A few weeks ago, when Pastor Ituah Igbodalo, the Senior Pastor at Trinity House lost his beloved wife, Ibidunni to the cold hands of death, many were shocked at how strong he is as a man, as he took the devastating news with a lot of strength. The morning that his wife died, he still went ahead to officiate at the burial service of a young boy who was close to him, in his lifetime. This led many to wonder why he didn’t cancel this his prior commitment to preach at the service considering that his wife died only a few hours before.
He told City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE why he could not cancel his appointment to officiate at the event and what the Lord told him to do. He was our guest a few days ago at our City People TV Instagram Live Chat. Below are excerpts.
How did you derive that inner strength to make you overcome and bear your recent loss?
I think my relationship with God just kicked in. When that thing happened, I didn’t think of myself, I thought of two things. I said, “God, where are you and what are you trying to do? And the second thing is my wife, what would you like me to do in this situation?
And I just got comfort, knowing that God was with me, knowing that God had a reason for this. These are the things I have told other people. These are the things that I have learnt. These are the things that I have preached.
These are things that I know that, when God took away David’s son after 7-days, it was painful for David but in the end, because he had the appropriate reaction, God turned it to good for him.
The Bible tells us that Joseph’s brothers said: “look at how he was begging us, beseeching us and crying, that, how can you do this to me?” But about 13 years later, what looked like a terrible thing, we saw the manifestation of God’s power. I said God, this is very painful to me but I know there must be something you are trying to tell me, so treat me gently God, tell me what you want me to do and how you want me to react at this time and it was as though the Almighty gave me the instruction. I didn’t listen to anybody, I listened to him. He instructed me on every step to take. He said to me, people will come and say this and that, don’t worry, hear what they have to say, but report to me, your God. Let you and I discuss what they have said. So, during that time, whatever anybody says to me, I had only 2 responses, “thank you, I am grateful”. I was thankful for people’s presence and went back to my bed with my God, I will go over what I have heard during the day and say, Lord, what do I do? By the time I will wake up by 4 am the next morning, I would have had enough conversation with Him, and by the time I am ready to see people at 8 or 9 O’clock,
I know exactly what to do and I did them, as best as I could. I am not saying it was a perfect environment but this is how I coped during this time.
He said to me, don’t feel sorry for yourself, it is about me, Ibidunni and the rest of the world, just listen to me and do what I ask you to do. So, any time the thing will overwhelm me, I will hear him saying again, it is not about you, don’t feel sorry for yourself, just listen to me and I took a lot of comfort in that and it helped me to do what I needed to do.
There was a powerful sermon you preached that same morning about life, and how life treats people as it were?
I think it came by God’s inspiration. That sermon didn’t start that morning. A lady in her church lost her son, and this happened Thursday night/Friday morning when suddenly they called me and I had to go and visit her and bring her a lot of comforts because I knew the son very well. I have been supporting her spiritually and her children, so, I was with her that day and in the afternoon the brother to the lady called me that they wanted to do the funeral and they wanted me to do the funeral on Sunday. And I said okay, only that I pleaded with them to shift the time to 1 pm contrary to the 11 am they chose before because I needed to do something. That Friday night, I went to God in prayer, I asked God, how do I comfort her, how do I make this experience look better for her, her children and her relatives? By inspiration, I made some note of what I needed to say to them but I didn’t finish because I still needed to meditate more. I always pray about every sermon that I give except teaching, you know teachings are different from sermon. So, that is how I went on Saturday night/Sunday morning. I didn’t go to bed until about 12 to 1 am because I had so many things to do including speaking to my late wife at about 9:30 pm that day, only for me to be woken-up around 2 am, I was given the news of what happened to my wife.
The first thing I did was to face God as I have said. The first question was “do I go to Port Harcourt or what do I do? What do I do?” But the Lord gave me instruction God said: “take your note, finish your sermon and go and preach, and encourage those people, you cannot abandon them at this time”.
That is when I picked up my Bible and note and put that sermon together.