The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should repent. -2 Peter 3:9
It was raining heavily when Kenneth and his entourage arrived at The City Resort in London. To him, this was unimaginable. As he was ushered to the podium, the loud cheering from the seated audience sent cold shivers down his spine. This could only be a dream.
‘It is a rare privilege addressing you in this epoch making occasion’ he started in a cracked voice. Clearing his throat, he continued. I was born into a middle class home. My parents were godly and taught me to honour God. I didn’t have all the best things of life but, I was comfortable.
Growing up, I had an inordinate quest for money, this was a source of worry to my parents especially my mum. I could do just anything to make money and buy myself expensive things. My greed for money brought me in connection with a man who resided in South Africa. He comes around from time to time and gathers youths from my neighborhood to SA and other European countries. When I learnt about this, my hair stood still. ‘I must join this wagon’ I told myself and off, I broke the supposed good news to my parents.
My mother stood vehemently against it and advised me to further my education to the university while trusting God to take me overseas at due time. Without wasting much strength, I convinced my dad to sell two plots of land and sponsor me to South Africa. Yet, my mother never supported me.
Life in South Africa wasn’t what I envisaged. The man who took me there never explained the harsh realities of survival in SA. I had dreamt of a smooth rosy life, driving posh cars but reverse was the case there. I had to sweat out blood for every Rand I made. I was hungry for money, I needed to prove a point back home, my mindset was, I must make it or be dead.
I started mixing up with some mean guys. They introduced me to fraud, then drugs and later, robbery. All the godly teachings I was taught back home had already evaporated into the air. Another strange spirit enveloped me. For me, it was from one heinous crime to the other. I became fierce, undesirable and lived only for the moment. I wanted to be rich at all cost so, I craved all out for it.
One day, I and my gang went for a bank operation. We had everything worked out but never knew something else awaited us. There was a gun battle. During the open fire, four of my men were killed while I was arrested alive but badly hurt. I was treated and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour. As at then, I was thirty years. Years crawled by, I was released after serving the ten years jail term and was later deported back to my country. I returned home the same way I left, with nothing.
It took divine intervention for me to be sane again. My mother died of heart attack when the news of my imprisonment reached her, my father was stricken in age and could barely see. I tried severally to commit suicide as a result of depression but, the preying eyes of my nephew always stopped me. I bounced back to square one; began to learn how to walk again, after wasting fifteen years of my life chasing breeze.
My turning point came the day I met Mr. Richard Jones, a missionary, at my in-law’s car servicing shop. He just took special interest in me so, we got talking. I am addressing you today because; God used Mr. Jones to transform my life. After our deep talk, I gave my life to Jesus Christ and became a youth ambassador for ‘Tomorrow Leaders’. Since that day, I have never been the same person again. I travel all over the world, sharing my story with youths and young adults like you.
It is not too late to start all over again.
The hardest stage of my life was when I had to start all over again. My mates had built houses, gotten married with children, had great jobs and businesses while I was only a peasant. I had dashed hopes and unfulfilled dreams yet, God helped me to begin again. It doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone in the wrong lane, you can still make a U-turn. Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase. (Proverbs 13:11). I know your heart has being touched by my story. Is your story and mine closely related? This is not the time to blame and be hard on yourself. It is a time to take the decision to be a changed person. Look into your future, there are far better things ahead than any that you will leave behind.
There is a Place for You.
We live in a dispensation that everyone wants to acquire wealth overnight without observing the principle of times and seasons. People are desperate like I was. The scripture says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is time for everything”. People hardly waits for their turn/time these days, we are all in a hurry. Youths leave their places of purpose in mass and prefer to struggle for the things that aren’t theirs. Abbas Kiarostami wrote: ‘when you take a tree that in rooted in the ground and transfer it from one place to another, the tree will no longer bear fruit. And if it does, the fruit will not be as good as it was in its original place’. Don’t be in a hurry to rearrange the stars. Let God order your steps; wait for His timing, Gods time is always the best.
God Can Use You.
I was a notorious armed robber and a fraudster, nothing was good about me. If God could change my life and make use of a hardened person like me, then He can also do more with you. All you need to do is surrender your heart to Jesus. Confess your sins and invite Him into your heart. Do not let today pass by without making the decision. Remember, nobody has a hold on tomorrow. God brought out a diamond (me) out of a pig-pen. He made something out of nothing; He can change your life today, would you let Him?
Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have sinned against You by directing my own life. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. I now thank You for filling me with the Holy Spirit and directing my life.
DID YOU SAY THE PRAYERS WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART?
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