I sat with Eka in the hospital waiting room. We’d gotten used to the odor of mild disinfectant and the clatter of feet moving around us.
Eka hadn’t moved or looked up for the last forty-five minutes since the surgery started. I watched and waited, to give strength, and to ensure she stood, in this time.
I knew she prayed for the child, so I joined her, bowing my head in thanksgiving. I lay before the Father, submitting Obi, Eka’s five-year-old son, my prayer point before my God. He was lying on an operating table battling for his life.
“The doctor says it’s a 50-50 chance that he will survive this. What do I do with such information? I can’t say it is well or God is in control. I’m struggling.” Eka said, her voice trembling, as I lifted my head and turned to her.
She was looking forward, staring at the operating theatre, but I knew she was speaking to me.
“He’s just five years old. He doesn’t deserve cancer. He hasn’t experienced anything, Ada. My boy has not seen the world, lost a tooth, talked about the girl he likes in school. What do I do with 50-50? Give him to God, or hold on for a miracle?” She said and bent her head as tears fell from her eyes. “I am overwhelmed. I don’t know the right thing to do. I don’t know what God expects me to do now.” She said, weeping softly into the crook of her arm.
As far as the metal bars of the hospital seat would allow, I moved closer and laid my hand on her shoulder, allowing her to cry. My tears fell as well. I understood the fear my friend felt for the life of her only child. A boy I attended his Christening. A child I watched grow, and loved with all my heart. He called me mummy by mistake once or twice in the past. I remembered with a smile.
I waited for the shaking to subside, allowing her to finish.
“Eka, I want to tell you a story.”
She sighed, a pregnant gesture, which could have meant a lot, and then she turned to me.
“This is the story of a father whose boy lay on sticks, awaiting sacrifice. In this case, the father had been told to sacrifice his son to God, and he agreed. Why would a father do that? This child had been promised. His father had been shown the stars and told that his generation would be countless like them. So, he believed the word, even if it meant God would give the dead boy life. This man prepared the sacrifice and stood to obey God, until God stopped him.
“Today, our Obi is lying on the table like a lamb. We will lay the boy on God’s altar in trust. We believe God, who has delivered us from the clutches of darkness and carried us to the kingdom of His Son, the light, for He is greater, who is within us.
“We have a choice, to believe and trust that whatever happens in that room is in God’s hands, or to allow fear and doubt to rob us of the light and life we have in Christ.”
Eka nodded. “I understand that in Christ, it is well. I understand God is in control, Ada, but what if my son dies? What if my baby moves on while I am sitting here, unable to hold his little hands? What do I do?” Eka asked, in the smallest voice I’d ever heard her speak.
Tears fell from my eyes, and I nodded as I realized the truth of what we had to do. I held her hand.
“We die first,” I said, and she looked up at me, with the tears brimming in her eyes and eyebrows raised. Her face, always made up and ready, seemed bare, devoid of life.
I nodded and smiled at her.
“We let go, and let God. Eka, we cannot save that child even if we were the ones operating on him. So, as sons of God, let us lay ourselves and our son before the throne of grace and wait for God. We will not allow fear or confusion, or even needless emotion obstruct our view of the goodness of God. Like Abraham, we lay our son on the altar, knowing that God alone can heal and give him life.
“Dabs is praying where he is, in faith. He believes God will bring that child through this. Let’s join your husband and stand.”
I stood then, an act of faith, a symbol of my belief in the all-powerful God, who can raise the dead to life. Eka stared at me from her seat and stood as well.
“He alone can do it, and on Him we stand. We lay our son, Father, before your throne,” she said, wiping her eyes and sniffing. “He is yours and has always been. I give you thanks for this day, and my sister, Ada. I agree with her, and I submit my baby into your loving arms, believing that your will, and your will alone, will be done today.” She said and stopped as she wept.
I hugged her and sang worship songs, softly but loud enough for her to hear. She joined me some minutes later, and we praised God together in the waiting room, not minding who watched.
Sometime later, we sat and called Dabs, the boy’s father, strengthening him, as God had also held us up.
We waited the whole day, and at 5 pm, the doctor came out of the operating room. Obi was wheeled out after him, with tubes stuck to his small body. Eka stood and didn’t move, watching her son as they pushed him away.
I helped her, and we walked to the doctor’s office together.
“The operation went well, madam.” He said, smiling. “All the problems we envisaged due to his age and weight didn’t arise. It was smooth sailing from the start. God was in that room.”
Eka burst into tears at the doctor’s last statement, and I knew she cried in thanksgiving to the God who operated on the boy and remained with him, even when she couldn’t. The doctor and I comforted my friend, and we left his office. He gave us five minutes to check on Obi, and on the way, Eka called Dabs to tell him the news.
We died that day as we let God have His way. We have continued to let go of our humanity as we live through the life God has given us with Obi, one day at a time. We understand now what it means to rejoice in weakness because God is our strength; to die to ourselves, knowing He alone gives us life.
Till next time, be transformed!!