As I was traveling back from my friends’ home in New Jersey with my brother earlier this week, I experienced a very rare moment: my genius brother was wrong and I was right. It doesn’t happen often. Usually it’s the other way around. But I knew I heard the dude at the gate in Atlanta say that gate-checked baggage should be picked up at the baggage claim at the airport in Wichita when we arrived. So when we stepped off the plane in Wichita, I told my brother that he needed to get his bag from baggage claim, but he didn’t believe me. He’d retrieved bags in the jetway in Wichita before, so it made no sense for them to be sent to the baggage claim.
I didn’t argue because I thought maybe I’d misheard. That’s usually how it goes. My brain hears things or thinks things, and I end up distracted and don’t get the whole story. So when his bag didn’t appear on the jetway, he asked the gate attendant. Sure enough. His bag had been sent to baggage claim.
Ever been there? When someone assumes you’re wrong for whatever reason only later to discover that you were right? It’s a pretty awesome feeling, finding out that you were on the up-and-up when everyone else just automatically assumes you can’t find your own nose with both hands and a road map.
That whole little kerfuffle was funny, and it’s something light-hearted I can tease my brother about now. But there are other more serious showdowns in life where people accuse you of things of which you’re innocent. Or they claim you’ve done something that you haven’t done. Or they assume things about your heart or your attitude that they can’t possibly know. And, what’s most frustrating, you can’t convince them otherwise. Your accusers shut their ears to you, and the only one other than you who knows the truth is God.
What do you do then? How do you react or respond? And just what the heck are you supposed to do with yourself until God sorts everything out like He’s promised He will?
Today’s verses are Psalm 109:26-31.
Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me because of your unfailing love.
Let them see that this is your doing,
that you yourself have done it, Lord.
Then let them curse me if they like,
but you will bless me!
When they attack me, they will be disgraced!
But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing!
May my accusers be clothed with disgrace;
may their humiliation cover them like a cloak.
But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord,
praising him to everyone.
For he stands beside the needy,
ready to save them from those who condemn them.
Nothing happens in our lives without a purpose. Yes, life is dark, and the world is broken, and because of that brokenness terrible things happen to us. But there’s nothing so terrible in our lives that God can’t turn into something beautiful. It takes time and patience and a lot of trust, but eventually you’ll get there.
Hurting people hurt people. That’s the truth. And it’s that truth that reminds me that my battle isn’t against people. So no matter what anyone does or says to me, I don’t ever want to hurt them in return. And I want to remember always that the difficult times in life are the moments when God proves Himself the most faithful. Not that He’s less faithful any other time but I’m just paying more attention.
Trouble and heartache will come. Some of it you’ll bring on yourself, and God is faithful to get you through it. The rest of it you won’t deserve, and God’s still faithful then too. Our goal as a Christ-follower is to keep on rejoicing regardless. Keep on singing. Keep on dancing and praising, and above all else, keep your eyes on the Lord. He’s the one who knows your heart, and it doesn’t matter what accusation anyone throws at you when the God of the Universe knows you to your soul.
God is right. God is faithful. God is true. God is real. He loves me unconditionally, and He forgives me perpetually. He’s more than enough for me. And no matter where I am today or tomorrow or ten years from now, whether I have everything or I’ve lost everything, whether I’m safe or in danger, I will still say the same thing. Because He doesn’t change. And nothing anyone else says or does will change that either.
What horrible thing happened to you this week? What difficult trial are you facing today? Who’s telling lies about you or threatening you or hurting you? Don’t stop rejoicing. No matter what. Tell God how awesome He is and believe it and watch Him work.