I NEED YOU MORE THAN YOU THINK

I

This handsome young man woke up on a beautiful Monday morning full of hope. His morning routine was particularly fulfilling. He had a wonderful time with the Lord, did fifty push-ups, listened to Tony Robbins podcast and felt so pumped up for the day. On his way to work, his car stereo blasted with a song he’d been listening to all weekend.

Stand up for the champion, for the champion

Stand up.

His name is Shola.

Shola got to his office, ready for the day’s activities. He scribbled down his tasks on a sticker note just as Dupe, his work partner and friend entered in a navy-blue suit and silver high heels. She squeezed his shoulder gently and sat on the empty chair beside him.

Shola gave her a warm hug. “Dupe, good morning. You smell nice as always.”

“Hope you had a restful night?” She asked and turned on her desktop.

Shola watched her for a moment. The closer they worked together, the stronger his affection towards her deepened. She was the kind of woman he hoped to marry- assertive, playful and with lofty aspirations for life. Dupe also shared his faith. She was passionate about serving God like he was. He would make a move for a date this week, at least, get to know her beyond office work.

“What’s going on?” Dupe stared blankly at the desktop in front of her. She looked at Shola. “Have you tried logging in this morning?”

Shola shook his head and punched his details into the log-in box on his desktop.

He was denied entry.

They looked at each other, fear written on their faces.

“We have been fired.” Dupe said emphatically.

“Don’t conclude like that.” Shola said. “It could be a computer error. The IT unit will fix it.”

There was only one way to find out. They dashed quickly to the Human Resources department. In the HR’s office, the head of the department was addressing ten other employees.

They had indeed been fired. The head of the HR said the company was downsizing and the sacked officers would receive a percentage of their monthly salary but that would be all.

Shola returned home, downcast.

“Everything will be okay.” He encouraged himself. He was an intelligent man. He would get another job soon.

Two months passed, nothing. The third month, he got a job that didn’t pay him for four months. He dropped it. When a year passed and Shola had to move back into his parents’ home, discouragement truly set in.

Shortly after Shola moved back home, his younger got engaged and wedding preparations kicked off. His elder brother and the last born contributed generously to the wedding. Shola could not give anything.

After the wedding, on his status, he put up different pictures of the wedding.

Status 1Standing with his sister in her beautiful wedding gown.

Caption: Happy married life to my gist partner. I’m missing you already sha!

Status 2Standing in a white agbada with three friends.

Caption: My childhood friends. Omo! We have come a long way! God is faithful!

Shola looked at the pictures again. The only thing he had purchased for himself was the fila. The bride had paid for the agbada. His mother had bought the shoes. Tears welled up his eyes.

“God, what is going on? Are you really there? Is there something I’m not doing well?’

He had taken a loan to attend a graphics design workshop. He had signed up for writing classes. There was a bag making class he registered for, but he stopped when he couldn’t afford the bag materials. He had jumped from one skill to another, hoping that somehow if he didn’t get a white-collar job, the skills he had learnt would rescue him from his present hopelessness.

When his father’s health began to deteriorate, his siblings called for a video meeting.

“We need 5 million naira for dad’s treatment.” His elder brother announced. “Mum has raised two million naira. She has done her bit and it’s just honorable that we handle the rest. I’ll be sending a million naira by Monday.”

His sister spoke next. “You guys know my wedding just took place a few weeks ago. We still have a loan of four hundred thousand naira to pay. I’ll find a way to get three hundred thousand naira. I’m sorry that I can’t do more than that for now.”

“We understand.”  His elder brother said. Shola and his brother were left to make their contributions.

“I’ll also send one million naira by next week.”  Shola’s younger brother said.

Everywhere went quiet. What was Shola going to say? He had only 2,000 naira in his account.

His younger brother was furious. “Shola, you have to contribute to dad’s medical bills. Don’t tell us you don’t have money again. You are a man, for goodness sake. It’s tough here in the United States and you know that I’m still running my post-graduate course. In the last one year, I’ve slept for not more than three hours because I run different shifts just to pay my bills. You don’t pay rent, mum feeds you, you-”

The first born stopped him. “It’s enough! That’s your elder brother you are talking to like that.”

“I didn’t mean to be disrespectful. It just annoys me that every time we need to do something for the family, he exempts himself.”

Shola couldn’t take it anymore. “What do you mean by what you just said? Before I lost my job, was I not sending money home? When you needed money to get out of the country, who sorted out your documentation process? Answer me!”

“Guys, can you please stop?” Shola’s sister said, calmly. “Thank God we have raised most of the money. Everything will be okay. Let’s keep praying for dad. He means everything to us.’

At the end of the video chat, Shola sat on the floor with his head bowed. Tears trickled down his face. Every word his brother had uttered was like a hard punch on his bare chest.

“Shola, your phone has been ringing.”

Shola raised his head to see his mother standing at the doorway. He wiped his tears quickly.

