My name is Asher Ben Jacob. A watcher on the walls of Jezreel, I am also known as the Eagle because of my vision. My uncanny ability to see farther than any other had set me apart from the rest. Today, I saw a mind shattering incident that will be etched on my consciousness forever!
….Fury and Wind were the fastest horses in the land. Black and white, the royal pair had been painstakingly selected from an Arabian herd of thoroughbreds and further groomed to be hitched to The King’s Chariot One. Their names gave one an idea of how they moved; beside them other race horses seemed to run ponderously like pregnant elephants. The two were sleek and magnificent beyond imagination. When they ran, their muscles rippled musically, sinewy waves of beautiful cadence that struck wonder into any heart…
The royal chariot was made of the finest steel that had been beaten so thin it was almost feather light. Even the inlaid gold leaves that decorated the exterior were almost diaphanous. Each angle had been exquisitely chiseled; every contour laboriously worked on to yield lovingly to the caressing fingers of the wind. The equipment was built for nothing else but speed and durability….
The King was said to have been born with a horse whip in his hand. He was the greatest charioteer in the land and when he rode, he became one with his chariot and horses. They became a unified living unit with a single heartbeat. He rode like a dream, a sight that would give a desert traveler more satisfaction than cool water. His inner chamber contained trophies won in chariot races since his earliest youth ….
Today was a day like no other, after years of drought; a small cloud of rain had formed. There was an electrified air of jubilation in the city. Looking out of my watch tower, I saw the King speeding down towards the gates. His purple robes were such that would not stand a drop of water. Fury and Wind were at their best, eating up the dusty stretch with thundering hooves, leaving a mushroom of brown dust behind.
That was when it happened! Out of the dust, I saw a lone figure emerge. Holding up his robe, he outran the royal chariot and made the gate before the king. His blurry image whizzed past Ahab and his cronies in a flash. The “o” their mouths formed stayed open for an eternity even when they were being filled by particles of roiling desert sands. The royal crew was stunned beyond belief, eyes as wide as temple basins. Just before, he passed through the gates, I noticed, it was Prophet Elijah. If it had been a sprinter like Asahel who was as light of foot as a wild roe, it would still not have made sense…but a middle aged man…..??? Stupefied, my drinking cup clattered to the ground, spilling wine all over me.
I knew, I wasn’t dreaming. Leaving everything behind, I ran down the steps oblivious to all who called out to me. I went after the Prophet, shouting father, until he stopped in his strides and looked at me quizzically. Amazingly enough, the man was not even out of breath after such an incredible feat.
Stammering, I asked, “how was that possible, Sir, how were you able to outrun the chariot? How does a human being beat racing horses and chariots to the line?”
The man looked at me with the makings of a smile on his face and put a hand on my shoulder. “It is the hand my son, the hand of God. In life, you would always find yourself pitted against circumstances that would trounce you comprehensively. Life is not fair hence the race would not at all times be in your favour, nor would the rules always give you a chance. You would many times be outmatched and outclassed. You would often find yourself coming from behind without any hope of ever finishing the race. In such instances the possibilities of winning becomes a mirage. This is where the hand of God comes in. The Hand evens the odds and puts you ahead. It amplifies your efforts, gives speed and superhuman ability. It does not put your weaknesses into the equation of victory. It does not consider your shortcomings. Whatever you do boy, get acquainted with God and his hand. Finally, do not forget, never take the Hand for granted. Though it came upon me, I still had to take advantage of it. I folded my clothes for maximum speed. Know the hand son, and when it comes upon you, make the most of it. God speed to you.” He walked away without a backward glance.
With the coming of the rains, it was a new dispensation for sowing and harvest. I was a man beset and crippled by too many limitations. As I left the man of God, deep within me, I knew I needed divine assistance, supernatural help. I had to get acquainted with the Hand, but much more the Owner of the hand.
My watch was finally over and instead of going home; I retreated into a lonely corner, knelt, faced the wall and determinedly prayed to THE GOD OF ISRAEL….
This story is an adaptation from 1 King 18.46…
And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel….
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©2015 Ekpo Ezechinyere