The Mess. A Miracle.

By Adeyinka Shittu

1
My mum gave me an iPhone for my birthday.
I couldn’t hide the fact that I was disappointed when she handed it to me; I had asked for an Android phone. Why would she give me an iPhone I couldn’t download songs on?
I remember the confidence in her voice when she held my eyes in hers.
“You might not like the phone now but you’ll thank me later.”
Over 2,000 selfies later, I agree with her.

The greatest disappointment we experience are blessings. We only need to see them the right way.

2
Earth screamed in pain for a saviour, humanity groaned under the weight of sin for a Messiah and God decided it was time to send the long awaited Deliverer.

Israel shouts for joy. 

At last! Hallelujah! God is sending Someone to us!
Emmanuel!

Somehow, an entire nation forgets…

God NEVER wraps himself inside the expected. 
He rarely makes grand triumphant entries. 
Too many times, we stand at the front door expecting a miracle that has already snuck up on us through the back door.

What if the miracle is here but we can’t see it right because it isn’t wrapped in what we think should be the right package?

3
In a stable on a tiny (almost unnoticeable) part of the map, a woman screams from the pain of labour, groaning as she pushes a Son into the world. She holds the babe’s gaze and his warm throbbing flesh in her hands and names him Emmanuel. 

Emmanuel is no mere babe.

Emmanuel is God dressed in skin longing to be ‘God in the world’ and not just ‘God to the world’.

Emmanuel is God’s remedy for Israel’s disease but Emmanuel is not what Israel wants.

Israel wants an emancipator to free her from Rome. She wants a political activist or a Rabbi with right theology but God says,

“Here, hold this baby.”

It takes a lot of warming up and slowing down for it all to really sink.

Word-made-flesh wasn’t exactly a good thing. It was a mess, a terrible mess, but then, aren’t messes the catalysts for miracles?

God sometimes feeds us with manna, the“what is this?” food that makes no sense. When we thirst for grace, He asks us to drink the mystery of circumstances we don’t understand. 
There’s a lot of things we don’t understand.

But we understand that nothing can separate us from the jealous love of God so we have a reason to be joyful.

Even if things fall apart, the fact that blood flows in our veins and breath is in our lungs is reason to be thankful.

Like Mary, the baby we hold in our hands may have no earthly father but it doesn’t change the fact that it has a future.

You may have seeds that haven’t seen sunlight yet, dreams that haven’t reached reality yet but it doesn’t change the fact that the One who began works of art in you will complete it.

Today, instead of complaining about fuel scarcity and the failing naira, why not sit quietly and say All Is Grace?

Why not number your blessings and count them all joy?
Knowing full well God will make it all right in the end.

My IHS Christmas GiveAway – His Reassurance

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If you are on my BBM or WhatsApp or you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably had ‘enough’ of my fuss over this IHS win.
Maybe you’re thinking “what’s the excitement about? They’re just books!”
I know, I didn’t think they were precious stones (literally). I knew before I put in for the quiz that if I won, I’d be getting books…

So, why the over-excitement on the win?

It is partly because I have never won anything in my life!
Yes, you read that right. NEVER!
Not even free Coke or recharge card – Nothing!
I have since accepted that I don’t have ‘head for awuf‘ so, it’s no issue for me when people around me get free gifts or ‘win something’. I just celebrate with them where necessary and I move on with my life.
I don’t even try to ‘win anything’.
Mi O l’ori awuf.

So I said it is partly because I won something for the first time in my life (at least, that I can remember).
The other reason, which is the main one, is because God used that win as a ‘come through’ for me. He was right on time!
See, for a while, I’ve had some personal issues; issues that were bordering on psychologically and emotionally paralysing me and, I felt stuck, irredeemable and wanted to give up. I had prayed and I had peace on the issues, trusting God to make it all perfect but, as if He knew (of course, He did) that I’d waver in trust, He decided to show me in plain terms that He meant what He’d said.

And He ‘showed’ you by letting you win books?
Yes.

A lot of times, we look out for the huge ones… The earth-moving, lightning-accompanied signs; like a voice booming from the skies or a word of prophecy from the Preacher…
But often times, we don’t get those and unfortunately for us, we think that God is ‘not there’ so we despair while this awesome Father is frantically waving His assurance in our faces with the simplest and most unassuming things.

God has no need to impress you!

Remember the still small voice?
Even the unassuming infant born in a manger?
Simple, little reassurances.
Let’s take a challenge this period, shall we? Let us make out minutes, even seconds, to thank God for the simplest things we often overlook in our lives – like sleeping and waking up; a reassurance of His need for you – and ask that He helps us to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Don’t forget to give even more special thanks for the unassuming infant born in a manger – the sole reason you can eat all the chicken and rice you want this Christmas.

“… He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him” Isaiah 53:2

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Merry Christmas!