A Negative Experience Turned into a Blessing.
It all started during my first year in the university, while I sat for the most important exams we were to write that semester. I call it the most important because that course carried the highest credit load; four credits, as opposed to other courses which were two or three credit courses.
I prepared well for that paper and wrote it quite well. When I came out of the exam hall, I was sure I would pass and as usual I forgot about the well-written paper and proceeded to prepare for my next paper.
But something happened a few days later while I was in a shuttle. Two girls were seated next to me and these girls happened to be in the same faculty as I. They were discussing one of their classmate’s predicament. Their classmate had forgotten to shade her Option type on her OMR sheet (answer sheet). The Option type is a box on the OMR sheet which must be shaded in order for the OMR machine to be able to mark your work.
Their classmate did not shade her Option type and the implication of that was that she was going to fail the course because her exam wouldn’t be marked.
It was then that it dawned on me that I also didn’t shade my paper type in that most important exam I’d written few days back. You know the implication of that. An automatic carryover was looming. I shared it with a friend who told me there was nothing I could do about it, and that I should just pray. And pray, I did.
I wasn’t scared because I felt the school wouldn’t just fail an innocent student for making such a mistake. I assumed that the person in charge of the marking of the scripts would check the attendance list for my Option type and shade it for me. But I still prayed a number of times while I awaited my results.
When my results came, it was filled with good grades except the capital ‘F’ that sat in the middle. Guess the course? You guessed right. It was that same 4 credit course. My heart broke at the sight of my result and I began to cry. God knows how hard I read. I’m not a lazy student. So, in my ignorance, I began to question God.
“But God, I prayed. I trusted you. How could you let this happen to me?”
I thank God for growth. I’ve learned never to question God because if he allows anything to come my way, then it’s going to work out for my good (Romans 8:28).
Back to my story. I went to my HOD to complain about the matter. My HOD said that it was beyond him because this course didn’t belong to my faculty, It was a borrowed course from a faraway faculty and I would have to write a letter to the HOD of that faculty through him (my HOD).
But then he also told me that I someone with a case like mine had come to him before then and he’d forwarded her letter to the HOD of the other faculty, but that HOD had sent him very unpleasant reply and he wouldn’t want it to happen again. So, he sympathized with me and told me that I would have to carry the course over, next year and that I should be very careful next time. Mind you, I love my HOD. He’s one of the nicest lecturers I’ve met, and I know he meant well for me.
My HOD wasn’t the only one who told me to forget about the case and accept the carryover. Other people also told me from their experience that nothing could be done about the case. So as the days passed, my resolve to pursue the case gradually weakened until I finally gave up and accepted my predicament.
Year two came and it was time for me to register my courses. That was when I fully understood the gravity of my situation.
Let me tell you a little about my department. My department is so strict that if at the end of your third year, you haven’t passed your courses from year one to three, then you are going to repeat that year.
You may say “But how does that affect you when you are writing your carryover course in your second year. You won’t have to worry about it at the end of your third year.”
The issue was, I couldn’t write it in year two because year two was packed full with courses and there wasn’t space for even a one credit course, not to talk about the four-credit course I was to carry over. Year three was better, there was space for a course with up to three credits, but remember mine was four credits.
That meant that I wouldn’t be able to write it in year two and in year three, and at the end of year three, I wouldn’t have cleared the course and so, I would have to repeat my third year if God didn’t intervene. Repeating a year was not an option for me. I couldn’t accept it.
So that night. I cried to God. Like, I really cried to God. I don’t know how, but my faith was stirred up. I knew there was nothing impossible for God to do. So, I literally cried to God to intervene in my situation. As I prayed, this song kept ringing in my heart, stirring up my faith.
What You cannot fix
What You cannot do
What You cannot solve does not exist
The more I remembered this song, the more confident I was, that God could help me. By the time I was done praying that night, I knew in my spirit that God had heard me.
After that day, strange things began to happen. I literally began to see God at work. My Mom had called a lecturer in that department to complain to him about what has happened. God used that lecturer to encourage me. The lecturer told my Mom to tell me to write another letter to their HOD because the problem could be solved. I did as I was instructed and throughout the process, I could see God’s favour all around me.
A month passed and I didn’t get any response from their HOD. So, my Mom told me to go to her office physically and see what had been done concerning my letter. God gave me the courage to do so and when I did, the secretary who I had earlier submitted the letter to told me that I hadn’t written the letter well and their HOD didn’t understand it, but that I should come back in the evening to see their HOD myself.
When I came back in the evening, their HOD was in a meeting, so I had to wait in the waiting room. The secretary stepped out and said I should wait for her, leaving me alone with three of her colleagues. Then, two of her colleagues began to discourage me. They told me that I was wasting my time because nothing could be done about my case. That their HOD couldn’t do anything about it because it was my fault. They even went as far as telling me to leave the office because my case was an impossible case.
But as they spoke, I kept remembering that God is the one who has the final say, not even the most experienced of men. So, I remained seated threre. Lo and behold, I met the HOD who was very kind and understanding. Talk about the favour of God.
Guys, to cut the long story short. My case was looked into, and that capital ‘F’ in my result was turned into a ‘B’. Talk about the hand of God. When everyone said ‘give up’, God said ‘Trust Me’. And He didn’t disappoint me.
Why I call this pain a blessing is because it caused me to experience God firsthand. Earlier on, I had read from my Bible that God fights our battles and that he defends the cause of the oppressed. But now, I experienced this part of God firsthand. There is nothing compared to knowing God by experience. That brings me to my main reason for writing all of this. To show you how you can make the most out of difficult times.
How You Can Make The Most Out of Difficult Times
We make the most out of difficult times by seeing them as an opportunity to experience a new dimension of God. Trust me, It’s very important to study your Bible to know God, but your knowledge of God becomes solidified when you experience Him for yourself.
Reading that God fights our battles is good, but watching God fight your personal battles is priceless. Reading that God heals the sick is good, but watching God heal your own body is priceless.
I don’t know what it is that you may be going through, but why don’t you stop wallowing in discouragement and sadness and begin to look to God. Search the scriptures to see what God has said he’d do in your situation. You could google ‘What does the Bible say about (Insert your situation)’.
If you are sick, God says in Exodus 15:26, “I am the Lord that health thee.” Why don’t you invite God into your situation and experience His healing dimension firsthand?
Have you lost a loved one? 2 Corinthians 1:3 says that God comforts us in all our troubles. See it an opportunity to experience the comforter dimension of God.
If you are going through financial issues, Proverbs 10: 22 says, “The blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow.” Invite God into your situation and experience His poverty removing dimension. But you must play your part by working hard because 1Thessalonians 3:10 says “If any man is not willing to work, let him not eat.”
Whatever your situation may be, Invite God into your situation and trust Him to deliver. God will always play His part as long as you play your role. Sin may be the reason why you are sick (Micah 6:13). In such a situation, you’ll need to repent and turn from your sin in order to see the healing Hand of God.
When We Cry to God
I’ve learned from scripture that whenever we cry to God something happens. Check out the following scriptures.
6 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. Psalms 107:6
9 And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt. Exodus 3:9-10
6 In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears. 7 Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry. 8 Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him Psalms 18:6-8
I particularly love the last scripture, Psalms 18:6-8 because it shows how precious we are to God. God’s anger burns against those who trouble us. Like, how dare they trouble His child? That’s how important we are to God. God is very attentive to the cry of the righteous.
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; Psalms 34:15
Guys, please don’t let your situation overwhelm you. Cry to God for help and watch Him intervene in your situation.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalms 34:8