In a dream, Nike gave a muscular broad chested six-pack blood shot eyed man two hot blows on his face. The guy roared before landing on the floor and after a few jerks, went still.
When she woke up, she was covered in sweat. She pulled the sheets away and jumped out of the bed.
‘Are you okay?’ Nike’s husband, Dayo, asked.
He was up already, getting dressed for work. When she didn’t respond, he went to her side and held her shoulders.
‘The A.C is on but you are sweating. What happened?’
She exhaled. ‘What’s the time?’
‘7:30. Listen. Everything is fine. I bathed for the kids and I made breakfast.’
Just then her boys ran into the room and jumped on the bed shouting, ‘Jingle bells, jingles bells, jingles all the way,’ but by the time they got to the next line of the song, they were singing in an entirely different language, something like Chinese.
Dayo held her very close. ‘How are you feeling now?’
She shook her head. The tears were on the surface again. ‘I still feel like there is a dark blanket covering my heart. It’s as if something is choking me. I don’t know what’s making me so…’ she stopped.
He squeezed her shoulder and led her back to the bed. ‘You just lost your job dear. A job you poured yourself in. It’s understandable.
They prayed together. Her husband left the house with the kids.
Everywhere became quiet and that made her feel worse. The dream flashed back again. Who was the man whose face she had punched? Why had he attacked her? She stood up from the bed and went to the kitchen. Her husband had prepared yam and fried egg. She served two slices of yam into a plate and scooped the remaining eggs from the frying pan.
Back in the dining room, she tried to enjoy her meal but it tasted like sawdust in her mouth. She spat it out and pushed the food aside.
In her room, she lay back on the bed and listened to a sermon. Then she picked her bible and flipped to the book of Ephesians. It didn’t make any sense but she kept reading until the end of the second chapter. She moved to Galatians 2, and then to Romans 6. When nothing still made sense, she closed her eyes and listened as songs played on her phone.
Lord, what’s wrong with me. Why am I so weak? I can’t even pray like before. I’ve lost my zeal in studying your word. Jesus please!
She kept rolling on the bed, the pain in her heart too much to bear.
That evening, her husband called from work. He wanted to know if he should pick her up for weekly bible study at Bro Charles’ residence.
‘No. I’ll attend another time.’
She changed her mind and called him back. No way was she going to spend another evening staring at the ceiling. She stood up, got dressed and waited for her husband.
Nike was quiet when she entered Bro Charles’ living room. From the day her husband introduced her to the meeting, she had always looked forward to every meeting days. Listening to Bro Charles teach the Word always left her renewed. Even as large as the sitting room was, it was becoming stuffy with the weekly arrival of new visitors.
Bro Charles finished teaching and asked for contributions. How could she, who for days had battled with unseen darkness have anything reasonable to say.
‘Sis Nike, do you have anything to add?’
Nike stared at the Pastor. She wanted to say No but then, the scriptures she had read that morning came to her mind.
As she opened her mouth, it didn’t stay closed for the next 20 mins. She was amazed at the way the words flowed. Wasn’t it just this morning that those verses made no sense to her? All eyes were fastened on her. And when she finished, the darkness lifted. Her eyes widened as she glance at her husband who was smiling at her. It was as if she had been thrown in front of a fountain on a hot afternoon.
At the end of the meeting, Confidence, the fifteen year old daughter of Bro Charles approached Nike with teary eyes.
‘How did you know I was going to end my life tonight?’
Nike froze. ‘What???’
‘They laugh at me at school. They call me fat and ugly. I begged mum to take me away from the school but she refused. Last week, for the first time, my classmate told me how beautiful I was and I thought he was serious. His words were all I thought about that night. Yesterday, he told me he wanted to prove his love for me. After school, I went with him to his uncle’s house and there I lost my virginity. Today, I got to school and noticed the smirk on the faces of my classmates. He had told everyone in my class what had happened. His friends laughed at me and he completely ignored me.’ Tears were streaming down her face.
‘Have you told your mum about this?’
‘No I can’t. She’ll kill me.’ She swallowed hard. ‘I got rat poison on my way home from school. I wanted to end this torture. I thought there was no way I could face them tomorrow. But tonight, you spoke as if you knew exactly what I was going through. Those scriptures you mentioned hit me so deep.’ Her lips trembled.
‘Come here.’ Nike pulled her close. ‘Confidence, If you want me to talk to your parents so they can take you out of that school, I can do that.’
She shook her head. ‘I’m staying there. I’m going to face them.’
‘God loves you so much. You are God’s masterpiece.’
‘I realize that now. It’s going to be tough but those scriptures you read out there, I’m going to hold on to them.’ She wiped the tears from her face and walked away.
Somewhere at the entrance, Bro Charles’ wife watched the conversation between Nike and her daughter.
When Nike climbed into the car, her husband grinned as they pulled out of the compound.
‘The scriptures you mentioned made me see things in a new light. It was as if I had not read them before.
‘You are an amazing woman. You just do not know it.’
As her husband drove out of the compound, she caught the teenage girl opening a refuse bin at the back of the house and throwing something into it.
Nike still couldn’t believe what Confidence had said to her. She felt lighter and happy as she relaxed against the seat and again drew another scripture to meditate on.
…Take the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Do you remember Eleazar in 2 Samuel 23:10? The guy who was tired and exhausted but held on to the sword until there was a complete victory?
God’s word is our sword. It is our weapon of continuous victory. I have had days when all I could do was stare at the word without making sense of it but stare I did. There were dark days when all I could do was reach out to the sermons saved on my phone.
Every time we come face to face with the Word, something is at work in us. I agree that there should be time apart where we spend time seeking his word, but on the days when we are drained and fatigued, read or listen to God’s word continually, whether or not, it makes sense to you.
The devil wants our sword out of the way. Apart from the fact that it is the effective instrument for healing, it is powerful enough to transform the lives of those around us…He wants to keep us isolated from other believers who can speak the Word to us.
…He(Eleazar) arose and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave to the sword..and the Lord wrought a great victory. 2 Samuel 23:10.
As you engage in ministerial activities this year, refresh yourself by spending time with the Word.
In your struggle against any form of addiction, chew, feed, dwell on the Word more than ever.
If anxiety and confusion comes knocking, let God’s Word answer.
If you will enjoy 2019 as a believer, the Word must be close by your side. It will guide you every step of the way. It will keep you on top of the stormy situations that may arise this year.
The rest you find for your soul comes by beholding Jesus through the Word.
Talk about holiness and righteous living from now till a thousand years, if your mind is not continually renewed by God’s word, self righteousness is all you will produce.
By beholding God’s Word, we find direction, purpose, wisdom for every step of God’s call on our lives.
How do you keep your communion time vibrant? Seven practical things to do when spiritual activities become boring.
You can also start your scripture meditation using these verses here.
Let’s keep God’s word close in 2019. This is our sword, our weapon of maintaining the victory already wrought on the cross.