His mother entered the room and sat on the bed. “Shola! Why are you crying? I’ve told you not to worry about this job search. Do I have to add worries about you to the present situation on ground?”

“Mum, I’m fine. Please I just need some time alone.”

“Are you sending me out of your room?”

“Mum, give me a few minutes, please.”

Shola’s phone rang again when his mother left his room. It was his Pastor. It was Shola’s turn to lead the workers in the daily online prayers. He was not in the mood to lead any prayers. Thirty minutes later, a message popped up on his screen.

Brother Shola, how can you be so irresponsible. You didn’t show up for today’s prayers! Get back to me for your punishment. I will deal with you.

Shola lay flat on the floor, feeling numb. When he heard a car drive in, he knew the family doctor had arrived. Soon, his mother would call for him to assist the doctor.

His phone rang again. Reluctantly, Shola glanced at the Caller ID.

Cecilia.

He sat up, surprised. Cecilia was his closest friend back on campus. They had not spoken for almost a year. He cleared his throat before answering the call.

“Cecilia! Oh my God!” Shola said, trying to sound excited.

“Shola, how far? It’s been a while. How are you?”

“I am doing very well. So good to hear from you. How’s your husband and your son?”

“Well, God is faithful. I’m happy to hear your voice. Sorry for the long silence.”

“I apologize too. We’ve been busy. You know how life can be.”

Cecilia hesitated. “Shola, is everything okay?”

“Sure! Why would you think otherwise?”

“For some days, you’ve been coming a lot to my mind. It got really intense this evening and I felt a strong urge to call you. Is something bothering you?”

“I’m doing great Cecilia.”

Cecilia sighed. “Well, here’s what I saw while praying for you. You were driving aimlessly, without any clear direction and I perceive God saying he wants to open your eyes to see what He is doing in this season of your life. It looked like God has been trying to get a message across. Apparently, you are not listening. He reminded me of this scripture. John 10:4. You might want to check it out.”

“Hmmm” Shola muttered quietly.

She continued. “The fact that you are worrying is making it impossible for you to see what God wants to show you. He says to tell you this, cast the whole of your care, all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

“1 Peter 5 verse 7, Amplified.” Shola said aloud. That verse had jumped at him after his call with his siblings but he had pushed it aside.

“Something huge is coming soon and God wants to prepare you for it.”

“Cecilia, you have no idea how much this call has lightened my heavy heart. Thank you for yielding to the Spirit. I feel strengthened already.”

“I’m glad to hear this.” Cecilia said, chuckling.

“I need to talk to God now. Thank you again.”

*******

Sometimes you may not have the material resources to support a friend but your words can go very far. Your prayers can do wonders.

With the isolation gap created by virtual space, It is clear that insensitivity and ‘I-don’t-care-attitude’ is thriving more and more.

The noise seems to have blocked our inner ears, putting us far away from our spiritual signals where our friends and acquaintances are concerned.

Have you heard someone say this about another person in a battered state, “Oh my God! How could that have happened to her? And she has been coming to my mind for days. I was so carried away by some work I was doing.”

Or situations where a person is going through depressive seasons and says, ‘I don’t want to bother anybody. I’ll be fine by myself.’

Isolation is the enemy’s strategy and when he can separate you from others, he strikes harder. The way the Holy Spirit help us avert this is by frequently placing people on our hearts.

Pray for your friends…

There are some persons you have not contacted in a while but recently, you’ve been thinking about them unconsciously. Reach out to them. Send them a text, leave a chat, place a call. You have no idea the gap you would have covered by doing so.

If while praying, God gives you a word or scripture for someone, get it to the person quickly. That word could be the comfort they need to get them through that day.

Set up a prayer meeting with your close friends and speak God’s words over yourselves.

We stay refreshed in this difficult world by prophetic utterances. Listen to the words of Paul.

Let the message about Christ in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives… Colossians 3:16 NLT 

But he that prophecies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men… 1 Corinthians 14:3 KJV

This is what prophecy entails! It is for edification, for comfort, for exhortation. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:39, covet it!

Words inspired by the Spirit are needed much more now.

I am so glad I responded a few weeks ago when a friend was impressed in my heart. The nudge to call him was so strong and when I did, a conversation that I thought would last for five minutes ended after an hour. We prayed and declared words. Oh, we felt really strengthened.

Enough of the selfishness. We are not just here for ourselves. It is important to build the culture of praying for others. We should take impressions and nudges seriously.

And sometimes, when a person crosses your heart, it is not necessarily that something is wrong with the other person, it’s just God’s way of saying, ‘You are created for community.’

Read: Pressing on when life doesn’t go well as planned 

What the Holy Spirit will not do for you

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About the author

Ife Grace

I am a faith blogger with a passion to contribute my quota to the body of Christ. I am also the author of two books: The Reunion and Spring.

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