You're An Overcomer
I decided to listen to some news on the ride home from Bible study last night. My twelve year-old son pulled off his headphones at some point and began to listen in, too.
We sat in silence while four pundits on CNN essentially shouted and tried to talk over one another as they debated the latest round of controversy surrounding the presumptive Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.
I felt myself growing dumber and more weary as I listened to them. I also couldn't help but wonder why--out of all of the potential candidates for President of the United States--we wound up with the ones at the top of their respective tickets.
The news shifted at that moment, and we heard reports of a police-involved shooting in Baton Rouge, and then another in Minnesota.
People had been protesting in Louisiana, and had already begun protesting in Minnesota, the news anchor informed us with just a hint of excitement in his voice. It was actually more than just a hint.
That old Don Henley song "Dirty Laundry" ran through my head, "We got the bubble headed/Bleached blonde/Comes on at five/She can tell you 'bout the plane crash/With a gleam in her eye/It's interesting when people die/Give us dirty laundry..."
Just then my son exclaimed, "Why does the world have to be like this?" He scowled at the radio. "All those people fighting over stupid stuff, and now more people getting shot! Why does it have to be like this?"
I tried to tell him that most likely the world had always been a troubled place, but now we just know about it sooner. It didn't help him in the moment, but it got me thinking about a better way to answer him. I've decided to remind him of Jesus' own words:
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33).
It may not seem like it sometimes, but because Jesus is risen we do not have to be afraid. We can most definitely feel some holy discontent that the world isn't yet what it will be when Jesus is finally recognized fully as Redeemer and King, but we do not have to be afraid.
May you be filled with the peace of Christ, the peace that defies logic, that defies the turmoil in the world around you. May you rest in the knowledge that there will be a day when God will wipe away all tears, and there will be no more sickness, pain, war, strife, hatred and evil. May you live into the hope of that vision, and be filled with joy.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.