The D-Word Trying to Get Between God and I – When Delay Threatens To Erase Your Spaces With God
- Written by Folasewa Erekpitan Oguns (contributions and edits by Toyin Oladiran, Christian Life Coach, Founder of The Narrow Gateway)
This one Sunday in 2016, I decided that I was not going to go to church. With the kind of thoughts that were running through my mind, I knew I was not in a right space to get all chatty with anyone, talk less of get spiritual and worshipping. I’m not big on confrontation, and I knew that one was around the corner, if I did not keep to myself for a while. Sigh…Yet another person had said something to me during Choir practice the previous weekend. It got to me. I didn’t quite give her a quick comeback but, well I use style prove my point sha o. I can’t come and be allowing one small girl take me shine for any reason!
But speaking out a fraction of my mind didn’t mean the whole thing was off my mind. The incident played on and on in my head, and before I knew it, all I could think of was how long it was taking for God to answer a once-and-for-all prayer point I have had for many years – Marriage. My class mates, colleagues, and even childhood friends, have invited me for countless weddings over the last decade… One after the other, they are getting married off. Some are even paying children’s fees now sef! But here I am…
Nawa o… Na only me come remain.
But God…why are we still here? This was meant to be a once-and-for-all thing.
Church members had not made it any easier! It’s not like they had seen any wedding ring on my finger, so why wouldn’t they stop cracking unnecessary jokes and asking questions about my wedding coming up?! Seriously, in my view, I’d say they were stylishly yabbing me! Couldn’t they just pray for me rather than talk or ask me questions? I really didn’t appreciate it!
So on this fine Sunday, I concluded that withdrawal is the best bet. I couldn’t deal with the fact that my service in the Lord’s house hasn’t been effective…or so it would seem. I just wanted to keep to myself. 2016 is not proving to be my best year at all! No, God is not going to get my worship today, I concluded.
Not long after I had made my decision, my phone rang. It was Pastor. I didn’t pick up. Then it rang again. The Choir Coordinator! If I pick up, what will I say? I don’t even want them to know why I am not in Church today… I calculated as the time ticked! I started to feel sick with guilt. I didn’t want to lie, yet didn’t want to sound petty. I was really down.
Then came a knock on my door.
Today, I will not smile, I will not talk, and I won’t sing o! I am not in the mood to fellowship rara! No one should feel familiar around me today!
“Boroni!” My sister in-law teased as she strolled into my apartment.
“It’s very strange of you o! You are still here at this time. Won’t you go to Church? Pastor no go begin find you so?” LOL! That cracked me up… She believed I was one of those people that would be missed if absent from service. Well, that wasn’t totally untrue.
“I just don’t feel like going to Church jare! I don’t feel too good”, was all I could say. No lies, but no definite story.
I pretended her stare didn’t bother me! But, I was bothered. First Pastor called. Then Choir Coordinator. Then my sister in-law waltzes in. Now I was hearing my father’s voice in my head “How can you miss Church service for anything?”Sigh!
I was worn down.
So I reluctantly wore one of the most insignificant black tops, pulled on a skirt, ran a brush through my natural hair and dragged my feet behind my sister in-law as she stepped out of the house.
They were still having Sunday School when I got to Church! Oohh! Not what I need right now! Service is still far from being over !I picked the very last seat at the back of the church. Today, I will not smile, I will not talk, and I won’t sing o! I am not in the mood to fellowship rara! No one should feel familiar around me today!
The monthly roster was passed to me and I flipped through it absently. I am the one taking congregational prayer?! Ahhh! Which kain tin be dis na?! I flipped through my Bible and quickly searched for 2Chronicles 7…“If my people who are called by Name….”Aha! I will ask them to just pray for Nigeria today! Hehehehe! Well thought through.
The praise leader rounded off with the hymnal, “Then sings my soul…How great Thou art…”.I stepped out of my seat and on to the pulpit.
“Declare to the Lord… Tell Him how great He is…Declare He is mighty… over the situation of Nigeria… over that problem you see as too big to handle….He is a great God….”
The words flowed! As in, I went on and on almost without struggle. I couldn’t believe what was happening! The atmosphere around me changed. The sluggish-feeling left. Men and brethren were high-spirited as though something had happened. I found myself just leading with Steve Crown’s:
“You are great, yes You are, Holy One
Walked upon the sea, raised the dead
You reign in majesty, Mighty One
Everything written about you is great…!”
Many burst in tongues, words of prophecy came forth. The place was charged. Oh my! My soul was lifted!!! There was joy in the presence of the Holy Spirit. I felt lit!I didn’t plan to lead. I didn’t want to. I didn’t even want to be there. I was sulking at God because He had not answered me “on time”, at least in line with what I thought was “on time”. But here I was, pouring out before Him regardless, and He was still using me, receiving my service, receiving my worship.
When I saw what my ministration did for others, I forgot all about my rant. God was making me an inspiration to those who needed it. I felt so much stronger. I left the pulpit and found myself repositioned to my usual seat towards the front row. Lol!
Waiting is tiresome. Delay is painful. Trials are hard. But they are all part of life
Truth be told, we are human. We’ve got emotions and so, can be hurt by words of others. We tend to throw tantrums when we feel our prayers are not yielding results. That can be very painful. Waiting is difficult! I didn’t decide to go to Church because I was over my anger with God. I only went out of guilt – pure guilt, not determination, and definitely not a desire to serve God that day. I was hurt and disappointed, at God and at my brothers and sisters in Christ. But God worked it out so that I found myself at His feet regardless, and He met me there, and used me even in that state. So the question is, what do you do when you are disappointed because God seems to be delaying in answering your prayer? What do you do when Christians say or do hurtful things that make you feel like staying away from worship or serving God?
What does God say about this? W.I.T.N.G? What Is The Narrow Gateway?
On handling delay and disappointment:
Paul said, “…Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2Corinthians 12:9
Waiting is tiresome. Delay is painful. Trials are hard. But they are all part of life, and they usher in the power of Jesus Christ into our lives and into our circumstances. So like Paul, we should not take a stance of defeat when we are going through trying times like I am. We should take a stance of hope, because this is the best atmosphere for God’s power to shine in and through us.
Using my story, see how God was still able to use me in great power despite my pain? See how I was able to worship and serve Him in and through my situation? Sometimes God allows us to go through these things so we can learn that it is not our circumstances that make us suitable for His purpose and work in our lives. It is His power at work in us that enables us to be who He wants us to be.
All I could think of was how long it was taking for God to answer a once-and-for-all prayer point I have had for many years
On handling offence from other Christians and the temptation to stay away from the Body of Christ:
“…Two are better than one, because they have good reward for their labour. For if one fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no none to help him… Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken…” Ecclesiastes 4:8-12.
“…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25.
I am learning that fellowship is not just about attending Church Services or Bible Study. I think it is really about being in the company of those with same mind and faith as you, (John 17:21; 1 Peter 3:8; Romans 15:5; Philippians 2:2). That way, you are strengthened. “Two GOOD heads are better than one”, they say. Two believers will definitely make better impact. The times we feel weakest really the time we need one another most.
I guess it will take time, but I will get better as I align myself with the plan of the Potter, and remain under construction in His hands.
Have you had similar experiences? Is “the D-Word” trying to get between you and the One who loves You and has a perfect design for your life? Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts about this. Your experience is likely what someone else needs to hear.
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