One windy Saturday afternoon, Fola was relaxing with his mother in the veranda of their four bedroom apartment when he glanced at his watch. He jumped to his feet
‘Where are you going to?’ Fola’s mother asked,
‘It’s time for bible study at Uncle Joe’s place.’ he responded and rushed into his room to get dressed. When he came out to the living room, she gave him a large piece of chocolate cake covered in foil paper.
‘Give this to him and tell him I said hi.’
Fola took the cake from his mother and set it on the center table before kneeling to tie the laces of his shoes. She stared at her son with a broad smile on her lips.
God indeed answers prayers. She remembered the nights she had cried and prayed for her son to encounter Christ. He was their only child and had arrived after ten years of waiting for a miracle.
She remembered how she had burst into tears after the doctor announced she was pregnant. Every morning throughout the period of the pregnancy, she and her husband would touch her stomach and declare God’s word over his life.
Fola was a sweet boy until he turned ten and began to act so wild it scared his parents. He got into fights at least once every week. He would return with a broken nose and sometimes his body would be lined with bruises. He had been caught several times, stealing from his classmates and the principal had asked his parents to take away their wayward child.
The scolding and spanking hadn’t worked either. He grew worse until his parents realized only prayer could turn things around. Night after night, they knelt in their bedroom and prayed for their son.
And then one morning, Fola returned from a teens breakfast meeting and informed his parents that he had accepted Christ. He said one Uncle Joe had preached at the meeting and he had accepted Christ.
Fola’s mother had jumped up for joy that day, tears of joy filling her heart. She had watched her son become a completely different person.
Fola finished tying his laces and place the cake and a notepad into his backpack.
‘I’m good to go mum.’ He hugged her. ‘I love you.’
‘I love you too son.’
He pulled out his bicycle from the garage and jumped on it before speeding out of the compound. When he got to Uncle Joe’s flat, he knocked on the door. There was no response. He knocked again and waited.
What was going on? Was there no meeting today? Ayo would have called him if there had been a change of plans. He was about reaching into his pocket for his phone when the gate opened and a tall dark boy entered.
Fola sighed in relief. ‘Charles, what’s going on? No bible study today?’
‘Uncle Joe had an accident this morning.’
Fola covered his mouth, shocked. ‘Oh my God!’
Charles raised his hand. ‘It’s not so serious. We’ve been trying to reach you. Ayo is already at Teni hospital.’
Fola brought his phone out of his pocket and tried to turn it on. His phone was dead. He had forgotten to charge it when power was restored at mid-day.
He looked at his bicycle leaning on the wall and decided to pick it up later. The two boys walked out of the compound and flagged down a bike.
When they walked into the hospital room, Joe was stretched out on a bed with white bandages fastened from his right knee to his ankles. Ayo sat on the edge of the bed, a leather bound bible on his laps. There were two other beds beside his but they were empty.
Fola let out a soft cry. ‘Oh my God!’
‘Come in, boys.’ Joe said grinning, and pointed to two plastic chairs beside the bed. They moved away from the entrance and settled into the chairs.
‘Uncle Joe, what happened?’ Fola asked, worry creasing his forehead.
Joe smiled. ‘I was jogging early this morning in my neigbourhood when a drunk driver ran me over. Let’s thank God it wasn’t more than this.’ He looked around the room. ‘We could as well have our bible study here. What do you think?’
Fola opened his backpack and brought out the wrapped chocolate cake. ‘Mum asked me to give this to you. She sends her regards.’
Joe’s eyes brightened. ‘I love mummy’s cake. We’ll devour it after the meeting. Put it on the table.’
Fola did and returned to his seat. Joe looked from one teenage boy to the other. They were morose.
‘Com’on boys, I’ll be out of here in a couple of days. Give me that smile please?’
The door opened and a young lady with short afro hair entered holding a basket of food. The boys glanced at each other, wondering who she was. Fola stood up for her to take his seat but she stopped him and told him to sit back.
