Opinion

God in Africa

By Ben Patrick

During school days, many can agree with me that every class had those prayerful pupils. They would preach to fellow classmates and would portray a holy behavior. What  didn’t  fall  into their godly  character  most  of the  times were  good  grades.  One would wonder if prayer warriors weren’t meant to be intellects.

Leaving  school and being  part of  the society  as  a  school leaver,  I  still  see  people who fast  every day  and spend dawn to dusk at the  mountains, still leading  poor  lives  while  the Sunday  or non-church  goers  at all,  earning  more  than the former’s entire  generation’s  wealth in just a day.

So, was it God, the people, the methods, or just time, was it chance, malediction?  The thought list was endless in my oval shaped brain and knowledge engine.  I tried to learn new words like Floccinaucinihilipilification but that didn’t define the situation. 

Here is what did:

People ought to understand that there  are  certain things in life  that are  set systems or  codes such that no matter  how much  you try  to walk  your way  around, it  will  remain remnant. One  of such is to say, ‘you reap what  you sow.’  this is  one  of the  most  common sayings  because it carries proof beyond reasonable  doubt that a maize  seed  will  always  produce  a  maize-plant when nurtured properly  of course. Hence, even granny in the village understands this concept.

I am sure my fellow Christians reading this are at the edge of their tempers as I have triggered this topic without the mention of a miracle. Well, a  miracle is the  suspension of the  normal course  of nature;  I  heard  and agreed to his definition from a man of  God whose  name is buried somewhere  in my  brain. But a miracle is necessary because sometimes it the only thing that works, it wasn’t designed to be received by a person daily. That is why it is important to know that people are blessed, it’s not a miracle to breath; it’s a blessing! We are simply blessed beyond measure and sometimes it is necessary to experience a miracle in order to know the power of the love of God and the depth of the blessings bestowed upon us.

So, Christian or not, you are forever blessed and the concepts of life will thus work for you. Prayer warrior or not, hard work will always yield a bountiful harvest. Deacon or not when you are lazy, you won’t fry.  

God is an inspirer of hard work; that’s why Jesus worked during his stay on earth. That’s also why he said and still says ‘follow me,’ not ‘stay with me.’  He understood the power of work while on earth; he  didn’t always just pray  and  wait  for a lame  man to pass so he  could shout healing  from  a  distance.  He went to preach and teach. Mostly in the Bible, Jesus met the people he assisted; they seldom went to his vicinity.  That’s why Jesus’s house number isn’t in the Bible. He went to where people needed him; that’s work!

Unfortunately most people in society simply want to sit and shout, ‘Amen’ and ‘I receive’ while seated and doing nothing. If Jesus worked, what about you?  There is nothing like you sit down and wait for a miracle, if it’s not necessary, it won’t come. People are misled with misconceptions of laying all their burdens on God, even dirty  linen. Be part of the hardworking prayerful people and shake yourselves, not mountains. Use your faith to move your situation for the better, that way, even the mountains will move.

If only the school pastors prayed, fasted and studied, they would have seen positive results both in their academic and spiritual lives.  There is a huge difference between a hard worker who prays and a wealthy man who sleeps without a prayer. When you have God, you have all it takes to have all you have worked to receive.

If you are no hard worker, you will one day think prayer is useless.

That  is why  most  of the  people  in Africa  despite  knowing  God,  die  without  the taste of  the steering  wheel. Where others work hard to get what they want, they are busy pointing at who the witch is in their family is. Problems will always be there, not because wizards deem it fit, but because we need challenges to grow.

We are  too lazy  to accept the  systems of life,  and so we  burden  God so as to  have  someone  to blame  if the  wealth never  comes.  

One of the reasons we are a poor continent is the misconceptions of God.  God is not a magic man; he is a faithful being that sticks to his word.  That’s why  grace  works  by  nature; why  you ought to work for a  car to  own it.

Work hard and exercise patience; God is just.

Africa arise and work, God is never fooled.

School girl study and pass, remember to pray too.

African woman buy food and eat, pay what you can manage as tithe.

Young woman live a life of integrity, marriage will chase you instead.

Young man work hard to survive, miracles don’t always happen.

May God open our hearts to receive him as king and not a wishing well.

The author is Ben Patrick, PhD fellow, University of Aberdeen, Department of Health Economics and a Senior Human Capital Consultant and Cofounder of ShimaHR Consultants Limited.

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