I remember the first time I travelled to my village without my parents. I must have been in primary school and my dearest grandmother of blessed memory insisted my parents brought me over for the weekend.
Village life truly intrigued me. I loved the simplicity of communal living and how content everyone seemed to be. Food was eaten fresh from the farms, with the large Itigidi River providing fresh fish and water for every home. In the evenings, about a dozen children would gather in my Granny’s living room to watch a DVD. That was the first of many visits. When I lost my mother at fourteen, my Granny became the most influential person in my life.
She was wise, inspiring and I picked up my literary prowess from her as she and my mum piqued my interest in books. She would make me write letters to her and correct my English and send the letters back to me with the highlighted corrections. Lol! Bless her soul.
I made so many trips back and forth to visit her especially when I was in the university, which involved a two-hour bus journey to the neighbouring village, and catching a speedboat or canoe ride before I showed up on her doorsteps to her amazement. And many of such trips were unannounced. I loved our bond, I would lie on her bed and we would talk, gossip, sing and pray well into the night. We would wake up early in the morning sit outside and watch the whole village come alive.
The best times of my young adult life were spent with my Granny, but today, I pondered about one thing that remained unchanged as the years went by with each visit that I made.
Every time I went to the village, my Granny would encourage me to greet our relatives. She would ask a cousin to come to get me to make the rounds, and as I walked past, greeting elders with the only native dialect I knew, they would speak back asking:
“Ale` wa` nen o?” which simply meant: “Who is your father?” or “Whose child are you?”
Every compound we passed by, the same question would be asked and then I would reply to them with a mention of my father’s name. Many times, I was given monetary gifts, foodstuff, or pronouncements of blessings just by the mere mention of whose child I was. They welcomed me, embraced me because of who my father was for he was a man the villagers knew and respected.
As I reflect on this simple yet powerful message, I could hear God asking very quietly, as the events of the past weeks have dared to question my identity.
“Ale` wa` nen o? Who is your father o?”
“Stella, whose child, are you? What do you possess by being my child? And what responses do you get? Do you know you were created in my image and likeness? What access can my name give you? What doors can my name open for you?”
To know the magnitude and import of a person is to know his nature, attributes and the influence which his name commands. As God began to remind me that He is not just the Great and Mighty One, he is also my dear father, my Abba, my Papa and just like the mention of my earthly father’s name brought me favour, his name commanded blessings and everything I need to live victoriously.
Everything pales in the light of this truth that I am a child of the Most High God. His nature is good, and I can trust him with every minute detail of my life. Everything that I would ever need or desire stems from him and He is well able to take care of me. For he is not an unjust Daddy who when his children ask for fish, he would give them a serpent. He is a good father, far from the picture that our frail earthly fathers have painted of what fatherhood is. And as I write this, every fear I have of my future melts away, because, I know I would be right where my Papa intends for me to be, in the end. No matter how overwhelmingly difficult things seem now, or how senseless the events occurring in my life are, may I never forget whose child I am.
I pray for you today that when challenging situations and the difficulties of life question your identity that you would be bold enough to retort and shout back till the enemy is silenced for you know who you are. I pray that the eyes of your understanding would be enlightened today. You are not a beggar, a failure, worthless or disadvantaged. You are your father’s child, but if you never truly know your father, you would never know who you are and what you are worth.
So, tell me, WHO IS YOUR FATHER?
Matthew 7:9-11 NIV
Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
1 John 3:3 GW
Consider this: The Father has given us his love. He loves us so much that we are actually called God’s dear children. And that’s what we are. For this reason, the world doesn’t recognize us, and it didn’t recognize him either. Dear friends, now we are God’s children. What we will be isn’t completely clear yet. We do know that when Christ appears, we will be like him because we will see him as he is. So all people who have this confidence in Christ keep themselves