"Overcoming" and New Life
Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.
As everyone who will ever read this blog knows, this weekend marked the 9th anniversary of Islamo-fascist terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC. When I left my house Saturday morning, I noticed that my in-laws (who rise at a much more respectable hour than I do) had blessed us by lowering the flag that flies in our dooryard to half-staff. That’s all it took to bring rushing back all the feelings of that morning. For a moment, I simply paused and worshipped the One True God. I thanked Him that the intervening years have not been even more turbulent and war-torn than they have, and I sought forgiveness and wisdom for the leaders of nations and political groups that would solve evil with bloodshed.
The rest of my day really made me think about what “overcoming” might look like in our 21st century context. See, I had two places to go that day: a five-year-old’s birthday party and a wedding. I know that in 2002, and in the subsequent years, who would ever have planned celebrations of life like that on such a day of weeping and horror? In fact, I was a little taken aback when I first received invitations to the events, wondering if the planners had looked at the calendar!
But then, something else began to come clear to me – these are far more fitting memorials than anything I could put together.
- I need abundant life – life renewed by the power of Jesus Christ!
- I need to live fearlessly – to live a life so completed by the love of God (1 John 4:10-11) that fear of punishment never enters my thoughts.
Those are the blessings promised to the overcomers in Smyrna – because that’s precisely the blessing that a little church in a huge world needs. And maybe that kind of overcoming looks like a little boy dancing with his friends on a day when sadness is supposed to reign. Maybe it looks like a young couple taking the first steps into life together – without regret, without retreat, without reservations – made fearless by their love.
Maybe THAT’S what overcoming looks like.
in HIS love,