‘You know her?’ Joe asked.
The boys stared at her and back at Joe. They shook their heads.
‘That’s the woman who makes my heart tick. She said yes to me last week.’
‘Wow!’ Fola exclaimed.
The boys turned to her and bowed.
‘My name is Priscilla.’ The lady announced.
‘Aunty Priscilla!’ The boys exclaimed, taking turns to shake her hand. Priscilla smiled shyly, revealing a gap tooth and dimples on her cheeks. She left the basket on the table and moved towards the window.
The boys returned to their seats, the gloominess all gone.
‘Uncle Joe, she is so beautiful.’ Fola pointed out.
Joe grinned. ‘Yes, she is.’
The boys persuaded Priscilla to sit but she refused. Joe turned to the boys. ‘How’s the week been? Do you have something you want us to talk about?
Ayo sighed. ‘Uncle Joe, I get scared sometimes. My elder brother has graduated from the university and for almost four years, he’s been unemployed. He is sad all the time and I overheard him telling a friend that he was confused of what to do with his life. I’m afraid I’ll turn out the same way.’
Charles decided it was time to open up. ‘My sister moved back into the house yesterday. Her husband sent her out. She’s been destabilized ever since.’
‘Sometimes, I wish we could stay teenagers forever.’ Fola added. ‘Adulthood is plenty of stress. You are sure of one thing this moment and the next your world just turns upside down. Jesus should return before we graduate from the university.’
Charles let out a deep sigh. ‘The thought of marriage is scary. How sure are we-’
Uncle Joe frowned. ‘Boys!’
The three boys stopped talking and turned to their mentor.
‘Two weeks ago, I explained that fear does not belong to the nature of a believer. You were not recreated to grope around worried about what life holds for you. Your spirit knows what to do at all times. However the ability of your mind to draw directions from your born-again spirit is a different matter entirely. If a man in Christ chooses to be afraid of what the future holds, it is because he has not come to terms with the light he possesses.’
Joe shifted into a more comfortable position. ‘Who remembers Genesis 1 verse 3 and 4.’
Ayo looked hard at Charles as if the scripture was written on his forehead. Fola flipped to the first book of his bible.
‘And the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the earth. And God said, let there be light, and there was light.’
Joe looked at the boys. ‘Who was the light referred to in that verse.’
‘Jesus.’ The three boys chorused.
‘How do we ascertain that the light referred there is not that of the natural source of light?’
None of the boys answered at first. Fola raised his hand.
‘Genesis 1 verse 14 gives us the exact description of the natural light. There, God made two great lights. The greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the stars and separated day from night. Genesis 1 verse 3 and 4 on the other hand is prophetic of the work of redemption.’
‘If it speaks of the work of redemption, what does that tells us?’
Ayo hesitated. ‘Salvation was never an afterthought. Even the fall of man did not take God unawares. We didn’t have God suddenly scrambling for a solution. The plan of God to create the man in Christ was so intense that nothing could terminate it.’
Charles smiled. ‘A verse just flashed across my heart. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Ephesians 1 verse 4 and 5.’
‘Great.’ Joe said. ‘Let’s get back to the light in Genesis 1 verse 4. We have established over time that the new testament explains the hidden mysteries in the old right?’
‘Yes sir.’ They chorused.
‘Can any of you give me scriptures from the new testament that explains that Genesis 1 verse 3 and 4 refers to Christ and his finished works?’
The teen boys whispered among themselves. Joe sat there watching them.
Ayo smiled. ‘For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthains 4 verse 6.’
Joe smiled. ‘By reason of the fall, a man’s heart became dark and by Christ offering himself a sacrifice for sins, light shone into that dark heart. That was what happened when we received Christ. We received the light of life. It shone in our hearts and dispelled darkness.’
Fola nodded. ‘John 1 verse 10 speaks of Jesus as the true light which lights every man that cometh into the world.’
