One of the first thing that amused me when i came to England was the description of rain. Putting on the TV one night and hearing “it’s going to pour down” tomorrow, i was anxiously waiting and thinking of how to survive this down pour. To be honest it wasn’t just me thinking it. Every one around me seemed apprehensive too. But none of them i think had the idea of rain i had in mind.
I was born and spent most of my life in Nigeria where rain looks totally different from the type that falls in England. Let’s put it this way, in Nigeria, it pours down. In England it drizzles. Having grown up in an environment like that, i was accustomed to heavy down pours. The type that you can’t see through. I have walked to school in them, sitting in my class and trying to ignore the dampness of my school uniform. But that was normal and we just rolled with it.
The heavy rains brought flood with them. With lack of proper flood control, more often than not, we had to find a way to get home even in the flood. The good side of schooling in an environment we knew well was that we knew the road inside out and hence could guess (most time rightly) where the potholes where and avoided those areas during flood because they were more dangerous.
Despite being cautioned always to avoid the flood, sometimes going in it became the only choice otherwise the possibility of getting home before dark was very slim.
I remember a similar day of flood coming back home after school and seeing one of the most scariest incidences of my life. The flood has come in a full force and this time it was difficult to distinguish the gutter from the road. Gutters are used for drainage and flood control in Nigeria. Still trying to navigate our way through this dangerous walk home, i put my feet forward to know the depth of the flood. As i did that, i could hear my parents voice in my heard saying “never risk getting into the flood”. Despite ignoring this warning previously, the force and speed of the flood on this particular day drove fear into me and i decided to stay in the pavement of a house on the road. The house owners were kind enough to let me and the other people there who i didn’t even know stay until the flood subsided.
As we watched the flood we saw some kids trying to do what i did previously. One has put his feet and assumed it was safe to go in the flood but just few steps into it, he realised he has made the greatest mistake of his life. There was a ditch and he was being swept away. We all started screaming for help. “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Someone please help” was all i could hear. Thankfully he got rescued but many have died by assuming “it wasn’t too deep”.
Small sins are often thought as not too deep. A little white lie, a little malice, a little unforgiveness, a little gossip, a little unkindness can be seen as not so bad when compared with rape, murder, idolatry (i mean the carved image type) and the other big sins that comes to mind.
We sometimes categories sin to make us feel better about ours. However those small sins aren’t what we think they are. They are loopholes for bigger ones. Just like that boy did, we try to test the flood, ignore warnings and decide it is safe to walk in danger after-all it doesn’t really look that bad. Before we know it, the current of sin gets us and we have gone from tolerating a music with swear words to us swearing ourselves. We have gone from lurking on images we shouldn’t be looking at, to flirting. From entertaining a little sin, we find ourselves hooked in the flood and unable to get out.
There is a reason the bible tells us to guard our hearts. Everything starts from the heart. I have often found myself thinking of things that would be shameful to show outside. These evil thoughts have a way of creeping in and entertaining them and allowing them to develop roots in our hearts is often the beginning of a downfall. So in those moments when jealousy creeps in, and unforgiveness finds it’s way in, and gossip sounds, tastes and feels good to do, and unkindness sounds like a very good idea because it’s towards a not so nice person, i remember that that person that i am allowing myself become in that moment is not me.
I remind myself that i carry a unique identity and i am born of Christ. I remind myself that because i love Jesus Christ, i have to live holy and that the consequence of sin is death. So i quickly pick myself up, pray to God for forgiveness if i have sinned in those moments and speak God’s word over my life. This is how i fight back friends.
We carry a unique identity in Christ and like everything that is genuine and expensive, people try to ruin or to contaminate. This is the same way the devil tries to contaminate us by making us feel it is safe when it’s not. Can you hear him whispering? Telling you it’s OK to just do it this one time? He lies to us and tells us we can always repent afterwards. But he never tells us that tomorrow isn’t promised. He is a liar and we need to guard our hearts with the word of God. We need to be vigilant so he doesn’t sow seeds into our hearts.
It’s not what you think it is. It looks attractive but it really isn’t. It’s a trap. Don’t go in that flood. Death is in there.