The Little Moments
Room C20, Mellanby Hall, University of Ibadan, holds some of the most fascinating experiences of my life. I once called it a beehive of memories. It was in there, when I was 18, that I first heard the audible voice of God.
He told me to go to the Chapel of Resurrection and pray for my fellowship’s prayer meeting that was holding that evening. I obeyed. While there, His voice came to me again 30 minutes later. He also told me the scripture to read. He said the president of the fellowship was going to call me soon to lead the prayers. He was right. He always is. I received a call few minutes later. “Hello, this is bro ‘Laide…. I want to inform you that you’d be leading the prayer meeting this evening….”
That call stirred a mixed feeling: excitement and fear. I had heard God. It was surreal. I was excited. I was also scared. I had never led a spiritual meeting before. I didn’t know it was the beginning of hundreds of such engagements in years to come. I remember a lady walking up to me after that prayer meeting saying, “God really spoke to me through you. I was reading that same scripture before leaving my room and I found my answers at the meeting.” My inner man was grinning to his ears with palpable pleasure while I maintained a stone-cold, praise-the-Lord look on the outside. When my unit leader and brother returned from his IT posting few days later, I ran to him to share my excitement. “Brother,” he would say, “God is just starting with you.”
Now, that was a big moment for me. For a little child who had always wondered how my mum came up with the God-said line or subsequently as an observer of prophetic utterances. I was going to hear Him clearly again almost a week later, on my way home. He had asked me to alight at a bus stop and go to a church member’s house who was thinking about abortion. Again, He was right. But I was not going to have that audible experience again for many years. I remember the silence initially brought this wave of sadness and self-condemnation. I prayed and cried and fasted. I loved those moments. But I was going to learn not to depend on voices but His word and the inner witness of His Spirit. Many times, we love the loud sound of God in the fire and many waters.
But God also loves the little moments.
He was there in that moment of worship on Friday, when I held on to the leg of a chair, as though I was literally holding Jesus’, while Dusin Oyinkan led at WAFBEC, shouting, crying, screaming, “O Son of David, have mercy on me.” Only for Pastor Poju to come up few minutes later to speak about the mercy of God and the efficacy of Christ’s atoning blood. The son of God was lifted before me, my saviour, for my song of victory is in my testimony of what His blood did. God was there.
He was there on Wednesday when my friend met strangers on the train in New York; men with tattooed faces, just leaving jail, talking about their experiences. He was there when they saw her visibly shaken with lines of fear on her face, while talking about STDs and cheating on their wives. He was there when scary strangers with scary stories in a scary space smiled when she said she is Nigerian. He was there when she stood up and proudly declared to be a doctor with echoes of “wow, wow, wow…” receding behind her as she left the train. God was there every time her heart reaches out to people, because she loves human beings, striking actual conversations about shared experiences, her faith, her pain; her story, knowing that the link between a stranger and her saviour was only a conversation away.
God is in those personal moments.
He was there when my new family needed funds desperately to pay for the school fees of children in 2014. He was there in the place of tearful prayer, that morning, when assurances floated in our hearts to mind our business, rest and see Him at work. He was there when that same morning a stranger called and said God has sent her to pay the school fees of the children.
God is in those little moments.
God is in those moments of smiles from a stranger the morning you woke up feeling ugly. God is in the deafening cries of the baby you smacked irritably while you are asking Him for mercy. God is in your respect. He is in your kindness. He is there when you stand up for a pregnant or aging person to sit even when it is not convenient. God is in random conversations, pedestrian experiences, when little moments of faith, at a very personal level, show that God is indeed with you and you are not alone.
So, continue to negotiate a daily, honest self-conversation in view of where you want to be in your walk with God by the end of the year. For little moments to count, the seeming ignorable experiences must be prioritised. Be tempted to ask over and over again: What is the cost of not always putting God first? What is the cost of lacking self-discipline for a necessary routine? What is the cost of treating self-control with glove hands? What if isolation is not enough? What is the cost of skipping daily study of the word and intense prayers? What really is the cost of inconsistency?
One of the costs is that you miss the little moments.
The cost is a permitted soulish darkness, a dead fellowship; a fearful, irreverent life steeped in utter hollowness and bleakness, ignorant and unthankful of little moments.
The cost is in those little moments you might be tempted to ignore this year because you are looking for the big breaks and the stupendously spectacular moments.
God is also, and mostly, in what we call the little moments.