Dealing with uncertainties
Once in a while, you experience moments of uncertainty and confusion when you don’t know which way to go. You don’t hear well from God and you don’t know what to do. You are dejected, depressed and disillusioned.
Even great servants of God have experienced such moments. Prophet Jeremiah was frustrated after pronouncing God’s will on the people of Israel. His people rejected and punished him. Even priests and fellow prophets became his enemy. Jeremiah had to curse the day he was born (Jeremiah 20:14).
After the exploits of Prophet Elijah at the Mount Carmel, the wife of King Ahab, Jezebel, swore to kill him as he killed the prophets of Baal. Elijah was so afraid, discouraged and frustrated that he prayed to God to kill him. He said, “I have had enough, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died” (1 Kings 19:4).
Maybe you, too, have experienced such a season in your life. In 2000, I experienced a serious threat to the business of Pharmanews Ltd. It was a period that the pharmaceutical industry was greatly depressed as a result of fake drugs flooding the market. Most foreign companies left the country; many indigenous ones closed down, while the surviving ones were not making profits and consequently downsizing. Pharmanews and other health periodicals which depended on the industry for adverts suffered great losses. Some periodicals actually folded up.
Pharmanews lost some staff and drastically reduced the pagination as a survival strategy. However, a time came when it became extremely difficult to survive. I became despondent and started thinking of what else to do as I believed the end of Pharmanews had come. At 61 years of age, applying for jobs when my colleagues were already retiring from service was not a comfortable idea. So, on 22 October, 2000, I boarded a night bus to Abuja to try and see the then minister of health, Dr Tim Menakaya, who was an old boy of my secondary school, DMGS Onitsha. Dr Dere Awosika was also the National Coordinator of the National Programme on Immunisation and she was engaging some pharmacists.
While waiting at the premises of the Federal Ministry of Health to see the minister, I brought out my jotter and pen and started putting down my thoughts prayerfully. Here is an extract from my jottings:
“…Father, you have led me so far in this trip. Make it a success. Strengthen my faith in you. Grant me your courage. Remove fear from me. Let me walk with you at all times, especially at this critical moment, so that I will live and work according to your will. Holy Spirit, lead and direct me. Put the right words in my mouth. Please go with me to meet the minister… I have put in 20 years into Pharmanews and you have blessed me. I have put in my life into Pharmanews and made significant contributions to the world of Pharmacy…Now, God, do you want me to try something else? … Things are not going in the right direction and I reject this trend, in Jesus’ name. I want to give a testimony of how you led me to reach where you have destined for me…”
Later in the day, my meeting with the minister was not fruitful. But Dr Awosika made all the efforts to help me. She introduced me to USAID in Lagos to be engaged as a training consultant. I put in my application and followed up with a few visits but did not receive any feedback.
While I continued searching for a job, more of my staff left Pharmanews because there was no salary for them. I was just managing to pay the printer. Interestingly, despite my prayers God did not provide me with an alternative to Pharmanews and I had no option but to hang on to it. Miraculously, throughout that season, no edition of Pharmanews was missed.
I realised that God had a better plan for me when the economic storm started to calm from 2002. God proved Himself faithful and ever dependable. Pharmanews started to flourish again and all previous losses were recovered.
In your moments of uncertainty, God remains unchanging. Put your trust in Him and all will turn out well. He says in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”