The Choice (chapter 33)

Sarah woke up. Her heart thumped. Her fingers trembled. Sweat covered her forehead, and tears dripped from her eyes. She fluttered her eyelids and looked around.

She was on the floor in her room. She blinked and looked again; she was in the one-room self-contained apartment she had rented. She was neither in Baba Fagbami’s hut. Nor was she in hell. Sarah’s eyes captured all that came into their field of vision. Her room was just as it was the day before. Everything in the room was hers. No baby things nor Femi’s belongings. Definitely, she was the only resident of the house. Sarah sat up and stared at her body. Nothing was different. Her shape was intact. She ran her hand over her head. 

The cornrows she wore were covered in a net. Oh! It was a revelation! A deep one. Sarah knelt beside her bed. “Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. I’m grateful. Thank You because this is only a dream. Thank You for Your grace. Thanks for Your direction. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You…,” she prayed. Sarah reached out to her phone on the bedside table. It was shut down. She switched on the phone. It was half-past two in the afternoon. What! Today was Sunday. She had missed church service. How had she slept so deeply? She remembered now. She had been praying after returning from her sister’s house the previous day before sleep stole her consciousness. Sarah dressed up hurriedly and left the house. She needed to see someone today. ♣♣♣

Sarah wept as she narrated the revelation she’d had to Elder Dayo Apata, a deacon and the head counselor at her church. The revelation had moved her to tears. Elder Dayo Apata adjusted in his chair. “Hmm. That was deep. So in the dream, you lost your life, your son, and even your mother-in-law,” he said. “Yes, sir. It was so terrifying I almost died in reality,” Sarah said. “So what did the Sarah in your revelation gain eventually?” Elder Dayo said. Sarah drew a long breath. “Nothing. She lost everything.” “It’s a pity.” “It is. I agree with you, sir.” “The most painful part is that there’s no hope of seeing Sarah in your dream in heaven. Hell became the rightful place for her. 

It was her CHOICE. She left the narrow path, trod the broad way, and died on the way. It is those who choose the narrow path in Christ Jesus that will make heaven. Would it not be better for one to lose the whole world and be a candidate of heaven rather than otherwise?” Elder Dayo said and searched Sarah’s eyes. Sarah blinked back tears. “But sir, considering that I had been once very fervent in the faith. Couldn’t that just have counted for me at the end? Couldn’t I just have received grace and not die or go to hell in the revelation?” she said, confused. Elder Dayo smiled. He flipped the pages of the Bible on his table.

“Permit me to read from the Holy Scriptures. I’ll read 2 Peter 2:20–23, ‘For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”’ Do you understand now?” Sarah nodded and sighed. Indeed, that was true of the dream she’d had. 

Her end had been worse than the beginning. Elder Dayo Apata continued. “Deuteronomy 30:19 says, ‘I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;.’

The choice is ours to make. God won’t force anything on us. But He wants us to choose life.” Sarah ran her hand over her head. Now she knew better. Her choices could either make or mar her chance of making heaven. “In the same vein, Luke 9:62 says, ‘But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”’ That means when we come to Jesus, we must set our whole gaze on Him. Not looking back and forth, getting entangled with traditions or things of the world. We are to stand for God and do His will wherever we find ourselves.

Regardless of what the world throws at us, we are to stand for God, immovable, steadfast,” Elder Dayo said. Sarah nodded. She understood that. But sometimes, it could be hard to do. She was yet in the shoes, pressured on every side to get married, and the man wouldn’t marry her except if she was first pregnant. “Daddy, I understand. It’s just that it’s not as easy as you think. Can’t one just suit oneself for once and return later? After all, there are people out there that have done worse and are yet saved by the Lord,” Sarah said. Elder Dayo shook his head. “It’s easier for a sinner who had no knowledge of God to be saved when the gospel reaches him. The devil believes the sinner belongs with him to hell until salvation suddenly comes for the sinner. 

God reaches out to sinners many times to save them from the upcoming wrath. But talking about believers not walking in God’s will, the devil often wants them short-lived so that they don’t receive mercy. The Bible tells us that the devil is an accuser of the brethren. The Bible made me understand that the servant that knows what his master wants and yet doesn’t do it will suffer many stripes.” Sarah exhaled. “Alright. I understand. Thank you, sir.’ Elder Dayo tilted forward and placed his palm on Sarah’s shoulder. “My dear sister, please don’t fall into the trap of the devil. When tradition, culture, and the world’s standard question your stand, you must go with the Lord’s will. You must. 

It requires a special grace to have received such a revealing vision from God. Don’t dump your grace on the altar of worldliness and its fantasy.” Sarah bobbed her head. “I don’t want to be caught in the web of the world. I want to stand for God. I want to do His will. I want to make the right choices always. I want to live for Him all the days of my life. I don’t want to have anything to do with idolatry and unrighteousness,” she said, tears dripping from her eyes. “You can, Sarah. Every believer who wants to live for God can. All you need to do is focus on God, depend on Him, and listen to Him in every way He speaks, especially through His words—the Holy Bible. God will strengthen you and enable you to walk the path of righteousness. But you must first make up your mind. You must first shut your ears to the voices of lust and sins. You must, Sarah,” Elder Dayo said. Sarah nodded. “I will, sir. I will. Thanks so much, sir. God, please help me.” “Please let’s pray,” Elder Dayo said and held Sarah’s hands. He prayed with her for a long while before allowing her to leave his office. Sarah walked out of Elder Dayo Apata’s office. She boarded a cab and headed home.

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