It happened about three years ago. We have an eel in our culvert, a very friendly eel. You can stroke his face. I was quite affectionate about him when visitors came to watch the children feed the slithery thing.
One afternoon, my three youngest
girls were playing in the stream, as it is shallow and lovely in the summer. I heard screaming and calls for me to come quickly. Naturally I ran.
Another eel had been found in a lower pool of water beneath some large overhanging rocks. Lovese was only
5 at the time and seemed more distressed than usual about this situation, though she had always been our crazy tomboy.
Upon asking, I learnt that she was unusually terrified of the new eel because it was acting strangely. I went to assure her of its
With three girls wide-eyed watching me, very impressionable ages, I hovered my hand above the water, about a foot out, as though to caress the eel from a distance. All this time I was extolling the wonders of eels and how, “They
would never hurt you girls, they are more scared of us than we are of them.”
A strange suctioning hiss quieted itself on my pointing finger, which suddenly held the full weight of a meter long writhing eel!
It was trying to eat me!
In freakish calm, I spoke in an unruffled voice to the girls, “It’s ok… what a cheeky eel. Watch me shake it loose.”
Four GOOD shakes later, the eel finally let go as its inverted teeth sliced razorblade lines from the
second joint of my index finger down. Crunching the wounds into the fist of the same hand, with composure barely intact, I told them that perhaps that eel was not one for them to play with until he learnt some manners. I also said I thought their dad was calling
me, and that they were to leave the eels until further notice, but that I was glad no one needed to be scared anymore.
I think if I looked, I would have seen their incredulous (and disbelieving!) faces.
At the top of the ravine I nearly passed
out, but stumbled on to find my husband working on the treehouse. He said I was as white as a sheet, and bandaged me up without the kids seeing.
When I explained what had happened and how I handled it, he laughed. I only did it so they would continue
playing in the stream in the future.
We are fairly careful not to create fears in our children’s minds that are not necessary. We try to teach them caution and the results of certain behaviors. My husband understood that instinct took over so
our kids would continue to enjoy the stream and all its beauties all their life.
I hate fears.
I refuse to let fears have power.
The devil would love to pile fears all over us, until we are smothered and unable
to move, and for some… breathe. He has made so many people afraid of missing some action that might please God (for example, a Sabbath day, head coverings, the food we eat), that we become shut down to the invitation and experience God is really trying
to show us. We become afraid of the world.
A more specific analogy to the eel in the stream is that our enemy wants us to be friends with him. He actively intrigues and beguiles, so when visitors arrive we advertise all his quirkiness with confidence.
Then you know what happens next. Just when you are relaxed, he lunges out to try to devour you. The way he attaches himself will mean scars for some if they try to shake him loose.
Perhaps you might follow this logic with, ‘Why did you teach your
children to not be scared of it?’ I made sure my children were afraid of the eel itself; there is no way, on seeing the thing twisting about me, that my children would want the same experience. However, I do not want them afraid to play in the stream
or nearby in the beauty of the culvert and water cascades.
I do not see any benefit in hiding away from the world’s enjoyments – just be sure you know the enemy, do not befriend it, and stay out of striking zone.
to move into the darkest places to bring His light… to bring His freedom and power and gift of life! Fear of being deceived is used so powerfully and widely by our enemy to destroy God’s name being declared, that I wonder if that is the real deception…?
Think about God’s purpose - it is to have as many people as possible to know Him. And think how the most effective way for Satan to make us ineffective at this, is to make us scared of doing it wrong.
The enemy is clever, but God in us makes
I may not have written this well, but do take home the thought of our ultimate goal on earth… to make Him known. Not just a nice notion of a god, or an impersonal god who needs our advice - no! He is THE GOD. He has everything planned
out perfectly. He has the answer and is the answer and is capable of finishing His story with such style and passion that we will ALL fall on our faces as we comprehend what brought us to the last words.
How can we have such faith?
Faith comes from knowledge, and knowledge comes from the Word of God. The Word of God came from His mouth spoken from His heart and is capable of being alive in us. It does not have to remain studied in its two dimensional form! It is alive and He is GOOD!
Sing to Him, pray to Him, fall down to Him, live for Him. Your life will NEVER be the same.
Ask God to stun you with something in His Word and you just watch what happens. It is for His benefit that you know Him ever more.