John 21:3-6 (CEV)
Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing!” The others said, “We will go with you.” They went out in their boat. But they didn’t catch a thing that night. Early the next morning Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize who he was. Jesus shouted, “Friends, have you caught anything?” “No!” they answered. So he told them, “Let your net down on the right side of your boat, and you will catch some fish.” They did, and the net was so full of fish that they could not drag it up into the boat.
I am coming to realize that faith is not a fairy tale. It is a conscious effort. It is hard work. It is resistance against pressures and demands. But eventually it is the precursor of victory and fulfillment. Scripture says that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. I used to believe this in my head, but now I am learning to believe it with my life.
I was thinking about my new apartment. See, I cannot shout about it enough. I will really try to get a digital camera so that I can show you a picture of the apartment I used to stay in and where I now reside. Bishop Jakes said once that you can never appreciate my success if you do not understand my struggles. I totally agree.
My pastor announced 2008 as the year of fulfillment for us in the Christ Embassy ministry. And God spoke to me personally some things in line with this prophecy, one of which was that in this year 2008 I had come into the experience of His provision. This was sometime in January, and then I had actually moved out of my former apartment and was practically living in the office. Fast forward a few weeks and I had moved into a new apartment that was like 10 times bigger than the previous – without paying a single dime.
The thing I want to shout about today is the “jara” of God. See, there is something in the Nigerian culture when it comes to shopping in the open market. After striking a bargain with the marketer, you try to cajole him/her into adding a generous amount of extra. I believe it is something like what the bible describes as “pressed down, shaking together and running over”. It is the kind of experience you want to have when you go to purchase food items like rice, beans or garri. The local name for it is “jara”.
So I am thinking of God’s “jara” today. When I was looking for an apartment, I found one myself that I really would have loved to take, but as it turned out God had something better, which initially, I wasn’t so keen on. (why is it that we always think God is out to spoil our fun?). Now if I had taken the first apartment I saw, I would have probably had to deal with erratic power supply. In my present apartment, my neighbors bought a big generator that also powers my place. So I don’t have to worry about black-out. Even though I have my own generator which my office gave me for my birthday, I don’t have to use it and that saves me fuel money.
Plus I now have access to a car. My neighbor has a car. She doesn’t drive. And since we all work in the same place(church) my flatmate drives them to church, so she gives me access to drive her car. I now have a chance to improve my driving since God promised me a house and a car, when I did like Abraham and left all for a strange land. (I see my brand new car!)
I know it may sound petty to some, but God also told me to recognize the small fulfillments because they will make room for the bigger ones. Indeed God don’t just bless his kids, he gives them “jara” too.