“All our infirmities, whatever they are, are just opportunities for God to display his gracious love in us”- C.H. Spurgeon.
The interesting thing about adversity and some awful things that are beyond human comprehension is that when they happen they leave us with only one option of looking up to the master healer, the Jehovah-Rapha. Once dreaded sickness like cancer that human being and doctors call terminal ailment comes, and all options are exhausted, then we begin to look for the fine suiting verses in the holy book that portrays the master healer as the last resort.
When we as humans go about operating as if we are God unto ourselves, he leaves us to rove deceptively leaving in the wrong image of an all-powerful until when times like we are now arrives. Time when something like Coronavirus arrives the stage with a strong message spreading and killing people-rich, poor, strong and weak, old, young, men and women, defying treatment and dispersing round the World like an inferno. When every other thing fails and the situation obviously hopeless, at that point the ever reliable solid last option will emerge.
Truth is that the only time God’s children really remembers and beckons on him is when their trip on this earth enters cul-de-sac. When their journey gets to a dead end where there is no outlet.
Just like when pilots announce the loss of engine in the air and passengers finding themselves in blind alley resorts to the only available option God, who can save lives when plane falls from the sky, who can keep a baby alive floating in the ocean after plane crash into the sea until a rescuer arrives in a boat. His name is God but the Hebrews call him Jehovah-Rapha.
God himself uses this name for himself as we can see in various verses of the scripture in circumstances where he came when situation was already hopeless. In Exodus 15:26 God says “if you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and give ear to his Commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the disease on you that I put on Egyptians, for I am the Lord your healer” Every Nigerian Christians already embraced and memorized this old testament verse because of where we are at the moment at the mercy of mysterious virus.
As Coronavirus ravages the World, helpless human beings of various faiths- Christianity, Islam,, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese and African traditional religions have been on their knees in their various languages and colours beckoning on the good shepherd to come and heal them. Every lip now remembers that God is their shepherd and that there is nothing they can want as he keeps them besides still waters. But we had all long forgotten that the shepherd that needs God’s help is the weak one that he carries on his shoulder as he pastures not the arrogant ones who go about eating and behaving as if power comes from them.
There is a message in what is happening in the World today, huge one at that. The mighty ones are all falling because of a small virus.
China and the United States of America have obviously been controlling the temperature of the World as they struggle to outwit each other in a supremacy game. But when small virus arrived from nowhere, the two nations have been engaged in all kind of supplications that never happened in their history.
Chinese who have been attacking major religions in their country in preference for their traditional paganism have been struggling to get hold of the Holy bible and the Quran as they search for healing. Almighty America who has been at the forefront of marketing gay lifestyle and behaving as if they own the World suddenly listed out their sins and now begging God to forgive and help.
Nowhere is this Coronavirus drama more intriguing and enthralling than in Africa particularly in Nigeria.
It would therefore be difficult at this time and as a current affairs column to have a conversation on anything that is not connected to Coronavirus otherwise called COVID-19.
COvID-19 has done what even war could not do to nations. In wars those perceived to be more valuable are protected and kept at a distance from danger. With COVID-19 every human beings are vulnerable, rich, poor, high and low, criminals as well as their victims, believers and non-believers.
Never in the history of this country, not even during the 30 months fratricidal civil war of 1967 to 1970 was all tiers of educational institutions in the country shot down and all international outlets sea, air and land shot out to the public as has happened in fear of Coronavirus.
From today Thursday as you read this column Lagos the biggest and busiest City in Africa will be shut down not because of war but due to the menace of virus.
The origin of this disease is yet to be ascertained as it remains subject of controversy between the two global super powers China and the United States.
Even though the World saw the virus begun its havoc in a Chinese city called Wuhan, there has been dispute over its origin as Chinese tries to trace it back to US soldiers but loquacious US President Donald Trump who will not take that prefers instead to call it Chinese virus.
In all the drama about this virus Nigeria situation appear more fascinating. Nigeria and other African leaders spent millions of hard currency annually on health and social tourism abroad. Millions of stolen public funds have been invested abroad by Nigeria leaders who try to prepare heaven on earth for themselves and their families. At the slightest health challenge they rush aboard in search of good life but nothing to improve the situation at home. Between 2016 to 2018 a short period of three years, N5.2b was budgeted for Aso Rock clinic alone yet they cannot treat the smallest illness there.
To underscore the spiritual significance of the current ravaging global health challenge, and its demystification of science, it first started from where the health facilities are available, Europe, America and Asia. By the time it arrived Africa there were no longer any place to run to as they were already locked down.
Is it not curious to discerning minds therefore that persons who run out of the country for medics in as light ailment as headaches and malaria are being quarantined at home when deadly disease caught up with them?
Imagine the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari easily the most powerful political personality in the land today being considered to be flown to Lagos because no health facility in the nation’s capital including the Aso Rock clinic can handle him.
When Nigeria and African leaders barefacedly siphon public money meant to provide befitting health facilities for the populace and think they are smart, it’s just because the General Overseer overlooks them but when he decides to look in as he is now doing thorough coved-19 there will be no hiding place.
Thecurrent situation with Covid-19 should therefore be a huge lesson for our leaders to draw from especially coming as a reminder that when opportunities to do good and get it’s reward are squandered, it has an aftermath. Therefore, for us as a country, time like this is when we gaze intently at God for mercy and solution in the hope that he graciously forgives and heals us of diseases and infirmities. And that he saves us as a people from the corollary of this Coronavirus. Amen