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As a little boy, one day I was so sick that I lost my appetite totally. Mum would buy bread, but I would say no! She would buy Fanta, no! Coke, no! Everything was no, no, no. Meanwhile, bread and soft drinks weren’t so common for people who aren’t from a rich family. So all I was rejecting were things I should normally jump at. My elder brother Onyedikachi Daniel was the direct beneficiary of all I said no to. Anyone I rejected would be handed over to him.

He was really ‘wowed’ with goodies that he prayed a prayer openly and asked God to give him the sickness so he could be in my shoes to eat anything he demanded.

Two days later, I was well but he became sick with the same malaria I had. It was a transfer and an answer to his prayer. Unfortunately, he discovered why I was saying no as he could not eat anything they bought for him to eat. I became the beneficiary too. (If I were to pray then out of experience, I would ask for his sickness to continue.)

You know, it is easy to say things like: ‘Why did you not score that goal, had it been I was the one.’ ‘Why did you fall in love with him, I couldn’t have done such.’ ‘I don’t believe you are crying because that brother dumped you, is He God?’ ‘I can’t believe this man is driving two cars and his brother has none.’ ‘Just ten years in marriage and you are troubled because of childlessness, have you forgotten Abraham, where is your faith?’ It’s easy to believe another person’s problems are easy. It’s easy to ask ‘is that why you are crying?’ Wait until you step into those shoes.

When you see friends go through what you have not been through before, don’t stand aside to judge their attitudes in those seasons, rather choose to be an encouragement. Even if you had gone through such and overcame, it’s still not an excuse to judge another’s inability to come out like you did. Our strengths differ and what breaks you down may not be able to break the next person down while what broke the next person down may be easy for you to handle.

It’s always different for the man who is on the centre stage than the observers. Those watching from the stand often have a better way it could have been done; they often wish they were the ones involved so they could show how it should be done. But until we get into the fire you may never imagine what it feels like to be in one. Imaginations are too shallow to base your judgments on.

When Christ told Peter he would deny Him, his imagination could not figure it out but the centre stage has its own peculiarities which the walls of imagination can never paint right. When he got into the stage, it was a different ball game from all he ever thought. I know that had it been it was Thomas that denied Christ, Peter would still have boasted that he could have done NO such thing. But it befell the bravest among them; the one who was always ready to fight, hence no other disciple could boast that he would have fared any better.

It’s easy to be Peter sleeping on the mount where Christ was sweating blood since you are not the man who would carry the cross. You can comfortably ask why this fellow is always weeping with lifted hands during worship in church until you hear her story. You can criticize my attitude in difficult times… You can criticize my dance during the thanksgiving times… For if you don’t understand my PAIN you won’t understand my PRAISE.


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This article was first published on 9th October 2016


Chinaecherem is a speaker, writer and life coach. Follow him on Facebook at by clicking the icon below.

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