Just today, I sat in the quiet, thinking about the greatness of God and all he has done for me. Thirty-seven years of sinning and falling short of every commandment there is in Scripture, yet he allows me to live. What a merciful God I serve. I mean… I am an adulterer, a fornicator, a blasphemer, a thief, a murderer and yet I get to live and not die? But that’s not all. There’s also… Frank.
Frank is a possum that lives in my attic. I love possums. I think they are cute. But not this one though. This possum is black, and its paws keeps scratching on my head when I least expect it to.
His old tree
Frank keeps on telling me about this tree that isn’t too far away. “It’s just over there”, Frank says. It has delicious fruits and plenty of sweet smelling flowers. Frank tells me that fruits are good for my health and flowers make me happy. “Flowers even make your wife happy. Happy wife, happy life” says Frank. Frank even told me that God loves fruits and flowers and that’s why he made them, just for me and my family.
Frank try’s hard to convince me that this tree can solve a lot of my problems. He says my family will be better off and life would be great, just as how my God wanted it to be. Frank might even get me a new car. All I need to do is go sit under that tree and wait for some fruit to fall. Then gather the fruit and bring it home so all to eat and be merry. Frank also said I should gather some pretty flowers that fall from the tree and put them into a vase at the front of my house for all passing by to see so they will all realise what a beautiful home you’ve got. What a nice possum Frank is! Gentle, loving and caring.
Just before I could reply, Frank walked away, climbed up a pipe and into the attic, and went to sleep. I didn’t see Frank anymore. Well, not for a while at least. Three months later, he returned. Hungry. His nails look as though they need a good trim. I think he needed a shower too. Then he begins scratching on my head… again!
I begin to ask myself, why? Why does Frank keep coming back? What does he want? Why does he bother me with all this stuff he already knows I don’t need? I give him one reason why and he gives me five reasons why not. He’s quite good at this. He seems quite genuine though and appears to really care about me and my family.
He reminds me of one of those pestering “missionaries” that keep knocking at my door. You know, those guys in black suits that ride on bicycles with massive name tags that say “JESUS CHRIST” in bold on it. They turn up at your door with bibles that are almost twice the size of yours and promise they know a stuff you don’t. Then they challenge you to read their fluff and they’ll come back next week with an offer they swear you won’t refuse. Frank is quite like that.
One thing I’ve learnt
Frank is here to stay. That bloody possum isn’t gonna leave.
He will keep scratching on my head even till all my hair falls off! Then he’ll find something else to scratch on. He will keep scratching till he finds what he’s looking for. He won’t leave until I give in. Sometimes he will even purr and knead me with its front paws gently waving its fluffy tail from side to side till I cuddle it. He may even take a nap on my lap. He has already offered me much fruits and flowers this world can possibly provide. Money, sex, and power. It’s free for the taking at that special tree Frank personally owns. Frank knows I want it. Frank knows my deepest desires and he plays to my disadvantage.
But when he does this, by God’s grace I tell myself:
“it is just a passing moment. Frank will leave… soon.”
I have stopped arguing with Frank. I refuse to now throw the first punch. All I do is resist and be happy. Then I sit there and wait for him to get off my back and walk away. He eventually does. Sometimes not without a good fight! Just a momentary one though.
Then I begin to thank God for old Frank. Why? Because Frank makes me stronger. He’s like this rusty old dumbbell that’s strapped on my shoulder. The more I lift it, the stronger I get. Try to get rid of it and it finds it way back up again.
James told me to resist Frank and he will flee from me. James also told me to be joyful because Frank apparently produces in me much endurance. Something tells me James already knew Frank was here to stay. James said resist. Not run. I’m not going to run anyway. I’m tired. I’m just going to sit here and let God do what he does best. It’s His battle anyway. I mean, why bother fighting a battle that isn’t even mine? Why bother running? Furthermore, I think even if I did run, Frank will somehow meet me where he already knows I’m gonna stop.
Why should I run from the very person who has been put there to remind me of how weak I truly am and in need of a God who truly isn’t?
What if Frank left us and took all his trials along with him. Imagine if there were no battles anymore? What if all the lust of the flesh that Frank promoted suddenly disappeared? Would we forget our God? Would we forget our need for Him? Would you? I think I might!
Geez that old Frank… always trying hard. Same tree, just a different fruit. It’s ok I keep saying to myself… it’s just another passing moment.
Frank… you still there?
“I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I’d never had a problem,
I wouldn’t know God could solve them,
I’d never know what faith in God could do”.