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I am humbled by the grace and the mercies of God in my life that led me to this day of celebrating the addition of one good new year to my years by God. This year’s birthday to me is unique for so many reasons. One of which is the agreement between my year of birth and the number of years that I’m celebrating today.

You may wish to know that the last two digits in my year of birth are the same as the number of years that I clock today which I am celebrating. This can only happen once in a lifetime. Take, for instance, someone born in 1973 and who is celebrating his 73rd birthday. This is exactly what I mean by saying it can only happen to anyone just once in a lifetime.

Beyond this numerical coincidence, I want to say boldly and with every sense of humility and appreciation that God has not only been good to me but He is the goodness that has been following me since the day I was born until now and His consistency and reliability are unwavering.

I also recognize that in the last five years of my life, I have been celebrating my birthday with one major concern that has been causing me to shed secret tears but which in God’s infinite mercies has abated, bringing to me and my family peace that surpasses all human understanding and making this year’s celebration to be total and absolute. To Him alone be all the glory.

There is no gainsaying the fact that disappointments are the realities of life but discouragement is the reaction of man. God did not promise us a challenge-free adventure in life especially as Christians, and recall the admonition of Jesus Christ that; “in the world we shall have tribulations but we should be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world.”

Just as I and others as well do have birthday mates which is very sweet and admirable, the same applies to adversity and hence, the word of God says in 1 Corinthians 10: 13 that; “there is no temptation such that is uncommon to man but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted more than you can bear and with every temptation, He has made a way of escape that you may be able to bear it.”

This is true in that only the wearer of the shoes knows where it pinches, it is instructive also when we are made to understand that the trial of our faith works in us patience and we are admonished to follow the examples of those who through faith and patience obtained the promise of God.

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Most times, adversities are not designed or meant to destroy us but to work out some important virtues that will help to ignite and sustain the fire of faith.

The story of Ludwig van Beethoven resonates so well and perfectly with me. Beethoven was a well-known respected, and loved composer in Vienna, then tragedy of tragedies, his hearing began to go, and a degenerative disease destroyed his hearing until he was totally deaf. He could not hear a sound.

Of all people to be denied hearing, Beethoven would have been the last, not only was the loss his, it was also a loss for all of humanity, for never again would he be able to produce and create glorious music. At least, that is how it appeared.

He retreated to a monastery where he could be alone with his private pain, while he was there, God spoke to him, He gave him music that Beethoven alone could hear in his mind. The music was glorious. Writing furiously, Beethoven’s brilliant talent translated silent sounds to marks on paper that could be read and performed by musicians. The results were phenomenal. Music historians all know the story of Beehoven’s great comeback. Even today, we sing and re-sing Beethoven’s testimony; Joyful! Joyful!

Who would have thought that anyone was capable of creating his best music after losing his hearing?

I would like to appreciate God’s goodness in the life of this legend and say with all sense of responsibility that even though I have not come anywhere close to his achievements and fame in life, I share the same experience of life with him, though with a little difference.

 

I developed love, a profound one indeed for literary works which began with my writing articles for publication in the Nigerian Dailies during my undergraduate time at the Lagos State University (LASU), Nigeria. My passion led me to publish the first magazine known as LASU Champion, which was allowed to be sold in the University’s bookshop.

After my graduation from the University and while serving in Kebbi State as a Corps Member, I established the State’s first news magazine known as Kebbi Light in 1991 and remained in the state nurturing the project for seven years. After I returned to Lagos in 1997, I began another magazine, though religious, known as Livinghope in 1997.

Surprisingly, after I had successfully published about 14 editions of the magazine, I woke up one day to discover that the vision in my left eye was totally gone. This marked a turning point in my life but the grace of God kept me going until when in 2014, after I had relocated to the United States of America with my family, all efforts could not prevent the loss of my total vision in both eyes.

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The grace of God continued to uphold me and I continued with the publication of my Livinghope magazine. I believe that those editions that were published by me without any usable vision were far better than those published with all of my vision in place.

 

My consolation has been that at least I have other important organs working and of all the five senses given to me, only one was lost. Between last year June 20, 2023, and today, June 20, 2024, the grace of God helped me to publish three powerful books which are available on Amazon.com for purchase namely, Keep the Switch On: Overcoming the Challenges of Life, Engaging the Rod of your Strength and the latest, Activate the Giant Within. This brings the total of books authored by me to four.

 

 

 

However, the production of the 24th edition of the Livinghope Magazine is at the verge of completion and with the title; “The Dynamics of Terrorism.” I am grateful also for the opportunity given to me by God to run a YouTube channel known as Giantability TV. Here you can watch videos that are highly educational and revealing to the glory of God. Permit me to use this medium to ask that you visit the channel at: https://youtube.com/@giantability?si=_J2jWOPUdrDecB7- and subscribe to it as a token of your birthday gift to me and God of heaven will surely bless and reward you abundantly for doing just that even as I thank you in advance.

Tapping from the wisdom of Robert H. Schuller, I stand bold to say that although life is not fair, God is good. It is important and worthy of note that I have learned from experience that we often confuse the facts of life with the acts of God, whereas the right thing to do if the picture of our lives is askew, is to start by fixing our perspective.

Recall also the truth of the scriptures in Job 33: 14-17 which says; “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.”

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God wants to speak to you and me but more often than not, we shut Him out with our busy schedules. Sometimes, it takes a tragedy or a disaster to get our attention, sometimes it takes a disappointment or an injustice to pull us out of our dizzy spellbinding schedule to turn our eyes up to Him and open our hearts to what He longs to tell us.

We are admonished to close the door, wait, and listen to God speak to us, to become a feather in the wind, a leaf on the wave, a cloud in front of the breeze. God is the wind, He is the wave and He is the breeze.

I am excited with my joy full today for all that God has done for me and for all that He has been to me. I am grateful and thankful also to all those whom God brought my way to be to me helpers of destiny. I cannot thank you all enough but I commend you unto God and the word of His grace which is able to build you up and to grant you an inheritance among them all who have been sanctified (Acts 20:32).

I wish for you to draw lessons from my own life experiences and to the effects that you realize, understand and believe that no matter what happens to you, God remains faithful and where for one reason or another, you cannot touch His hands, do well to feel His heart.

He is too faithful to fail you. It is not enough to have faith without doubting, it is more important to trust Him without reservations. Faith can fail but love is the only failure-proof force in the whole of the Scriptures.

Finally, all things work for the good of them who love God and who are called according to His purpose — Romans 8:28

Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me, may we all live long, prosper, and be in health even as our soul prospers, in Jesus’ name. God bless you.

 

Samuel ‘Tunji Adeyanju.

 

 

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