“And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
Life can be really tough. We go through many trials and things we don’t understand, and if we’re honest, it’s hard to see the silver lining in everything. I know for me this is a hard concept to grasp. God tells us in scripture that he will use all things, but that idea of “all things” isn’t always the most joyful of times in our lives. I love that quote above from Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, because it is a picture of how God uses the tough times in our lives. You see life is full of blessings and good times, but it is equally filled with turmoil. The word turmoil means a state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty. I think many times in our lives we are filled with disturbance, confusion, and uncertainty. Yet in all of it we can have triumph in the turmoil, because our God has already conquered the world, so we can stand strong through it all.
This past Sunday, in our children’s team huddle, my sister shared a verse with our team. In John 13:7, Jesus is washing the disciple’s feet. They are in turmoil. The feel a great disturbance over their lives, they are in confusion about what Jesus is doing, and they have an uncertainty about what it will mean to follow Christ for all their days. Jesus replied, in the midst of their turmoil and said, “You don’t realize what I am doing. But later, you will understand.” My sister was sharing how in the midst of our struggle, we can have confidence that God is working in it all, even when we don’t see it. I reflect over my life and the ups and downs that has come with it, yet in it all God was teaching me and preparing me. He was teaching me how to pick myself back up, and he wants to do the same for you. I want to share some of my experiences so you can get to know me, but more importantly that you can see how God will use our turmoil to give us triumph through it all.
Finish the fight.
I’ve experienced the kicks that life can give. In a recent conversation, I was sharing about how life has tried to stop me, the enemy has tried to kick me till I fall. To be honest, without the power of God and his grace, I would fall. We all fall without our dependence on him. In high school a teacher said I wouldn’t amount to much. Kick. I was rejected from all five colleges I applied to. Kick. Two of my friends committed suicide. Kick. I saw someone close to me fall into the trap of addiction. Kick. My grandmothers passed away within two weeks of each other. Kick. Lies were told of me. Kick. Graduation is coming quick and I am unsure of where God is leading me. Kick. I chose to trust God and finish the fight.
Because I chose to trust in God, I graduated high school. I chose to work hard in community college and am now thriving at UNCG. I was able to see families come together in the midst of loss of their children. The one who suffered from addiction is now free and running hard after the Lord because of Teen Challenge. My grandmothers lived a good life and my grandfathers have not given up in following where God is calling them. I have no anger towards anyone. While graduation is coming, I am not afraid because I have always worked hard and I know God has big plans for my life. God wants the same for your life. God wants to empower you in the midst of turmoil in your life. Finish the fight, because God has big plans for you.
You were made for more.
This is the one truth we need to understand in the midst of turmoil. You were made for more, because your struggles don’t define who you are. You are more than your past. You are not your addiction. You are not what other people have done to you. You are so much more. You are so worth loving. God has plans for your life, plans that will build others up and change the lives of everyone you meet. The past month we were talking about the fact that once you follow Christ, you become weird. We are weird because we choose to love when others don’t. We are weird when we start using our abilities to strengthen the body of Christ. We are weird, because in the midst of the hard days, we choose to understand the fact that we have triumph. When we start understanding that we were made for more than what the enemy tries to tell us, we can worship in times of suffering. We can understand the words that Jesus told to his disciples, we don’t understand now, but later, we will. Even when it gets tough we can rely on those words. Each of the disciples ran hard for Christ, in the midst of turmoil, they had triumph in Christ. This didn’t make their lives easy, in fact, each disciple was martyred for their relationship except for one who was made an outcast. They realized that the struggle was worth it, because they were made for more.
Each of us will face turmoil. You will fall, but why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up. God uses each chapter in our story to prepare us for the next. The suffering you face now will lead you into the plans that God has for your life. So fight, fight against the enemy trying to pull you down. Fight by worshiping in the midst of turmoil. Even when it’s hard to understand, give thanks for the place you are in, because God will use it. Understand that there are bigger plans for your life, the chance to make an impact on this world forever. I love the character of Batman, because in the midst of his tragedy, he became a hero and stood for something greater than himself. When you fall, don’t stay down. Those who choose to stay down are never remembered. Choose to rise. Because when we pick ourselves back up, we become something greater.
Run hard towards what God has for you, because he will give you triumph in turmoil.