Downgrades, Setbacks and Upgrades...
On my flight from London a couple of years ago, I met a reverend sister I had seen my mum speak with a couple of times. She has a little trouble with one of her legs and has to use a cane to aid her. I had hustled to make sure I got one of the exit seats. I prayed for an upgrade, but just incase it didn’t turn out the way I pictured; I would be content on the flight with the extra legroom. She sat next to me and we got talking, relaxed, legs stretched out.
Just after the flight took off, one of the airhostesses approached us for an exchange of seats. Some Nigerian women with babies were having issues and they needed to move one of us, or indirectly, the reverend sister, so the lady with the baby could sit there. My Spirit tugged at me… it said “speak up, you know she’s got a bad leg; she needs the legroom more than you do, even as much as you need it. Just get up. Volunteer to move”
But I argued with myself, “I’m not about to get displaced, I struggled for this comfort, I need this next best thing to bliss, I’ll just chill right here.” If sweet sister objected, I would have willingly stood up… (Well that’s what I tell myself.)
And so the kind hearted rev. sister got up without any hassle, asked for her cane from the overhead locker, and walked behind to her new seat. My heart wasn’t at peace, I felt bad, like it should have been me. The women refused to be relocated, which kind of pissed off the airhostess. The seat beside me was now left vacant and I assumed they’d bring my seatmate back. About ten minutes later, I saw the reverend sister walk past me, beyond the curtain, she turned to smile at me sweetly and explained, “they said they’re taking me up front.” In my mind I gasped, that should have been me… silly me for disobeying the spirit. For being nice, they were rewarding her, and I thought, there goes the upgrade I prayed for, that move to the back if I took it would have been my answered prayer for an upgrade.
When we arrived Nigeria, I reunited with my former seatmate. “Oh, they took me all the way upfront, they said for inconveniencing me.” She explained to me, I double gasped in my mind; it was a first class upgrade, not even a business class… And I missed out on all that goodness, all because I was holding on to my little legroom and I refused to listen to the voice of my spirit to step up.
I prayed for an upgrade, but I didn’t see my answered prayer because it came in form of a demotion.
Sometimes we pray for some things, and when God answers, it seems like He’s taking us ten steps back, but in truth, He’s shot us forward. To shoot a sling, you have to draw back to the desired extent before releasing. You dig? You pull back, to shoot forward. (If you don’t understand, you need to go back to your childhood and shoot a catapult)
Maybe you’ve asked God for something, you’ve prayed about something and it feels like He’s taking you backwards instead of towards your answer… don’t loose hope. Just like that reverend sister must have thought she was taken back to discomfort, it wasn’t long before she was taken way beyond the little legroom she was asked to give up.
Remember the epileptic boy in the bible? It seemed like he got worse before he got better… “When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. Mark 9:25-27(KJV)
Jesus rebuked the demon, and it appeared to get worse… the demon screamed and thrashed about, gave more discomfort to the boy’s body and left, and the boy looked dead. You see when Jesus steps in, everything is made right, but false evidence begins to appear real to shake your faith, and make you speak words of doubt to counter the words of life spoken (Remember, the power of the tongue). It may appear dead even after you’ve prayed over a situation, but don’t let FEAR (false evidence appearing real) take hold of you. Trust, knowing that it’s fine, even when it still appears as dead, because Jesus is involved (Oluwa is involved).
When it feels like your prayer isn’t answered, thank God all the same. Isn’t it clearer now why we should thank God in all situations? Because our setback is a setup for unprecedented promotion (I’ve always hated using that cliché set back for set up term, but it’s so apt right now)
“Favor may lead you into a pit, but only because that pit is a pathway to your palace.” Paul Adefarasin.