Your God is superior
My faith in God is not for review or compromise. In keeping Sabbath, I simply obeyed His command.
“Your God is great. Your God is great. Your God is great!” she declared.
It all started on a Friday. The head of the department had rescheduled an examination in histopathology from Friday to Saturday – and this was a big blow to me. I am a fourth-year medical student at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria. During my years of study, I have had encounters concerning Sabbath exams, but this would be a testimony I will tell for life. On most occasions, I have had Sabbath exams changed after people prayed for me. I have also missed a couple of other exams, but through it all God has been faithful.
Once on an earlier occasion, I approached the head of the department concerning seminar presentations that were scheduled for Saturday. Students were expected to present their topics during these seminars. He denied my request, questioned my seriousness as a student, and admonished that if I continued the way I was going, my studies would be at risk. I approached one of my lecturers, who was my supervisor. After much discussion, he agreed to give me the Sabbath off, with the condition that I had to work harder to make up. I thanked him very much, because that was grace for me. When the head of the department learnt of the arrangement, he was furious. Because of that, I was not only unable to make my presentation, but I was also to lose marks.
I was not very worried, because that was only a presentation. The final examination was scheduled for Friday, and I could do well and make up for the earlier loss of marks. However, I was shocked and devastated when the department head changed the final examination from Friday to Saturday. I had already lost marks for not being at the presentation, and now the exam was rescheduled to Saturday. I was so sure the change was made because of me that I decided to meet the department head. I tried to apologize to him: had I offended him while trying to present my earlier case? He insisted that I did not offend him, and drove off in his car.
A battle line was drawn up for God (not me) and my head of the department. Friends advised me to give in. “God will not be angry at you succeeding…. Stop being an extremist; after all we all believe in God. Does it make us all sinners for taking the exam on Saturday? Many people had their opinions, but God’s opinion was final for me. I was really tired when I got home that night. I was confused, but I am thankful for good Christian friends who set me back on my feet and told me to take my stand for God.
Two weeks were left before the examination. God’s children continued their prayers for me. I had never felt God closer than then. I felt loved and proud to belong to the family of God.
When I got back to school, I approached my course representative to see what he could do for me. He promised to help, but then totally forgot about it. When he finally remembered, he approached the department head, who told him he would think about it. A week before the examination, the head of department was still thinking about it. I kept on preparing for the examination, believing that God would honor the prayers of His saints. Then it was five days to the examination, and my head of the department was still thinking about it. I approached the course representative again, and there was still nothing definite. On the third day before the examination, the course representative told me that the examination day would remain the same: on Saturday, the day of my appointment with the most important person in life, God. At that point, I stopped preparing for the examination and gave out my materials to anyone who needed them. I told myself if this was God’s answer to my prayer, it would not stop Him from being God.
On Friday – now a day to the examination – I went to school for my lectures and looked forward to my Sabbath rest. I got to school late, and did not find my course mate. Another course mate joined me in search of others. As we moved from one class to another, we met two of our course mates and asked what had been going on. The first thing I heard was that the examination had been postponed to Friday the following week. I jumped for joy. I still cannot express my daze and delight. “This is a miracle!” I said to myself and to any one that I met.
It was praise time. As I met a lot of my course mates that day, all of them congratulated me and affirmed that my prayers were answered. “It’s your faith that worked for you,” many declared. “Your God is good.”
But the point that struck me most was that of my housemate at school. With a smile of disbelief and wonder, she asked, “What did you intend to do if the examination date was not changed? Did you have the conviction that it will be changed?
My answer was simple. “My faith in God is not for review or compromise. In keeping Sabbath, I simply obeyed His command. The Creator who gives such a command also knows how to enable me to achieve my life goal. And He always comes first in my life. If the examination had remained on Saturday, I just would not have written. God comes first.”
To this she declared, “Your God is indeed great.”
“Yes, and greatly to be praised,” I said.
Funmilola Ifeoluwapo Babalola was a fourth-year medical student at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, Nigeria, when she wrote this article. At the present she is in her final year. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.