You know, sometimes life can suck. Plain and simple. Its just like the song "ironic," anything that can go wrong, will...Rain on your wedding day, a thousand spoons when all you need is a knife, or the ever so classic- every light turns red when your running late. If you believe in karma, these are the moments you think, "I really shouldn't have cut that dude off yesterday." I don't believe in karma but I do feel the effects of a plain ole bad day.
Have you ever noticed that things go horribly wrong when you've felt a calling on your heart? Or when things start to get easy? Or when you've just paid off a major debt? I don't subscribe to coincidence. In fact, very plainly I've been told they are purposeful.
The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy...john 10:10a
1 peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
It is no secret...we've got someone against us. Maybe not every bad thing that happens is a personal attack but we absolutely know there are forces conspiring against us. Its not just a cheesy movie line.
This enemy lurks in the most common places. He lurks in our homes, relationships, jobs, in traffic, in our churches, everywhere...and he LOVES to cause chaos.
BUT, there is always a but....
...BUT I come to give you life abundant! John 10:10b
We may have an enemy who causes chaos and trouble but we have a sovereign God and his heart is for order, peace, and reconciliation. (Amongst lots of other things)
But is that always our hearts? Do I always want to respond to the internal and external chaos the way Christ would ask me to? No of course not. Especially not when that chaos is in my relationships. Because that means I have to lay myself aside. If I'm being totally honest then I have to admit I hate conflict, I avoid it at all cost and when its unavoidable then my shields go up. I dont want to be disrespected, I don't want to be wrong, and I most certainly don't want to choose to let someone else "win".....and there lies the problem.
The purpose of conflict is always going to reconciliation. Always! As long as God is still sovereign. And he is, so there's that. He told told us a long time ago that he would send his son, like a lamb to the alter table, to reconcile us to himself. If he desires peace between him and us, then he desires the same peace for us between each other.
That peace can't exsist if I choose myself first. That peace can't exsist if I go into conflict looking for a clear winner or loser. That peace can only exsist if I follow in his footsteps....
And no greater love has anyone known than this, that one lay down his life for friend. John 15:13
It stings deep every time I hear it...I cannot be living out Christ's love or His peace if my desire is to be right, to speak my mind unfiltered, or to have things my way. And if I speak or live without love I'm just noise, right? (1 Corinthians 13:1)
Its hard to choose others first especially when life chooses to give you a knuckle sandwich square between the eyes. Or when it seems its all you can do to stay a float. Or when they are wrong. Or when you're the one wrong and humility is not what you signed up for. (Is that just me?) Or when life just gets chaotic and you just want to get to work on time for once. Or when life gets really dark and its clear to see without a shadow of doubt the darkness lurking around.
We have an enemy, family. The God we serve seeks order, he stirs chaos. The God we serve calls us to unity, he stirs up petty strife. The God we serve seeks redemption, he stirs up embitterment and grudges. The God we serve is willing to die for what he loves, but the enemy wants nothing more than eternal death for us.
So fam, we have to stand resolve. We have to fight for each other, not against- we aren't the enemy here, he is (Ephesians 6:12). Just like in catching fire, when katnis is ready to shoot finnick because she doesn't trust him in the games. But then in a stern, serious tone he yells out to her, "remember who the real enemy is, katnis." Immediately her bow drops because she is reminded that the games is temporary and there is a much bigger foe to fight. She remembers in the midst of chaos who the real enemy is. We HAVE to be able to do the same. So then we can stand together; picking each other up when we fall down. Reminding each other of truths when the other forgets. Speaking the very words of life against the enemy God himself spoke! And taking courage we aren't at this alone!
1 peter 5: 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
After all, this is temporary. We've been called to something much more eternally significant. A glory that vastly out weighs any glory on this earth!
10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
And in the end, after we endure all the strife the enemy stirs up in and around us; Christ has a promise for us....IT WILL BE WORTH IT!
So good, isn't it?!