Doubt, Fantasy and Truth with Emmanuel Onimisi
#21stcenturyBiblestories Issue 001–2020
The Emmanuel Onimisi, as I’ll want to call him, is such a special person and so is his entry. I made a #21stcenturyBibleStories call for submission video, posted it on my personal Instagram page (amongst other places)and noticed he liked the video. Thereafter, I was stirred to place a call through to him. I reached out to a mutual friend for his contact and the below is a product of that call.
“So here I get to share the amazing things I’ve seen in my walk with God.
Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.
Proverbs 3:5 (NLT)
There was a time during church evangelism that I met someone. Now, I was scared because I really couldn’t imagine someone getting saved or speaking in tongues or anything by my hand. When I met him he was working on an assignment (he’s a student) and needed help so we discussed that. Gradually, we got talking and it moved to Jesus and I found out he was saved. Together, we prayed for each other and then I asked him if he wanted to share anything with me. He said he’d been feeling pain in his foot for weeks, but that as we prayed it lifted, and he felt warmth in my hands. Now I don’t remember feeling anything, but I also knew that God’s workings are independent of what I feel I can do. So I laid hands on his foot and declared him healed. I left his room and he probably felt I was some giant, but inside I was squealing like YEAH! That actually happened! It’s such memories that remind me that even if it doesn’t always feel like it, God’s Word is true and I can trust Him. If He said we would lay hands on the sick and they shall recover then it’s true (Mark 16:14–18). I later went to check on him and he said his foot was great. Thank God.
There was one time, a senior friend of mine posted something about being a blessing to nations, and I took that word and prayed about it. That week an Ethiopian colleague of mine met me for some advice in a field I really didn’t feel I had expertise in, but I prayed while the conversation was going on. Surprisingly, the advice I gave her actually helped, and then I remembered what I’d prayed about being a blessing to nations 😁.
And that wasn’t the last time either. I trust that wisdom comes from God, and if He could cause Daniel and Joseph to be excellent in systems outside of their comfort zone He can do so with me too.
Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession.
Psalms 2:8 (NLT)
This more so brought to bear my current place of work. I work at a federal government policy think-tank and I am surrounded by experts in socio-economic issues. The terminology and lingo exchanged day-by-day is very alien to me because of my background in science and creative arts and my little-to-no experience in economics. It’s been a literal daily exercise in trusting God for wisdom. Funny thing is, beyond my expectations, my inexperience doesn’t show. I’ve been called to join teams on projects, to present before experts and to even give orientations and all this time in my mind I’m going, “God, when will my secret be exposed?” Of course, those that need to know and that have asked know my background, I’m not keeping it a secret from them. As I trust in God I’ve seen His wisdom show in amazing ways. The best part, I can’t even think of taking the glory because I know it could never have been me, so I’m thankful too.
The LORD was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.
Genesis 39:2 (NLT)
How I got this job was a miracle. It was, but not one I was looking for. I had just gotten a steady job at a school teaching kids when I was called for the interview to this place in January 2018. I called someone there to tell him I won’t be coming because I had a job now, but he asked me to just give it a try even if I didn’t want to.
In the course of the year, I had a great time with those kids and I really felt called to it. Towards the end of the year, around November 2018, I got the mail that I was taken for this job. I didn’t want to go, although in my heart of hearts I knew God had actually been letting me know in the course of the year that I would be leaving. My watch there was indeed over. I didn’t know what lay ahead for me, but I decided to take the step of faith if that’s what God was leading me into.
It’s indeed been a walk of faith. Oh, despite the fact that I was entering into something I knew God was leading me into, it didn’t make it easy. I learnt so much in the 1year+ and I’m still learning.
One Scripture that’s been a pillar is where David says “My times are in Your hands…” (Psalm 31:15) I believe that. I’ve committed my life to Jesus and as such, my past, future and everything in-between is His, and He will make it beautiful. He does.
I think the greatest miracle in my life is the peace God gives that literally passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). I’ve been through lows and times it looked like there could never be any hope. I’ve had moments where I wondered if there was a point to life and everything. But then, He’s provided and surrounded me with friends, family, and His presence with me through it all. It doesn’t always feel that way.
Now in many ways, He uses me as an encouragement to others too. Like Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1:4, He comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort others by the comfort we’ve received.
It reminds me of a time God made us part of a miracle. It was during evangelism, I was with a team member when we met a man seated at a park. As we began talking he stopped us telling us he knew we came to tell him about Jesus. He was a pastor, actually. He said he had been led by God to close his church in Lagos and to move down to Ibadan for the work He had for him. He told us however that he had been discouraged, looking for what to feed his family, and wondering what to do. He had been coming to the park every day to study God’s Word. But that day he said he really needed encouragement and asked us to pray for him. It was a really “bizarre” time. We prayed for him but we felt charged ourselves. I haven’t seen him since that day and I always wonder why I didn’t get his number. But just knowing I was unknowingly used by God to encourage someone is a privilege I would never trade for the world. I think it’s a miracle in itself.
So these are the ones I could remember. There are many many incidents in-between these stories, and seemingly insignificant ones that mean a lot to me. It’s like God, the author of my story, showing up and letting me know that He’s there, even if He feels anonymous. I know there is so much more along the way because life is not over yet. And if He’s doing this with me, He’s definitely as particular and invested in the lives of each and every one of us.”
One of the things that I noticed in Emmanuel’s accounts is his distinction between his feelings which were usually inaccurate and the Father’s leadings. We are encouraged to work by faith and not by sight (feelings, logic, popular culture and the likes), it saves a whole lot.
Emmanuel describes himself as an artist, illustrator, cartoonist, storyteller, tutor, student, researcher, cinephile, geographer and child of God. You can catch up with him on here on Emmanuel Onimisi, on Twitter @EmmanuelOnimisi and on Instagram @onimisi_emma. You can also read his latest beautiful work of fiction here.
This article is a sequel to the article Doubt, Fantasy and Truth where I spoke about the disbelief of some people in the authenticity of Biblical accounts. The #21stcenturyBiblestories movement was enacted not only to establish that the Bible tells no lies but also communicate that individuals in the 21st-century experience similar accounts and promises as presented in the Bible.
Thank you for staying put until the very last word. I hope this article has sparked something revolutionary in you.
#21stcenturyBiblestories entries are still being received via mail — firstname.lastname@example.org. Get that experience unto black and white, let the whole world BELIEVE!
See you soon.