Ayo raised his hand. ‘I remember another verse. John 8 verse 12.’ He looked down at his bible. ‘Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.’
Joe looked from one boy to the other. ‘Just look at all the scriptures we have pointed out. A man who has received Christ into his life has stepped out of darkness. He does not belong to that realm anymore. We are now light in the Lord. There is light boys! This light we received at salvation shines through every area of our lives.’
Fola mumbled something under his breath. Joe fixed his gaze on him.
‘Fola, you want to say something?’
‘I just remembered our memory verse for last week. Giving thanks unto the Father which had made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.’
Ayo raised his hand. ‘1 Thessalonians 5 verse 5 says, ye are all the children of light.’
‘Exactly!’ Joe exclaimed, grinning. ‘We are swimming in light boys! It is only the unregenerate that the ploys of the devil are hidden from. We have the capability to know all things. We can take the right decisions as long as we believe and walk in this reality. Our constant prayer must be that our eyes are enlightened to see all that Christ has made available to us. We must be fully persuaded that we have all the answers we need because Christ lives in us. Worrying is a waste of precious time.’
Charles sighed. ‘It’s difficult not to worry sometimes.’
‘Take God at his word. Pray in tongues a lot. Declare what God says about you. That’s how we silence worry. The experiences of others must never dictate how your life should go. Take instructions from the Spirit in prayers and in the word. If salvation, our greatest miracle on earth was never an afterthought, how do think God will not be concerned about everything that concerns you?’
Joe looked from one boy to another. ‘So boys, there is clarity for every phase of your lives. You know the right job to take. You discern the right partner to choose. You will fulfil God’s plan for you on the face on the earth. You must train yourself to receive instructions per time from the Holy Spirit.’
Charles and Ayo stood up and paced the floor muttering tongues. Fola sat here with his head bowed praying.
Joe continued.‘Declare God’s word. I know the plan of God for my life. Every season of my life is orchestrated by the divine hand of God. Clarity comes easily and swiftly. We walk in the light as He is in the light. I am a son of God! My life is divinely directed by the Lord. I do not have a past. I only have a future. I know what to do at all times.’
Fola couldn’t sit still, he got to his feet as tears rolled down his eyes. Just yesterday, his past actions had rushed back into his mind and he had wondered if the things God had said concerning his life would ever come to pass.
With his hands opened wide, he allowed God’s word fill his heart again. Christ was the true light and he had come to accept this light. It was shining right now in him. There was no reason to be afraid. He would fulfil God’s plan for his life.
After about thirty minutes of praying, Joe asked Priscilla if she had anything to say. She smiled and moved closer to the boys.
‘While Joe was speaking, 2 Peter 1 verse 19 stood strongly in my heart. We have also a more sure word of prophecy: whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn.’
She continued. ‘Until there is a consistency in the place of spending time with the word, making the right decisions will remain difficult. You will not get results if you take the fire brigade approach to your spiritual life.
God’s Word is the reflection of your spirit. Consistency is how you get light from your spirit to your mind. Finally, do not take any step until you have thoroughly subjected it to the Word.’
A nurse peered into the room. ‘Visiting time is over.’
The boys grumbled. They were reluctant to leave. Joe called the boys to him and hugged them. ‘I love you guys and I’m praying for you. We meet next week Saturday, 3p.m at my house.’
‘We love you too Uncle Joe.’
Joe motioned for the chocolate cake. When Priscilla unwrapped it, Joe asked the boys to cut out a piece from the large chunk of cake.
‘Look at how each of you showed me clear convictions of the courses God wants you to study. How do you think He’ll not also lead you the rest of the way. The success of a believer is in prompt obedience to instructions given by the Spirit. You can’t get it wrong.’
The nurse was back in the room. The boys filed out one after the other, chewing slowly the cake they had been given.
‘Goodbye Uncle Joe. Goodbye Aunty Priscilla.’ The boys said and walked out, licking the crumbs of cake off their fingers.