Hudson Taylor, missionary to China and founder of what is today known as the Overseas Missionary Fellowship, once gave this excellent advice: “Let us give up our work, our plans, ourselves, our lives, our loved ones, our influence, our all, right into God’s hand; and then, when we have given all over to Him, there will be nothing left for us to be troubled about.”
Indeed, life is full of causes for worry and anxiety. Nobody can pretend that he or she does not experience them at one time or the other. We only need to handle them with wisdom because they can cause physical, emotional and psychological damage.
In Luke 12:22, Jesus said to his disciples, “Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will put on”.
Even the disciples who were close to Jesus had a lot to worry about. They had given up their livelihood and belongings in order to follow Jesus. They had sacrificed their security and comforts of home and family for an unknown future and unending travels. Jesus knew their worries and did not brush them aside because they were real. Instead, He assured them of God’s provision of their needs.
One of the ways to reduce anxiety is to identify those things which we have no power to control or change. An English idiom talks of crying over spilt milk. There is no need to keep complaining over a loss. Nor should we dwell on past misfortunes. It is mere waste of energy and time worrying over these things. You have to know what you can change and what you cannot change. Don’t worry about what you cannot change or what has already happened.
In 2004, I had an interesting encounter, which God allowed, despite my fervent prayers. From 2002, I started gathering materials and contacting co-authors to write my first book titled “Fake Drugs in Nigeria”. I invested a lot of my time and money on this project. The then Director-General of NAFDAC was pleased with the idea and encouraged me. On completion of the book with 11 co-authors in 2004, I mailed the soft copy to the DG with a request to write a commentary. This step became the turning point on the book project.
Out of covetousness and envy, the authorities decided to frustrate the project. I had already fixed the official launching for 4 August 2004 at the Lagos Airport Hotel Ikeja and several people had been informed and invited. With the threat of cancelling the launching, I worried about my investments and reputation, as well as the disappointment of my co-authors, patrons and supporters. I called for prayers in my church and at Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International for God to intervene and prevent cancellation of the book launch by the DG. However, God did not grant our prayers.
Consequently, in June 2004, I was ordered not to proceed with the planned book launch. From that day, I stopped worrying and asking God to do for me what was not according to His will. Instead, I started thanking God for His own better plans for my life and business. Then He gave me the idea of writing another book. I mobilised all the resources available and in the next six weeks I was able to produce a 30-chapter book titled, “Your Best Pathway for Life” and launched it at the Muson Centre Onikan on 24 August 2004.
Whenever I cast my mind back to the events of 2014, I give glory to God. From that year, I started writing other inspirational books.
We worry needlessly a lot of the time. According to Don Joseph Goewey, author of The End of Stress, Four Steps to Rewire Your Brain, 85% of what we worry about never happens. A popular song says, “What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”