Just when you think those stories you read in the paper apply to "other people," life hits you between the eyes . . .
* Your child is suddenly taken from you with no warning. SIDS, cancer, automobile accident, abduction. Unprepared, and lost in a myriad of emotions you feel lost and alone. What did you ever do to deserve this?
* The job you've held for 20 years ends with only a couple week's warning. A buyout, mismanagement, bankruptcy. How will you make it? You're already living paycheck to paycheck. This can't really be happening!
* The person you've loved all your life tells you they love another and walk out. You knew some things needed attention in your relationship but had no idea things were that far out of hand. Why don't they want to stay and work things out?
* The one person you've looked to for a shining example of faith falls with a fury. Adultery, financial indiscretion, child molestation, homosexuality. Or maybe they just walk away from God and the church. If faith couldn't keep them on track, who has a hope in this world?
* Fire destroys your home and all your most personal belongings. Even though no one gets hurt, you've lost things that can never be replaced. No
insurance, no relatives that live anywhere close. How can you leave for just a few hours and come back to nothing?
It's then that you realize that those newspaper stories are about real people. People just like you. People just like me. Coming to that realization never takes away the pain, or the anguish, or the loss. It only confirms a reality. We're at war. At war with the forces that seek to tear us away from God. They know our pressure points and our comfort zones. They know what tempts us and what has no allure. Their only concern is to win the war.
Revelation 17 reminds us that there's a war going on. It vividly describes the enemy... and the outcome. May the words of verse 14 remind you of a victory that can be yours when you remain faithful in the midst of the battles of life:
"Thy will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome
them because he is Lord of lords, and King of kings -- and with him
will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."