"I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord"
My first conscious memory of these words from the bible was in July 1998. My aunty had cancer and the doctors had told her that it had spread into her bone marrow so she was brought back to Nigeria to die. I'd just come back home from secondary school and my parents were not in the country so my other aunty and I were alone in the house taking care of her. She was in a lot of pain when she was awake and to douse the effect of the pain she was put on Morphine. As you can imagine, the church folk kept trooping into the house with prayers and words of encouragement and bible passages. Prayers of different types, forms and nature (ehn you sha get my point... orishirishi). People came and prayed. She was told to recite that passage over and over and over "I shall not die but live to declare the works of the Lord". She recited the words, and on the 5th of August, my aunty died. I watched her suffer in so much pain, and she died.
As a young christian I just couldn't understand it, shebi they said she should declare, shebi she declared. I was torn between my grief and my wavering faith. I knew when my grandma died and she died in her sleep and she was old, but here was my aunty... aged 51 who taught me vowels and consonants... in pain and she still died after all that prayer? ha! I was so so confused. As I grew older I learnt that our prayers have to go with our faith, that when you pray you have to believe that our prayers would be answered. So I said ok, lesson learnt. Later on, I learnt that God has the sole discretion to answer prayers, so even when we pray, and we have faith that our prayers would be heard, HE has the final say cos he's the 'perfect' ONE who knows what is best for us and in the end of the day we say "thy will be done".
So does this mean that there is no need to pray so hard any more? does this mean that no matter how often we DECLARE something it is not a guarantee of getting what we want? I mean does this mean that people who die have no desire to live any more? is their work on earth done? if they had prayed harder, would they have lived? was their faith not strong enough to hold them through? I mean I prayed/ we all prayed for my cousin when he had the accident and he survived, he was bleeding into his brain and he survived, with a facial scar.. he survived.. and then Sage (my brother) dies?? But who are we to question God?? Does this mean that we should just take a siddon look approach with God and just say "You're gonna do what you would do anyway... I don't need to make any effort". If something doesn't work out for me, how do I know if I'm being inhibited by sin or if I'm just not praying hard enough or if I don't believe it enough or if God just doesn't want it for me? How do I know?
I know my blog isn't a theology class but sometimes I'm just sooo confused at the dynamics between God up in heaven and us earthlings, creatures of the Most High. What's our role exactly in the grand scheme of things?
Last night my sister got news that her friend died. He'd been ill for about 3 months and he got better. She was so excited that God did this great tremendous thing in the life of her friend and how He was faithful and next thing she hears Shegzy is dead. How do you reconcile that? is my faith too little to grasp how God works? Do I need to grow deeper in God? How much more faith do we need to have? and is it only when you face the final point of death that we hands off and say "Have your way oh Lord" If I declare that I shall not die but live to declare the works of the Lord, and the will of God is for me to die before I'm 30, does it mean I didn't declare hard enough?
I wanna live my life in such a way that when I'm gone I'd have achieved what I was placed on earth to do. I think I have gotten to the point where I don't care if I pass away today. I am not afraid of death. I have come to the point where I know that any day, any time I can slump and die. No this is not me being "unchristianly". This is me knowing that in the end of the day I'm not the one who determines whether I get to take the next breath or not, so why should I be going gragra. I'm going to live my life in the fear of God, and submit to the total and final will of God. I will have faith that HIS good and perfect will be done in my life. I'm not sure about declaring that I will not die. However, I will declare that while I have breath in me, I will live a life worthy of the number of years that God has chosen to give me...freely.
Whether or not i die... it's completely up to HIM