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The Other Side Of Your 'Coin' - Joseph L. Ushie

An online dictionary defines a coin as a metallic piece of currency. A bigger part of the definition,  however, is that every coin has two sides.

What does this mean? We are essentially human 'currencies' in circulation. For our currency to be accepted as a legal tender, we must have two sides. We must have our "bad" and "good" sides. The bad side teaches or gives us experience; the good side equips or empowers us to teach or give help to others. This also suggests that the 'badder' (worse) our experiences, the better positioned we are to render help to our benefactors when the time comes. 

 Ultimately, nothing is bad or good in life, if we picture the way God intends it for us. That's what Scripture means when it says that "all things work together for good to those who love God,  to those who are called according to his purpose" (Romand 8:28). That places the bigger question, not at what has happened or is happening,  but whether we love God or are aligned with his purpose for our existence at this critical moment in human history!

This is even more critical for us young Nigerians, who must fulfil Pa Elton's prophecy across the nations of the world. In 1986 Pa Sydney Elton, whose prophecy also birthed the NYSC, said, "Nigeria and Nigerians will be known for corruption worldwide. But afterwards, the tide will change and Nigeria and Nigerians will be known for righteousness worldwide. Many will lay hold of him that is a Nigerian and say, 'We will go with you, for we have heard that God is among you!'"

To qualify to fulfil that prophecy,  young Nigerians must be taken to the bottom of it all, so that those who survive it will be able to give hope and direction to the nations wherever God will commission them. They will tell the people to whom they will be sent that they had been there - be it bad government, economy, church, etc. - and that God saw them through and would do the same for those nations if they would embrace the gospel from Nigeria. 

The fact of a two-faced coin among God's people is as old as the Flood experience in Noah's generation (Genesis 7-8). At the same time that the flood drowned some people, it lifted Noah and everyone in his ark far above and beyond destruction. The problem, if any, wasn't the Flood, but the location that individual members chose to take. Those who stood against God perished, those who stood for his will survived. Even ferocious animals like mosquitoes,  lions, wolves, etc. survived where great monarchs and luminaries of the time perished.

Once you can capture the coin analogy, you should no longer feel bad or ashamed when or if you lose an eye or a limb. That 'loss' simply means that you don't need two of them to be successful or fulfilled. For the same reason you will begin to relax if or when you lose a spouse, parent or sponsor. They are gone because you can succeed or even do better without them. It could be that God let them go because their presence and support rendered dormant some of your inert potentials, which would pass unutilised for as long as these props lived or spoonfed you. 

Prophet Isaiah is a ready biblical example here. He was a palace chaplain to King Uzziah, but God's purpose for him was to summarise the entire Bible in a 66-chapter book (39 chapters for the Old Testament, and 27 chapters for the New or Messianic Testament). Yet, so long as the king lived, Isaiah felt fulfilled drinking tea morning after morning in the palace, but completely deaf and oblivious to God's call across the galaxies for a volunteer messenger (Isaiah 6:8). It took the king's death for Isaiah to flip to the other side of his life and become whom he was destined to be (vs. 1-7). 

Like Isaiah, you need to see the other side of your life, through certain pains and disappointments, to realise that amidst your seeming contentment,  you have hardly scratched anything you were fearfully and wonderfully born to accomplish (Psalm 139:14). That's possibly why you have recently been surrounded with such predicaments that mercilessly make life miserable and hopeless for you by the day.

Yes, you are probably one of those who are almost suffocating under the current economic hardship in the country, especially if every projection you ever made is being dashed. You just can't help feeling hopeless, miserable,  frustrated, disappointed, angry, suicidal,  discouraged, etc. Maybe all this is a call to you, that it's time to look away from your 'idols' that promised you success and begin to see the other side of your life that has been lying fallow all the while. Maybe it's time to ask some more relevant questions about your existence. 

Whatever the matter, nothing is lost. Money isn't lost when it's not in your pocket, it simply moves into your neighbor's who, probably, is more proactive, objective, positive and relaxed in the present situation. All you need, perhaps, is to stop bemoaning your predicament and look out for what's there for you, probably from your most hopeless direction!

In other words,  at the height of your fears and discouragement over any situation,  there's a part of your strength or grace that still lies fallow or uncultivated: don't give up until you have first discovered and exploited it. So whether it's your admission into college, a building project, a plan for marriage or another baby, the time you started it was the best, ever. Just be sure you don't limit your thinking or expectations. Trust God and see yourself rising from this same 'flood' into financial, marital, academic and spiritual prominence. Be the 21st century 'Noah' to survive this socioeconomic 'deluge' and tell your story to succeeding generations. Amen.

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