Simplicity

I often think my life is complicated, for a variety of reasons, so I’m constantly trying to mentally sort through my agenda, my reactions, my responsibilities, and the hundreds of other things whizzing around my head.

I recently realized that I also combat this by living vicariously through a small animated character that hangs out on my e-mail theme. His life is so simple.  He’s adorable, and he’s productive, but he’s simple.  I don’t see things coming in and tossing his world around.  He doesn’t seem like the type of guy whose plans for the day would involve trying to figure out the next part of his life or coping with a particular hardship.

But in a way, my life is simple, too.

“[Christ] is before all things, and in Him all things hold together,” a verse in Colossians 1 says.

Simple as that.  If we’re in Christ, we’ll hold together.

The only reason this isn’t incredibly simple is because of a cosmic battle.  We may be in Christ, but right now, He is perfect, and we are not.  This being so, conflict, pain, and confusion ensue.  Our sinful nature fights our spiritual nature.  We fail.  We make tough decisions.  We make bad decisions.  We’re scared, torn, doubtful- we fall apart.

But, as in any epic fight, there is a victor.  A battle to the death between two fighters will end with one fighter as a victor, the other fighter as the victor, or death as the victor.  We may be struggling now, but we, my friends, already know who the victor is, and if we are in Christ, we are on the winner’s side.

This technically makes things right now seem no less complicated, but it does give us HOPE in several ways.

First, we’re assured that Christ is indeed the victor.  God’s people have been promised for a long time that a victor was coming (“He will crush your head,” God warned Satan) and that the victor is Christ- “If anybody does sin [which we all do], we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world,” 1 John said, later saying, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Second, we’re reminded that He isn’t just sitting idly by.  “Perfect love drives out fear,” we’re told.  We may be struggling, but we may also be comforted.

Third, we’re reminded that we can do things too.  We’re not called to just dwell in our sin and conflict- we’re called to “press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of [us],” to become more like the One we love because He first loved us.

Fourth, we’re encouraged that, in the long run, things are indeed simple.

One of my favorite Relient K songs uses C.S. Lewis’ metaphor of a wintery Narnia, pre-redemption, in their song “In Like a Lion (Always Winter).”  They sing, “When it’s always winter, but never Christmas, sometimes it feels like You’re not with us, but deep inside our hearts we know, that You are here and we will not lose hope.”

I’ll leave you with this image from Revelation of what we can hope for- this image of the time, the eternity when Christ is the victor and everyone undeniably knows it, when every knee has bowed and every tongue confessed that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, in whom we rest- “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.  The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”

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