“Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce…. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever……..
He gets the last word; yes, he does.”
1 Peter 5:8-11 MSG
You’re not the only ones.
The Only Ones
That is so hard to remember. And so hard to live out. We’ve got our problems and we feel bad for ourselves and we think we’re the only ones.
And social media plays a big part of that. A big part of the blame for us feeling like we are the only ones is because of Mark Zuckerberg. Oh he didn’t invent it. People were trying to keep up with their neighbor’s perfect lives long before Mom and Dad Zuckerberg even thought about having Mark and way before Mark created this thing called Facebook.
He made it worse.
And so do we. What?
Yeah, that’s right. When we only post the pictures and stories of when our kids performed in a concert or when we went on a cruise or when something goes well, we perpetuate the myth.
Actually two myths. The myth that my life is grand and my kids are grand and everything is going very well.
And the myth that if your life is not going very well, then you must be all alone – because everyone else is doing well.
Actually, there’s a third one that Peter references in the Bible verse above – and that’s the myth that if you believe in Jesus, if you are a Christian, then everything will go easy and life will be grand.
I’m here to tell you, that’s not true.
Just like Peter said, you are not the only one plunged into hard times. I personally believe that the church would be a whole lot healthier if more of us admitted that all is not well, that there are struggles and that life isn’t easy.
As you read more and travel this journey with me, you’ll see that’s not the way I operate. I’m not going to tell you that:
• All of my kids are valedictorians (though one was)
• That I’m hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon this year (Hah!)
Nope, not going to tell you that things are wonderfully marvelous when they aren’t. Instead, I’m going to tell you:
• That quite often kids who have to go through the trauma of adoption are left with scars.
• That I had a medical procedure done in January as part of ongoing treatment of a blood vessel issue I have (Google AVM if you want to know more) and as part of that procedure, 1) My left inner ear was damaged causing all kinds of hearing and balance issues and 2) My left vocal cord is now paralyzed – causing, well, you guessed it, vocal issues.
I’m sure I’ll tell you more as time goes on – but for now I want to end with one additional thought – and it’s pretty much the foundation of what Peter said above and the life of Christ.
“The suffering won’t last forever. And He gets the last word.”
Think about that. The last word doesn’t show up on Facebook or by the number of likes something gets.
The last word comes from God.
He’s got this.
He’s got us.
And all God’s people said, “Amen!”