Dr. Mike Brown (seen on Cleveland's Daystar Network) shares that God stands with us, even when he has to stand against us. That is the power of grace. God cares enough about us to not let us stay the way we are because we are called to so much more. Even in the midst of our sin and mistakes, he is there with us to move us from the darkness to the light.
It was Elizabeth the first who said on her death bed, “All my possessions for one moment of time.” How easy it is for us to let the moments slip by without cherishing them, consumed by the day to day cares of life without stopping to be in the moment with gratitude. But we don’t need to wait until it is too late to live with passion, even if others around us are toxic and given to wound others.
Jeremy Rifkin wrote, “We no longer feel ourselves to be guests in someone else’s home and therefore obliged to make our behavior conform with a set of preexisting cosmic rules. It is our creation now. We make the rules…we are responsible to nothing outside ourselves, for we are the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever.”
All around us we can witness people taking things for granted, be it other people or possessions or time. We have all known the betrayal of a Judas; we have all known a friend to turn their backs like Peter. But we need not join in such frivolity.
In Russia Leon Trotsky knew his time was limited. Stalin would send men to kill him. Opposed to Stalin’s ideology, Trotsky would spend his last days in Mexico awaiting the hit men. It was during this time that he would write three simple words, “Life is beautiful.”
Decades later an Italian director would make a movie about a father using humor to shield his children from the horrors of evil during the Holocaust. Roberto Benigni’s movie, Life is Beautiful, would make him the first foreign film star to win the best actor award in 40 years. As he would share, “I fell in love with Trotsky’s simple phrase. Even with darkness all around us, we can still find beauty. That is true strength.”
Indeed, life is beautiful when we realize that God is our source, when we remove selfishness from the person in the mirror, and we live in the moment shining light into the darkest of moments.
Imprisoned for almost three decades, once a free man it became Nelson Mandela’s practice to watch the sun set while listening to Handel. In prison he was denied sunlight and music. He refused to let the darkness of bitterness and regret overcome him.
Life can be so beautiful. Let’s not smear it with selfishness and hate. After all, we are only guests in someone else’s home, and even when he must stand against us, he is standing with us.