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Faith Tobi is from Delta State, Nigeria

I was going through a time in my life when bad things were happening to me. I became so depressed that my body also began to feel ill.

I read SOON

This was how I was feeling one night, when I took my books to study. Then, inside one of my books, I saw some SOON copies in an envelope. I began to read this paper. It made me stop to ask myself, "Has God never been good to me? Has he not done any good things in my life?"

I realised that in the past he had healed me when I was ill, saved me from an accident, kept me well when there was not enough food, and helped my family to pay money we owed. I said, "Surely God did these things for us and they are good things."

Thinking about God and not myself made me feel better. I then remembered a very special time in my life when I learned that God really cares for us … and he always will. This is what I remembered:

Many hospitals

Some time ago my mother was very ill. Although she was taken to many hospitals, none of the medicines that the doctors gave her were of any help. They told my mother she must go home because they could do nothing more for her.

Traditional medicine

As the medical treatment did not make her well, my mother decided to try local herbal (plant) medicines. This usually means mixing uncooked plants and other things together to make them into medicine for the ill person to drink. There was a woman living near us who was a herbal doctor. She said she could make my mother well. My mother was ready to try anything.

The lady came with her medicine and gave it to my mother to drink. But the medicine made her feel even more ill. Within a few minutes she said that her stomach hurt badly. It became so bad that she could not sit or lie down. We, her children, told the woman that she must not leave until my mother was better. The woman was very afraid. When we questioned her, she was not even sure if she had given my mother the right amount of the herbal medicine.

Very bad pain

During that day and night, my mother was in such bad pain that she did not even know who we were. Some of us in the family started to talk to God (pray), asking him to save her, even though we thought he must be very far away from us. We thought God had left us. The next day we took my mother to the hospital. My brother stayed with her and I went home, confused and tired.

As I stood in our house and thought about all that was happening, I heard a voice inside me. The voice told me to go to a quietplace and pray. I went to my father's office which was empty at the time. At first I did not know what to pray. Then I remembered a verse in the Bible that says, "He heals all my illnesses."*

I said out loud to God, "Lord, please go now and heal my mother at the hospital,"

Home from hospital

At once God answered my prayer. That same day she was sent home from the hospital healed from her illness and it has never troubled her again from that day. I realised that God was not far away, but had been very near to us all the time. He heard my prayer and I will always be thankful to God for what he did. It had helped me to know him better. So, at a time when I was feeling bad about myself, I remembered all that God has done for us, and this gave me strength.

* These words can be found in the part of the Bible called Psalms (or Zabur) number 103, verse 3.