After a brutal day in the brutal heat, I went to the local supermarket for a few things before heading for home and a restful supper.
Was I in for a surprise! It was like the whole store had been planning how to put a brutal cap on my day. Every little thing was so hard. You’d think they didn’t want to sell me anything, and had forgotten every customer service video they had been forced to watch.
In all fairness to the store and its employees, from their perspective, they were just doing their job. My perspective forgot that they don’t exist simply to make my life easier.
But that’s not the point. Here’s the point and I think its a critical attitude check to many of us. The world does not exist to make our life easy. No one is guaranteed an easy life, easy job, easy finances, easy marriage, or even easy grocery shopping.
Biblically, what may have been Jesus truest words were “In the world, you will have tribulation.” (He followed that with a pretty inspiring truth!) Life before heaven is more about struggle than ease because it’s surrounded by a lot more sin than it touches anything holy.
And here’s what I’m hoping I do, and you do from now on: Count it all as victory (borrowed from James).
Count it a victory every time you find anything you want in the supermarket. As an unemployed person, I say count it a victory every morning you wake up and “have to go” to work. Count it a victory every time there is just one body part not aching. Count it a victory any time any one listens to anything you say.
And when you go to bed at night, count the day as a victory. You have overcome! You have outlived most of the problems you faced during the day. As for the “challenges” left, you will outlive almost all of them — and won’t even remember when they fade from the scene.
So here’s to all my overcoming, victorious, live-to-fight-another day, faith-using (if not faith-filled) friends and family: today, you have done it! One day you will hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. You faced the tribulations of the world, and you kept fighting. You have overcome. Now, enter into the rest I have prepared for you.”