The young man in his early 30s looked hard at me. I stood in front of his makeshift dwelling at a suburb called “Ecomoc” at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle enclave where our church is located.
Wearing our Presbyterian Church attire, some church members and I were on the street sharing tracts and telling people that God loves them. “God loves me?” the young man asked, and I noticed the contempt in his voice.
“Don’t tell me about God, please.” I heard what he said, and it didn’t surprise me much. I thought he was conveying his version of excuses people give when they don’t want to be bothered about God talk. But what he said next unsettled me.
“It is all God’s fault,” he declared. “I would not be in this hardship if I wasn’t born. I blame God for allowing me to be born!” I studied the young man more closely.
He was dressed in relatively nice clothes, hair neatly combed and wore a matching pair of canvas shoes. So he was not a lunatic, neither did he look physically ill.
Rather he was vocal and confi dent in his utterance. “I am fed up with life,” he moaned. “I am really suffering. Life is unfair and the world is treating me wickedly.”
His eloquence impressed me. “Day by day, I have to look for work,” he complained, “and the daily wage is not even so good.
Why all this wahala?” Then he asked, “Wouldn’t it have been better not to be born?” “No,” I told him emphatically.
“It is a privilege to be born. You must always count yourself privileged—or blessed—that you were born.”
My statement must have confused him, for he gaped at me speechless. And in the silence of that moment, I told him, “It is too late to wish that you were not born!” I gave him a tract and bade him farewell as he walked away towards his workplace.
“Lord,” I prayed, “meet him at the point of his need and draw him closer to you.” True, it is of no use to wish that you were unborn. Instead, better make the most of your life while you are alive. The young man was genuinely perturbed about life’s many struggles—just as millions are.
About human suffering and life’s struggles, we need to understand that “we are not in normal times”. Humanity departed from “normal times” the moment disobedience brought about sin with its countless repercussions.
Today, the evil that damaged the world of our forebears continues to plague us. And as the world grows older, evil increases. “But realise this, that in the last days, diffi cult times will come. For people will be . . . haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
It is precisely because of these worldly troubles and unfairness that we must take refuge in God. Admittedly, there are very sorrowful situations in life—such as fatal accidents, diseases, hunger and the outbreak of pandemics and wars that claim lives in the millions. Such misfortunes and human sufferings are included in the secret things in this world that we cannot fully understand.
Moses said, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
What is revealed includes Scripture’s injunction for us to know Jesus Christ the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us.
Medical science reports that the chance of a person being born is over one in 400 trillion. With 20 million sperm per millilitre being adequate to cause pregnancy, scientists reveal that only one of these millions of sperms will fertilise the female egg cell to produce the foetus (unborn baby).
To put it plainly, therefore, every birth is a miracle! The psalmist acknowledges this miracle by declaring, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13).
Created in God’s image, we are precious in God’s sight. Rather than question God or blame him for our birth, we should rather congratulate ourselves for being selected out of billions of sperms to become an embryo and then a baby.
Even then, given the widespread cases of miscarriages and stillbirths, the miracle of birth still deepens—not to mention the privilege of surviving childhood diseases.
That is why life is a most enduring gift. God divinely selected us to be alive so that we may serve him, fear him and keep his commandments— for this is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Instead of complaining, take advantage of being human, serve the Lord and trust him to lead you on the path of his salvation.