have always preached to people in times of their adversity. It was the reverse commencing May 11 2014. It becomes my turn to be preached to and it continues.
I have prayed my soul out that the cup passed over me. She also did. I employed my old time Christian friends to plead with God on my behalf. However, it pleased the Lord not to allow the cup to pass over me and she was recalled home.
I left her bed side and went up at about 3am after a fervent petition to God to spare her life. I gave reasons why He had to. I was relaxed within me that the heavens have heard me. Her sister in law, Sisi Iyabo, a practicing Nurse asked me to go up while she kept the vigil.
I returned about 2 1/2hours later expecting a smile from her. It was not to be but a retrogression in the condition. I observed cyanosis on the lips and other negative signs. It dawned on me that she was transiting and I felt it was time for a valedictory service.
Sis Iyabo and OreOluwa our teenage son joined. Ore gave a very short but moving words of thanks to her, reminding her that it has always been her and himself all his nearly 18years sojourn on earth. I thanked God and herself for her companion and I wished her a smooth transition to her creator. The service lasted about 15minutes. I was bidding her good night with a song "Blessed be the tie that binds---"when at the second line of the very 1st stanza, I broke down very heavily.
I left elementary School 50 years ago. I can't remember any time afterwards when I sobbed. She nor the children can say they ever saw me weep. This time, I groaned and sopped heavily such that she woke up. Sis. Iyabo shouted "Anti Ranti, speak to Baba Ayo; anti Ranti, speak to Baba Ayo" But sis. Iyabo was talking to someone rudely woken up from deep sleep, wondering what was at stake judging from the expression of her look. She opened her two eyes clearly; the eye balls very radiant, perplexed with a question unuttered "What is happening?" She gazed at me for a about a minute or two and slept off with her eyes closed, not to open it again in this world. She kept on breathing till about 8:23pm when she breathed her last.
She dropped her head leftwards peacefully, the normal way she sleeps in life such that a friend of hers who came in minutes afterwards thought she was just sleeping. I greeted the friend in the Yoruba language as she walked in, "E ku idele ore yin" i.e. "Greetings at your friend's departure" The friend did not catch it until another of their friends phoned from Florida and I told the Florida one in plain language "My wife has departed me" Only then, the first friend moved closer to the bed, shook it and busted in tears.
Paul the Apostle wrote to the Thessalonians in chapter 1 verse 18 "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you"
Even when overwhelmed in distress and grief?
"In everything" Paul says.
But look at these scenarios?
- I worked thousands of miles away from home in the last 21 years. For the 1st 8years of the 21 years, I returned home for a total of 35 days in a year. The ten years that followed, she and our young son came to my location in the Middle East at each summer for 10-12 weeks and I returned to the U.S home at Christmas for a period of 3- 4weeks.
- 3 years ago, I resigned my secular job and faced on full time basis, evangelism and the repair of Nigeria using spiritual tools. So I relocated to Nigeria, visiting her in the U S for between 2-3 months a year except this visit, which has lasted 7months plus.
- We were anxiously waiting for the young lad to finish High School, settle him in College and for her to join me in Nigeria in my campaign for a better and sensible Nigeria using spiritual means.
- It has certainly been difficult, very difficult actually to live apart but we have accepted it as our calling.
- Alas, 11 days for the young lad to graduate High School and about a year or so more to have her long anticipated desire met, when we can return to a life of "As it was in the beginning" i.e a life of "Me & my husband" 'nest life' without interruption of a third party i.e no child living with us, she departed.
- I must add that she visited me in Nigeria in the summer of 2011 and she considered seriously staying behind. It took the timely visit of an elderly sister of us, who persuaded her to return. It was not an easy task for the sister though. It took her a whole Saturday evening, Sunday morning and afternoon to get the job accomplished. Four days later she boarded. That now became her last visit.
So, how do I thank God in these circumstances?
Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth in 1Cor 10: 13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it".
Writing in this newspaper on Jan. 21 2014 on the topic "Why Does the Righteous suffer (44) The Reasons & Purposes ------(9), I wrote "If we are careful, each time we are tempted, if only we can evaluate well, even as situation grows worse, God always gives us chances and opportunities to see reasons for thanking Him, so that we shall be able to bear it patiently. (1 Cor. 10:13). The cushion effect will always be there. (http://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/aweda/012114.html)
When the illness was diagnosed on Easter Monday, My wife did not want her faith distracted. She wanted us to be focused, she warned me not to disclose it to anyone who will be alarmed except someone I was sure would intercede with God. Promptly, I intimated a number of my Christian friends who I grew up with.
The gentleman who I succeeded as Pastor of an Underground Church somewhere on the globe promptly texted me as follows: "Sam, your coming and staying behind this long is not by accident or coincidence" (Remember, usually by January or at its latest February, I would have returned to Nigeria). He continued "It was long divinely ordained-----First, I thank God that it happened here in the U.S. The medical protocol here is very advanced------I am persuaded that God will answer our petition on this issue. Be sure the intercession have started and you can count on me"
Let us analyze God's working hands in this case of adversity.
Next time we will analyze how this case has encouraged my campaign for a sensitive Nigeria.
Victoria Oluranti Aweda (nee Adebiyi) Rest in peace my wife
Continued from Part 1
To be contd