James 1:5-8… “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do…”
He glanced at the time and saw it was one o’clock in the morning. He looked at his blank word document and didn’t know where to start. He wanted to write down what was in his heart but it was too raw and heavy. What do you say to everyone in your life when letting them down? “I’m sorry…” he typed. He then quickly erased it as it seemed too cliché. What was he going to say? I’m sorry I’m such a failure? I’m sorry I’m such a letdown to you all? I’m sorry I’m not the man you all thought I was? A success? Strong? Hardy? Instead, weak? Soft? Emotionally unstable? What do you say when you’re about to end it all?
How does one draft a suicide note? How does one wrap up all their pain and reasons for doing it in a few short sentences? How does one ensure his entire life is not tied to his dramatic exit? He stared at the blinking cursor almost in a hypnotic state. If he looked at it long enough, it almost matched up to the beating of his heart. It was almost sadistic, this cursor, tormenting him. It was as if it was daring him to stop his heart. After all, it would keep blinking away – even after his heart would no longer beat. He gave a sad smile and felt a warm trickle on his right cheek. When did he start crying? He let it fall as he did not have the energy to wipe it off. When did it all go wrong? When did he stop caring about his life? When? When? When?
* * *
He had just landed the role of a lifetime. Chief Financial Officer. He walked to his car with a slight bounce and his heart full. As a matter of fact, it was so full, he thought it would explode. He whipped out his keys to open his door. He got in and started his car. “A CFO needs a better car. Maybe a Mercedes?” He chuckled at the thought of it. He lovingly stroked his steering wheel as he thought of all the good times he’d had with his white Toyota Axio. He pulled out of the parking lot and his first thought was the church. He needed to give thanks to God. After all, the Bible tells us that all good things come from the Heavenly Father. He had prayed for a position just like this and it was finally here. He grew up in church and had always been a staunch believer. However, he had deepened his relationship with God a few years back. Choosing God meant letting go of a lot from his life, including who he had thought was the love of his life. It had taken him a while to come to terms with it but he eventually did the proverbial thing, ‘Let go and Let God’ – best decision of his life.
When he got to the church, the weekday service was on. He quietly got in and sat at the back. The Praise and Worship team was doing their musical number. He felt their voices wash over him and he basked in the Father’s presence. By the end of the service, he was smiling from ear to ear. During the prayer session, he had heard a small voice/impression in his heart saying, “This is where I want you to be. I will bless you here and will provide for you. I will open doors that no man can shut. Just trust me and believe.” This had to be about his new job. He left the church knowing that he was going to be very prosperous at work. After all, God had given him the go ahead, what more could he ask for?
* * *
About ten months down the line, things started going wrong. It began so slowly, it was barely noticeable. It was only after he reflected on the turn of events that he made the connection. It all started when the C.E.O resigned and an aggregate C.E.O was put in place. The first two months went by with no hitch. Then he started noticing monies unaccounted for. At first, he thought it was an oversight but it kept happening. It then escalated to ‘misplaced documentation’ which was the proof of purchase of items and services. Granted, they were not large amounts but it was still very suspicious. He decided to loop in the Agg C.E.O and inform him about the issues arising. When he was about to, a request for the transfer of three million shillings was made by the C.E.O but he could not substantiate the intended purpose. He knew then that the C.E.O was behind the transactions.
He knew he needed wisdom in dealing with the situation. So he went to his first option, God. He prayed and prayed but nothing seemed to work. He decided to confront the C.E.O about everything and that is when all hell broke loose. Suddenly, he began receiving complaints from different departments pertaining to his performance. It escalated from complaints to memos from the HR office alleging that he was harassing his subordinates. He kept pushing in prayer and nothing seemed to be happening. He would act out of what he thought was wisdom and it seemed to only aggravate matters. He started to doubt God. Was this really the work of the Lord? Were these the doors that no man could shut? He prayed for them to be shut and locked if this is what it meant for him.
He doubted his purpose. He doubted his calling in his workplace. He doubted the validity of God’s goodness, yet he still held on. The last straw came when the C.E.O blatantly disrespecting him in front of the employees. He would sometimes insult him or belittle him and it hurt. Didn’t Jesus, after all ask us to turn the other cheek? His cheeks were smarting from constant blows. Eventually, he decided to resign as he didn’t have any more strength to fight. He had tried but it kept failing. He was also drifting from God as he sort of blamed Him for sending him to that office and allowing all that happened to take place.
He resigned and went home still holding on to the fact that God would direct him to a better place. He waited, and waited. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. He despaired. He applied for new jobs, but nothing came. Then hopelessness kicked in. He likened himself to a modern – day Job, only without the patience. He cried and cried and nothing seemed to work. Businesses, all seemed to bite the dust. What was God trying to teach him? Because there had to be a reason. Otherwise, God is not malicious – or was He? He didn’t know any more. These series of events had led him to this moment.
* * *
He shook his head slightly to get himself out of his stupor. There was the blinking cursor again. How ironic life was. He made a final plea. “God, please give me a sign not to do this. I really don’t want to, but I don’t know what else to do. Please. I have no more strength. Just…just do something.”
He shut off his computer and went to bed, hoping that a miracle would take place. Just as he got into bed, his phone buzzed. He reached out and took it thinking that it was probably a push message because it was really late in the night (or too early in the morning?). When he opened the message, he noticed it was an unknown number but the message read, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do…” It was an excerpt from James 1:5-8. The message continued to read. ‘Mark, I have been praying for you. God is with you, don’t despair. Hold on to Him. Do not doubt Him, He is still working. Just trust Him and believe. You are not alone and God says He will open doors that no man can shut.’ The message was not signed off and he wondered how the sender knew exactly what God had told Him, a little over a year ago. He searched for the number on Truecaller and it turned out to be his High School teacher, Mr. Maingi. He broke down and cried. How faithful was God? He had answered him in the nick of time. He knelt and prayed and as he poured out his soul to God, he felt his heart get lighter. He reflected wisdom and doubt. He had allowed himself to become doubtful and he forgot that the word of the Lord never goes back to Him void. What God says He will do, HE is faithful to do.
That night, he went to sleep in the full knowledge that God was in control of everything.