Editor’s Note: This 4th edition of YegWatch with Tee Adeyemo” is brought to you as part of a new partnership between AfricaX and LadiesCorner. This episode is on the mystery of death
Only the good die young – Billy Joel
I have followed the death of Pastor Adedare Adegboye, fondly called Pastor Dee like everyone else across Nigeria, Europe, North America and the rest of the world with a sense of shock and deep sadness at the futility of life. We share the same birth date, June 9th. He is exactly a year older than me. I never met him or heard about his ministry until his passing. But his passing has touched me like I knew him.
The passing of anyone I know always prompts reflections such as this.
Death is always a difficult thing to experience. I won’t wish it on anybody. How do you begin to live again? How do you begin to breathe again? Also, how does life continue after a bereavement? Why must you carry on? How do you begin to grieve when some people wont even admit grieving is a necessary part of accepting your loss and moving on? Can you move on?
Death is a nasty thing, yet it is certain for us all
He was the son of Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Also, he was also one of the most influential youth Pastors in RCCG.
Some of the many posts he held were:
- RCCG House of Praise Birmingham, United Kingdom,
- Senior Pastor, Kaduna — RCCG Kaduna 1 Provincial Youth Pastor and
- RCCG Region 8 Youth Pastor.
His ministerial sojourn covered Abuja (North Central Youth Evangelist covering all the youths in Benue, Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau States and the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria).
Other posts included:
- RCCG Youth Affairs National and International Director of Programs and
- Chairman Organizing Committee of 70hrs Messiah’s Marathon Praise, National Youth Convention and Northern Zone Abuja.
Pastor Dee spent his life serving God. He became a pastor at the age of 23. At the time of his death, he had clocked 20 years in the ministry as a leader, pastor and influencer.
The Redeemed Christian Church of God is a global Pentecostal church that preaches the salvation of the soul through repentance of sins and holiness without which no one would see the Lord. RCCG was founded in 1952 by pastor Akindayomi. In 1975, pastor EA Adeboye was announced his successor. Pastor EA Adeboye turned the church into a global brand. At the last count, the RCCG has over 2,000 churches within Nigeria and representation in nearly every country on the planet.
Why do good people die?
This is a question philosophers have considered across the ages. Is there an answer? What made Pastor Dee’s death a bit more painful are his parents. This is why. As far back as when I was eight years old, my mum had been taking me to the Redemption Camp for prayers. A lot of the big things that happened in my life back then were linked to the prayers said at the dusty camp on dusty benches.
Pastor Dee’s parents have served God all my life. I am in my forties. His parents have paid the price. His parents are godly good people who inspire the world to prayers and holiness. They don’t deserve to loose their son. … not now. Not in this way. He died peacefully in his sleep on May 4th after holding a faith conference. Ministry is hard. Ministry work can be brutal and merciless. It is up to our pastors to make time for their health and well being.
Should we question God?
Can we question why? He is God Almighty. Then, we must take His word as true. The Bible teaches that God’s Word is able to bring unexplainable peace to our hearts if we allow the Scriptures to speak into our hearts and minds. God can help us through our darkest moments, if we let him.
The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
It means that in spite of this loss to the Adeboye family and the rest of us, God is closest to us right now.
For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. Romans 14:8
If we all belong to God, who are we to complain or get angry at Him? If we attribute all the good we enjoy in life to Him, why are we not able to accept the evil as well? As dust, we return to the earth as it was, as the spirit returns to God, who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:7
I have come to believe that all things work together for good. This death will ultimately work out for our good. There are no errors or mistakes with God. Everything happens for a reason under the heaven.
And we do not have to know why.
It is clear we are not be able to answer the question why do bad things happen to good people? That is not what this piece is about. What is clear is that we can go through this bereavement with praise. We can live intentionally. If you watched the celebration service or any of the farewell services for Pastor Dare, the one thing that rings clear is we must praise God.
Praise defeats the devil.
Praise shows our humanity and it draws our focus and expectations on God. Indeed, praise shows our dependency on God.
In seasons of grief, let’s understand that it is okay to express our feelings. If you want to cry, cry. It is okay. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not okay to cry. If you need to cry. Cry. Baby. Cry.
If you want to journal like I am doing now, it is also fine. Another point to understand is that life is worth living. Praise God through your days. Turning the focus on a Higher Power does something to your mental health.
The sun will rise again. The sun rises every morning whether or not we are prepared for it to rise. Life never stops. Life is meant to be lived. If you have today, it means God Almighty still has a need for you. So live without guilt.
Accepting that life is worth living is a must. You are not going to die, you will be just fine. The pain of any death will settle over time. It wont go away. But, it will become easier to bear over time.
As part of the community looking in, it is important not to offer false comfort. It is important that we understand the pain of this beloved family and respect their privacy. It is important that we are patient with them. They are a ministry family. They will be hurting. We must understand that and uphold daddy Adeboye and mama Adeboye in our prayers.
I am the Resurrection and the life
I didn’t plan to write a churchy piece. But, as I write, I remember when my dad passed. The only thing that gave me comfort were words from the Bible. The fact that Jesus said I am the Resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.
I believe with child like simplicity that my daddy has gone to be with Jesus.
The Bible gave me hope in many places that I would see my daddy again. The Word of God had never held more meaning for me than at the time of his passing. I have stopped being a cynic. There is life after death. I have stopped doubting the goodness of God. His love for me is unconditional. He is real.
The place they call heaven exists. I don’t want to spend eternity barbequing in hell.
The Mystery of Death
As Christians, we know we have defeated death.
When Jesus was crucified, the devil thought he had won. Little did he know that in three days, Jesus would resurrect defeating death once and for all. We have lost a general, but we didn’t loose God. Yes, we have lost a son, a brother, husband, dad but we still have Jesus Christ, the One who sticks closer than a brother. We have the Advocate who works in ways we cannot see connecting the dots in our lives.
We don’t know why God chose to take this particular general but we can rest knowing that God loves us all unconditionally. His ways are not our ways. We never see the whole picture, but God does. We are here at his mercy.
Pastor Dee’s race has ended and he is in a much better place looking and cheering us on. Where will you spend eternity?
So, if there is any inspiration from the passing of Pastor Dee, it is that we must take our Christian faith seriously. Life is too short.
He is survived by his wife and three children.
Rest in Power!
Pastor Dare Adeboye, June 9th 1978 – May 4 2021
This post was written by Tee Adeyemo and it first appeared on LCCMedia.
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