The Miracle of Patience


patience pix

If there ever was a miracle, the story of Dame Patience Jonathan, wife of the President of Nigeria, stands in a class of its own. The first miracle was that despite all the rumours of her being ill in the second half of 2012, she returned triumphantly to the country from Germany and shocked Nigerians in November last year by declaring that nothing was wrong with her.
The second (and real) miracle however unraveled at a thanksgiving church service for (Mrs Jonathan) surviving a life threatening ailment against all odds in the same period when the rumour mill was agog. In her own words during the thanks-giving service at the Aso Villa she said: “I actually died. I passed out for more than a week. My intestines and tummy were opened. I am not Lazarus but my experience was similar to his. My doctors said all hope was lost. It was God himself in His infinite mercy that said I will return to Nigeria. God woke me up after seven days,” the first lady intoned. she is also quoted to have described how she went through “hell” while in hospital and said she has dedicated her life to serving the needy. “It is the Lord’s doing that I returned alive,” she said. “When God says yes, nobody can say no. People are always afraid of operation (surgery). But in my own case, while my travails lasted, I was begging for it after the third operation because I was going to the theatre every day. It was God who saw me through. I did eight or nine operations within one month.” Even as she revealed that as she fought the battle of her life in Germany, those closest to her who believed she had died, stole her properties and sold off the stuff that they could.
Dame Patience Jonathan went on to accuse some of those she trusted of leaking information to the public that she had passed on. “I know that some people somehow leaked the information that I was dead. They are people that I trust and rely on. To them, I was dead and I would never return to the country alive,” she said. “Some of them even sold my things off. I won’t say everything here.” She said she believed she had not completed her assignment on earth, which was why God spared her. “It was not an easy one. The day I came back, I said God I have nothing to say, I offer myself to you. I will be doing things that will touch the lives of the less-privileged. God gave me a second chance because I reached there. He knew I had not completed the assignments He gave me that was why I was sent back.”
Most Nigerians were stunned or alarmed or even embarrassed that this subject was coming up again after many believed it had been laid to rest. But whatever the initial feeling, every Nigerian citizen will definitely be happy for our first lady that she survived the harrowing medical ordeal she went through. It is only sad that the handlers of the presidency for the umpteenth time thought it was better to keep this crucial information away from Nigerians while the first lady suffered in silence. This writer believes that even patience will not have been happy with the handling of the matter which probably eventually led to the revelation of the truth and her public show of gratitude to God for sparing her life. It is very human to fall sick and it certainly is a thing of joy when anyone recovers from a debilitating illness.
The world knows that President Yugo Chavez of Venezuela is suffering from cancer. It is also true that the good people of Venezuela get day to day information about their President’s state of health and they have been praying for him. Routinely, the world is told about the incapacitation of world leaders and their spouses, Nigeria should not be an exception.
While praying that the first lady has been permanently healed, we can only pray that God will shine his benevolence also on our dear nation-brand, Nigeria. We have also been hemorrhaging for so long, it is a miracle we are still standing albeit unsteadily. Like Saint Augustine said “Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.” It is only natural that after nation-racking illnesses such as corruption, nepotism, tribalism, genocide, criminal kleptomania and sheer inhumanity of our leaders that God will perform a miracle and make those same leaders do a complete turn-around just like it happened to Paul in the Bible.
The God that made it happen for Patience Jonathan will make it happen for Nigeria, sooner rather than later.