Confessing the Need for God
Sometime back in the year 2014, I became interested in owning a hymnal called Songs of Fellowship which I had come to like when I used to sing with the All Saints' Cathedral 9.30am English service choir. And because I couldn't afford to buy a copy of the hymnal, I approached several choristers I had sang with in the cathedral for help.
As usual, my friend Michael Njeru was among the very few choristers who bothered to reply. He told me he had a personal copy of the hymnal which he lent me for one month. During that one month, I went through the hymnal, photocopied the hymns I liked, and then returned it dutifully to Michael Njeru.
Among the hymns I liked in the hymnal was one I hadn't heard before titled "O Breathe of Life", a simple hymn with a tuneful melody and inspiring lyrics that have spoken to me in a manner I can relate to. I have particularly come to like its second verse which goes as follows:
That verse aptly captures what has happened to me. I have been bent and broken by life's challenges till I have confessed the need for God. Okay, let me tell you the full story.
O breathe of God come bend us, break us,
Till humbly we confess our need;
Then in thy tenderness remake us,
Revive, restore for this we plead.
When I was at Starehe Institute in 2006, I began to doubt the literary accuracy of the Bible, something I never hid from people. I used to argue with anyone who cared to listen to my rantings about how I thought the Bible was a fictitious book of the Jews. Like at one time in April 2007 while having my hair washed with chemicals in an attempt to make me appear fashionable, I found myself arguing with the woman washing my hair. Unable to stomach my arguments, the woman said this of me to her colleagues, "This is one of those people who pretend to be intelligent." I could tell from the tone of her voice that she thought I was one big fool. And I was.
Over the years since that time in 2007, I have faced challenges and committed mistakes that have made me confess God's need and turn to the Bible for guidance. For instance, I have suffered from excessive guilt; I have failed in several ventures such as getting rejected at top American colleges; I have tried running a political campaign only to find myself lacking the charisma I thought I could radiate - I could go on and on to list all the setbacks I have faced and the mistakes I have made but I beg to stop there in the interest of time.
Those challenges and mistakes have made me confess the need of God in my life. These days, I always commune with Him everyday not only to pray for my needs but also to give thanks. My past mistakes and challenges have made me wiser, so I not only pray for things but also for wisdom, knowledge, insight, understanding, good judgement and discernment. I also pray that I may be filled with love, peace, courage and gratitude each passing day. And I am always keen not to forget praying for courage.
I do meditate on the Bible as well since I now believe it to be the inerrant Word of God. And from my meditations on Scriptures, i have come to value honesty and hard work. Believe me, I have been working hard to be a good writer and a creative musician, hobbies that I am striving to turn into profitable work.
My dear reader, if you are facing challenges in life such as suffering from excessive guilt or going through messy relationships, I urge you to humble yourself and confess God's need as I have done. Accept that you can't lead a fulfilling life without His insight and intervention. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on confessing God's need, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "How I Came to Believe in the Bible". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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One night in 2017 while lying in bed at night waiting for sleep to catch up with me, I overheard my Dad telling Mum of someone suffering from cancer. I didn't get to hear the name of the cancer patient my parents were talking about. And I didn't bother to spring out of bed to ask. I just continued lying lazily in bed.
The following day, I found myself getting worried about the cancer patient I had overheard my parents talking about. Could a close relative have succumbed to the deadly disease? I wondered. And worried.
Unable to contain my worry and curiosity, I finally asked Dad in the evening of that day to tell me who was that person I had overheard him saying had cancer. "It's Ogenche's wife," he replied. (Ogenche is our neighbour on the western side of our home.)
I felt relieved to learn it wasn't a close relative who was suffering from cancer. Well, I know that sounds selfish and insensitive but I am telling you the truth: I felt relieved.
A few months later on a Sunday afternoon, I happened to be reading a book about literature on the back-door verandah of our mansion when I overheard some people crying and wailing at Ogenche's home. On hearing the cries, I immediately went inside our mansion to alert Dad which made him stop whatever he was doing in his study to go and have a listen too.
As Dad left his study, he said to me, "You know Ogenche's wife has been ailing with cancer." By saying that, Dad must have had in his mind what I had in mine: that Ogenche's wife may have passed on.
When we went outside to the back-door verandah to listen to the cries, Dad was quick to notice that some tents had been erected at Ogenche's compound. He heard the cries too. Out of curiosity, he called another neighbour of ours to inquire what was going on at Ogenche's home. The neighbour confirmed what we had in mind: that it was Ogenche's wife who had passed away.
Over the next several days, we continued hearing some people crying and waling at Ogenche's home, especially on the night before his wife was buried. And on burial day, Ogenche's farm was full of parked cars belonging to the people who had come to bid farewell to his wife. I didn't attend the funeral because neither Ogenche nor his wife had been a close friend of mine. But my Dad was kind enough to represent my family in the funeral.
Yesternight as I lay in bed waiting for sleep to catch up with me, I caught myself worrying of my Mum also suffering from cancer. I don't know why that worry popped in my mind. Maybe it's because the fate of Ogenche's wife is still fresh in my memory.
Anyway, yesternight when I caught myself worrying of Mum getting cancer, I quickly commanded myself, "Stop thinking about what could go wrong and instead start thinking about what could go right." In other words, I was training my mind to think optimistically.
I can't recall what else I thought about yesternight after I commanded my mind to think optimistically because I did fall asleep sooner than later. As I write this story, I am thinking about the things that could go right in my life; like me meeting the woman of my dreams during my daily walks to Kiserian Town or through the internet. And I have resolved to continue thinking optimistically.
My dear reader, I urge you to also train your mind to thinking optimistically. Try to regularly weed out any worry that may pop up in your mind. After all, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. Adieu!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on thinking optimistically, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "Bidding a Friend Farewell". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.