Conversations, Volume 9

Chigozie Obioma – The Unforgiving Blow [A Meditation]

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”0316338370″ locale=”US” src=”https://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/51FKlSmZa3L.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”215″]Chigozie Obioma is the author of the award winning debut novel,

 

The Fisherman

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THE UNFORGIVING BLOW:
How Hardship Can Make Us Better Christians
A Meditation by Chigozie Obioma

 

We often hear about the importance of crisis in our lives. People often say, “Hey, your suffering is for a reason.” But that sounds clichéd, like something so drab and overused it even sounds as if the person who is saying it does not even believe it. But it is, and can be, real.

It is interesting how, sometimes, those who profess to know the Lord spend years, many years, thinking they know Him, and they are His, when indeed we are far—very far from Him. It could take a crisis, a pivotal moment, a defeat, to see how rotten, how damaged, how forsaken one has been. But God is merciful, and infinitely so. God will allow that moment to come, and for us to be wounded by the unforgiving blow. It is then that He will act, and in acting save us, and in saving us transform us into that which He has called us to be: children of the living God.

For a long time, I was living a life that lacked true commitment to the Lord without being aware of it. Then one day, I was struck with the unbecoming blow. I was shocked by it, and for the first time, it seemed that I became acutely aware of the multitude of my sins, and of how much I had neglected God. The shocking revelation led me to seek the Lord.

Without the crisis that brought me to my knees, I would never have even realized I was sinning. I had become numb to the inaccuracies in my life, and to the grimes that had accrued in the fabric of my soul. But the blow had caused the scales to fall out of my eyes.

But here is what I realized: That nothing else could have done it. Nothing else could have had this kind of impact on me. Nothing could have brought me this quick to my knees except for life’s unforgiving blow. And it did.

I’m a changed man now—so aware of how quickly my words and works, and actions can become sin. I have become a testimony to the fact that sometimes God allows life to hit us hard for Him to reveal Himself to us. I’ve become redeemed by affliction, and lifted by a blow that knocked me flat to the ground. But will I crave that God send my way such a blow again? No. But will I ask that if it will help me realize something in me that I would never see, which nothing else could ever reveal. Then, I might find myself saying to the Lord, even if reluctantly, thy will be done.

 





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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com


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