How God divinely provided during my studies
I left Nigeria the Fall of 2016 to take on a Master’s degree in International Relations at a University in Norway. I was excited and looked forward to a colourful life far different from the one I left behind.
As days turned into weeks and weeks to months, however, my dreams of a colorful and brighter future were fast becoming bleak. There I was, alone in a strange land. I had no job, relatives, or friends; getting my daily meals was a toil. The thoughts of the fat debt I incurred for my travel — collecting interest by the minute— consumed me. Every step I took seemed like I was walking against the wind. Things needed to change and quickly.
I Questioned My Faith
No one told me life was going to be this hard. In despair, one day, I asked, is the bible really true? Is there any truth to its claims? Can I count on Psalm 34:8, Which says to taste and see that the Lord is good? “I need a change so badly, and I will do whatever it takes; I decided to prioritize the study of the bible and prayer.
Shortly after, something started to shift. I began noticing a change in my thought process. I was becoming aware of my thoughts and God’s thoughts of me. Like someone who had just learned a new language, I could now tell when God instructed me. The daily words and thoughts I heard from God helped me turn my countless worries about groceries, bills, and my debts to Him. Moreso, the more I spent time in prayers, the less I felt the need to worry. But that wasn’t all.
God Instructed Me
During my second year of studies, my mind was drawn to the few teenagers we had at church. I had a pressing thought about these teenagers that they were not been carefully catered to. I felt Lord wanted me to speak to my pastor about it, but I hesitated at first. However, when I couldn’t resist this prompting anymore, I expressed my concerns to my pastor. And he welcomed the idea but there was no one to take on the responsibility, so he asked if I could. And I did.
Starting this group was a tall order. We had only two teenagers show up at first, and it didn’t make sense to organize meetings just for the two of them. I continued regardless— in the rain, sun, or snowy because I realized it was the Lord’s desire.
More Difficult Instruction
At about this same time, the Lord instructed me to start a weekly prayer meeting at the church. The pastor also embraced this idea, but only a handful of people showed up. On many occasions, I was the only one present at the meetings —this made absolutely no sense to me— however, I knew I should not stop just yet.
I tried all in my power to be present at all the meetings —I took Fridays off to give more time to both the teenagers’ fellowship and the prayer meetings. Meanwhile, many uncertainties were piling up in my life. Here I was, approaching the end of my studies, yet I had no clue what to do. Wait, there’s more.
Which Way to Go?
The months that would follow were stacked with even more trials. My visa expires in a few months, yet as I applied for jobs, all I received was dead quietness. I also explored all possible options by applying for Ph.D. studies in several countries. About four months before my visa expires, I got an offer to do my Ph.D. in Scotland. Yeah!!! I was stunned by this offer as I didn’t feel qualified for it. Though elated by the news, somewhere inside me, I didn’t feel it was the right step for me at this point —One more request for clarity added to my many requests. But which way, Lord?
Came to My Wits End
Anyways, I kept on applying for jobs, but by May 2019, I became distraught by the negative replies or, should I say, the dead silence from the companies. I was at my wit’s end, or so I thought until the Lord asked me to quit my job at McDonald’s. “Quit my job?” No way. ” I convinced myself I was making this up.
Though this job wouldn’t renew my visa, it sufficiently settled my bills. “But I have no other source of support, Lord,” I thought. No, I did not obey, not that fast. My reluctance to obey came with a cost. I became sick and had such excruciating back pain from the job that I had to quit. Now, with more time left to spare, I spent my days praying, meditating, and applying for professional jobs. I had time for church meetings — but still no job.
Groceries Paid for
Surprisingly, I saw astounding miracles during this time without a job. I recall one cool afternoon, I stopped by the grocery store to get some biscuits. Just as I headed out of the store, an elderly man I’d met walked up to me. He said: “The Lord asked me to pay for your groceries,” I stood there bemused. Not sure if I should cry in shock or laugh in excitement. “I don’t have much left at my house,” I thought to myself in amazement. I was quite embarrassed by his outlandish offer and almost shied away from the offer. Thankfully, he persisted. I returned home that day with a big bag full of groceries. It got to the point that my Landlord wouldn’t even ask for his monthly bills. What was happening?
My Debts Paid
Moreso, the Lord miraculously cleared my debts. I got a report a certain week from the Norwegian Tax Office that my annual tax for the previous year was short of 12000 Kr ( $1700). “What a time to owe the government!” I was downcast and forlorn. This is too much for me to bear, Lord, I cried. And again, I prayed to God, and He showed me what to do. His instructions were simple:
1. Write down all your debts on a list (amounting to Norwegian krone 17,000Kr – a little over $2,800 Can dollar )
2. Thank me for providing.
I did just that! Almost like magic, I tell you, before the end of that week, Someone sent me exactly 17,000kr. Incredible! I was shocked, dumbfounded, and very thankful. I then looked back and realized that though I wasn’t working, God sufficiently met all my needs. The Lord needed me to focus on Him, serving him and others. My faith soared. But this one problem.
My job search persisted. Following the disappointments from my many job rejections, I was dispirited and so thought to pursue the Ph.D. offer instead. The only problem was that the University didn’t release my funding. My heart raced over the possibility of me being sent back home. But ever so often, as I meditate on God’s words, His promises would resurge my heart with peace. Peaceful yet clueless.
It was a crisp evening when I visited a friend who had just put to bed. Any news yet? My friend asked about my job search and the visa permit. Out of concern, my friend referred me to her friend, who later sent me two job vacancies she found online. “How is this any different from my previous job applications?”
Reluctantly, like a deflated tire, I mustered some strength and courage to apply for only one of the jobs. About one week later, I received a phone call requesting an interview. “This has never happened,” I exclaimed. I was startled at the thought that I almost lost this opportunity.
The interview went very well. At first, the interviewers asked general questions and then inquired how I had been involved with youths. Of course, I didn’t hesitate to tell of my countless experiences working with youths. The interviewers’ countenance gave me hope as I passionately narrated my involvement with youths. I had a feeling that I impressed the interview panel. A few days after the interview, the company’s HR department called and informed me that I’d been offered the job; my contract was sent shortly after.
I realized that God instructed me to start the youth work not only because of the church or the teenagers but also for myself. God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), and He knew I would need to leverage that experience to get my job. Despite the hurdles, I eventually got my work permit, and I can only look forward to the glorious future the Lord has for me in this land. Praise the Lord! God is a good good Father.
- Are we intentionally putting in our best foot to listen to clearly hear God? Are you pressing in to hear and do God’s instructions in areas of parenting, singlehood, career, business, or finances?
- Are you struggling in your health, relationships, business, or studies because you plainly are too busy to sharpen your blades?
My Final thoughts on how God divinely provides
- Every challenge and hardship we face is an opportunity to engage deeper with God; It is a calling to taste and see God’s goodness (Psalm 34:8).
- “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the ax,” —Abraham Lincoln said. We accomplish much more quickly as we sharpen our blades through prayer, meditating on the Word, and obedience. Eccl 10:10
- When the clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth —Diligence and persistence in following God’s instructions is the key to reaping all the blessings God has for us. Eccl 11:3.
- God rewards those who diligently seek Him. Hebrew 11:6
- If we are willing and obedient to God’s instructions and nudging, we will eat the good of the land. Isaiah 1:19
— Submitted by Taiwo from Norway
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