Tolani couldn’t count how many times her eyes had darted to the wall clock, subconsciously. She could feel her pulse rising. She was going to be leaving the hospital any moment from now and she would be going back to school immediately. So many things ran through her mind. How easy would it be picking up the pieces of her life back together? With all the myriad of questions trying to find a space in her mind, she was sure of one thing: she would never be the same again. The question is, for good or worse?
As long as she dreaded the hospital bed, drugs and drips, she was reluctant to leave. She remembered Dr. Nelson. He was the one person who had helped her through. Not that her parents didn’t, but he really identified with her. Anyways, he promised to still keep in touch.
‘God.’ She signed. He was her only hope of getting her life back together. It was two days now since Dr. Nelson told her about journeying with God but nothing much had happened since then. Reading her Bible felt like a fluff, and prayer was just a routine. She didn’t feel any better.
Her phone rang. It was her fellowship sister leader. Almost everyone she knew had been calling her for days but she refused to pick their calls or reply their texts. But Mrs Adams had been very consistent with calling, virtually everyday, since she got to the hospital. Tolani thought whether to pick it or not. What would she tell her? She knew going back to school, she would have to explain what had happened to her, but she wasn’t ready to deal with that now. The call ended. Few minutes later, she received a text from her.
‘Good morning, dear Tolani. How are you doing? I learned you were hospitalized. I’m sorry about that. Hope you are getting better now? I guess you’re too tired to pick the calls. But whatever the problem, just believe God, ok? I can’t wait to see your wonderful face again. God bless you!’
Tolani stared at her phone for a long while. She felt like crying. She couldn’t explain what those words did to her, but they touched her heart. The others who called majorly wanted to know what happened but Mrs Adams showed that she really cared. That meant a lot.
Apart from that, something from the text struck Tolani. ‘Just believe God.’ It was clear but there was some form of tranquility in it. There was something about those words that resonated within her.
As she thought of those words, the verse Dr. Nelson had quoted came back to her: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.’
She had been praying these days, so what exactly was missing? Her prayers felt empty. She still felt the guilt of suicide throbbing within her and the fear of the future still held her tight.
Like a flash of light in the dark sky, understanding came. As simple as it seemed, she couldn’t believe she had been missing out on this for so long.
‘He that cometh to God must believe that He is.’ She was the Bible study leader and had quoted that verse, studied it and taught it but strangely, she had never seen it in this light. If she would really experience God, she had to believe He was there, right there with her. She needed to talk to Him like He was sitting right beside her, not someone far away. All the while, that’s how she’d been communicating with God. Not that she didn’t receive any answers to her prayers but the reality of HIM was not there. And that was what she needed now.
She sat up straight. 10:30. Her eyes darted to the wall clock again. Her parents would be here any moment. She pulled up her legs and wrapped her arms around it. She was going to do this now.
In the simplest manner she could, she imagined God sitting down beside her on the bed. It felt funny though but she believed it was so, and real, and not just a fragment of her imagination. Then she started talking, concentrating on where she had imagined Him sitting.
‘Hey God. I’m here.’ She started. ‘It feels odd talking to you this way but I’ll do it anyways.’ She went on talking to God about all that had happened. Taking a few stops on the way, wondering how to tell God how she felt but she continued and said it the way she could. She told Him how much she felt hurt, the raging feelings of shame and guilt within. She explained she was beginning to lose her trust in Him and she didn’t have any hope for her tomorrow. There were times she felt weird talking to God, and sometimes it was hard to bring some details of her experience to the open, especially her thoughts. It had never occurred to her that being sincere with God about oneself could be hard sometimes. No wonder God requires a broken heart and contrite spirit.
She continued and continued; talking to God about everything about her at that moment. Then she stopped.
‘There God.’ She closed her eyes for a few seconds and opened it. ‘I’m done.’ She kept quiet, not sure of what to expect.
Then all of a sudden, she felt overwhelming joy sweeping through her. She could not understand it. It was hard to sit still on the bed. She rose up and began pacing around the floor. No words came. She just felt so joyful. It was surreal. She felt like dancing. She had a strong assurance she wasn’t the only one in the room. Tears began to pour out of her eyes. She felt God’s love swelling up from within her.
Then this verse came to her “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God. (1 John 3:1)” That’s exactly how she felt. Loved. Forgiven. Begotten. The feelings of guilt and shame gradually peeled off from the walls of her heart. She was free! Never had she felt this way before. She cried until she started laughing and singing.
Do you believe?
How do you approach God when you come to Him? Do you come to Him as someone far away? A big God that’s so scary to approach?
From Hebrews 11:6, it’s not enough to come to God in prayer, you’ve got to believe that He is. Faith has to be active. There is a limit to how far you can journey into God, depending on your faith in His reality, not just His existence. That’s why the Bible says we should boldly approach the throne of grace. Why don’t you try that now? Talk to Him as someone who is real.
There is a limit to how far you can journey into God, depending on your faith in His reality, not just His existence. That’s why the Bible says we should boldly approach the throne of grace. Why don’t you try that now? Talk to Him as someone who is real.
Are you sincere?
God requires a broken and a contrite heart. Hey. He knows you. He knows your deepest thoughts but I’ve discovered that it could be sometimes hard to tell God how we really feel at times. Even though we know He knows. If you’re truly going to experience God on the journey with Him, you’ve got to be sincere with Him every step of the way.
Psalm 34:18 says “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and safety such as be of a contrite spirit.” God is near and real to those who are sincere and broken before Him. He is not looking for fearful servants to rule, He’s looking for friends to relate with. You can start with Him today if you haven’t.
Did you learn any lessons from this post? Have you ever been in this position as Tolani, where you finally discovered what it means to come to God? How did it feel? I’d love to hear your responses in the comment box below.
Feel free to share with others too.
Feel free to share with others too.
You can check the previous episode here