My parents had gone for work as usual and left my grandmother, my younger brother and I at home. We were chit chatting on the veranda while doing one thing or the other. My brother was washing his dirty clothes which was heaped in front of the basin like a huge sand dune of Sossusvlei while I was typing my report. I decided not to help him wash because I didn’t understand why he refused to wash all these items in school and had to pay extra money to the bus conductor for his items when he could have just washed them in school and saved that money. That was not the only thing that made me furious and refused to help him; he never washed these dirty clothes till it was left with a week for school to resume. I didn’t mind his feelings, I called him a lazy drone because he also stayed a week at school after he finished writing his exams just to play a soccer match when that time could have been used judiciously to wash his items.
The day before today, we went to our garden and plucked the ripe coconut fruits home. We planned to make some coconut ice cream and coconut oil out of them. This was our first time to make ice cream out of coconut so we were eager to go pluck it and try the new recipe we had learnt. We brought the coconut and stored them on the veranda. We brought lots of coconuts home, after sharing some to family and friends who lived around us, we were left with …wait let me go and count…; one, two, three…. twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three. Woohooo! That’s great! I just counted the remaining, we were left with twenty-three. I can’t wait to scoop ice-cream from my ice cream cup. I can perceive it is delicious in advance. Ha-ha.
So, back to Emmanuel who was washing. He begged me over a thousand times to help him but I turned a deaf ear to him. I used my report as an excuse though I had initially allocated a different time for my report, I had to do it now so he could see me as busy.
After he finished washing, I got up to serve us lunch. We ate yam ampesi with palava sauce. Emmanuel was sending his plate back to the kitchen when his leg slightly kicked one of the buckets he used for washing, it was a metal bucket. The bucket kept making noise like it was still being kicked severally. We all wondered why. The dirty linen bag which contained Emma’s items kept rocking back and forth and hitting Emma’s bucket.
“I suspect an animal is in the dirty linen bag lying on the floor. I noticed that it has been moving since my leg touched the bucket. It has been moving back and forth and that is what has been causing the bucket to make noise and behave like that”, Emma said. We all got scared at the moment he said that. I quickly went to close the bedroom doors left ajar. My grandmother, though frail, thought of standing on her chair. We couldn’t help but laugh, we scared nonetheless. She placed her legs on a table close to her.
“I’m going to hit the bucket again and see if it will move” he said. We screamed at him and told him to stop but he didn’t mind us. He kicked it again and immediately the dirty linen bag began to move more vigorously till the bucket fell. Now the intensity of our fear was heightened. For the animal to be able to let this metal bucket fall, it must be a big animal. “It is bigger than a rat”, Emmanuel opined.
We lived at Community 7, a new site with trees and bushes all around us. Our trap door also had a little space underneath it and we believed that was the route the animal used and came inside. I stood on the ironing table for fear of being bitten by the animal when it is let out.
Emmanuel, being the only male among us, mastered courage and unscrewed the stick of a mop so that he would use it in hitting the head of the animal. He drew a little closer to the dirty linen bag and hit the animal in the bag twice but it only caused the mop stick to be broken into two and the animal kept moving back and forth in the bag. He tactfully took the longer stick lying close to the bag and moved to the side of the bag where there is no opening, drew closer this time and hit it with every energy in him and nudged the animal towards the opening of the bag, thinking the animal had become weak as a result of the several beatings it had received. Well, it came out for us to discover we had been wasting time and had broken our mop stick because of a coconut. One of the coconuts we plucked yesterday had just rolled into the bag. We couldn’t help but laugh at ourselves and the positions we had assumed because of this coconut.
This is just what a Christian exhibits when he or she fears. God has not given us a spirit of fear so keep cool when the devil tries to frighten you, he’s just like the coconut in the dirty linen bag. If Emmanuel knew the content of the linen bag was just a coconut, he would have just walked straight to the bag with his full chest and taken the bag and removed the coconut from the bag and all this drama wouldn’t have occurred. What do you fear? You attract what you fear. Most of the things we fear are our imaginations. They are not really real.
1 Timothy 1 :7 — “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
The Bible tells us the devil just behaves like a lion just to scare us but he’s not really a lion. He comes in diverse forms to attack us be we must never forget God has given us power over him but God warns us to be alert and watchful despite this power given us by Him because we can be easily deceived when we are spiritually blind. Your eyes are useless when your spirit man is blind
1 Peter 5:8 — “Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”.
When you express fear, it is like a person coming to your house with a toy gun to scare you and you have a real gun in your pocket but for fear, you refuse to use it. God has given us power to trample over scorpions and snakes and nothing shall by any means hurt us. The scorpions and snakes which come away refers to the things that come our way and scare us but God has given us authority over them and we ought to use this power.
Luke 10:19 — “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you”.
Fear is destructive. It makes us to cause harm to own selves. The mop stick wouldn’t have been broken if Emma knew the content of the bag. Greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world. Don’t dear what is supposed to fear you. Because of the spirit of fear, lots of people have destroyed wonderful opportunities which would have been pivotal in their lives.
Fear is an enemy of progress, it retards development and prevents us from doing all we have to do. One of the ways to overcome fear is reading God’s word, which is our rules for living. By this we know the power and authority we carry and utilize it to the fullest. Positive confession also takes our fear. When you say you’re always afraid, you’ll always be afraid. Tell the spirit of fear to fear you rather than allowing it to work through you.
Thanks for reading. Have a blessed weekend.