to Lagos! On Saturday, August 23rd 2014, IJustMetMe will hold the first Lagos installment of the The CONVO, a Relationship Discovery Series currently hosted in New York. Grace’s Daughter is privileged to be partnering as a sponsor of the event and it promises to be an enriching and event. I will be giving away free tickets to this event so stay tuned for more info. Trust me guys, I would not choose support this if I didn’t believe in it. Tobi Atte, the speaker, has such words of wisdom when it comes to breaking down relationships and I for one have benefited from them. I do hope you guys can make it, it will definitely open up your mind in ways you can’t imagine.
2) I was approached by a lovely young lady and a fellow blogger to put up a book review of her first novel that I was privileged to read. Watch this space for that and please grab you copy of “Still” by “Eniola Prentince”. I can tell you for free that it’s not easy to write a book (I would know cos I have tried), so much respect to Eniola for writing a book that I didn’t want to put down until I finished (that’s not an easy feat to accomplish).
That’s it from me lovely people. God bless y’all.