I recently watched a video of Mark Lowry recounting his experience of a tornado. It’s well worth the watch and will bring a smile to your face. In the video, he explained that he was living on his houseboat and was awakened one evening after hearing a freight train come down the lake (obviously a tornado). He looked out the window and saw the extensive damage to the neighboring piers. So, he went to his radio and called his neighbors. He asked if they were okay. Their response was “We’re upside down; but we’re okay.”
That has been the story of 2020: We are upside down, but we are okay. We have struggled this year, but we are okay. We are tired, but we are okay. As I have thought about this idea, I think it is important to remember that we are okay not because of anything we can do, but because God has taken care of all things. He is sovereign and this year has allowed us to demonstrate a greater faith in our Lord Jesus.
Yes, being upside down is uncomfortable and stressful; it reveals our weak points. We are reminded of the hard (but honest) truth that we are not done yet. We are not done being molded and shaped into the image of our Lord Jesus, though we are firmly in his hands. Think of Paul’s words to the Philippians: Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. (13) Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, (14) I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3.12-14).
Paul’s goal was to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death (11) assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead (Phil. 3.10-11). Paul kept pursing Jesus even after having been saved. He continued to pursue Jesus despite the difficulty he experienced. He kept striving after Jesus because he had been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
Like Paul, we too have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. We are secure, despite our difficulties and uncertainties. I’m not sure about you, but I relate to Mark’s neighbors: “We’re upside down; but we’re okay.” What about you? Are you upside down? Are you feeling the pressure and the heat? If you’re upside down, remember, the game is not over yet. Paul understood that.
We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; (9) we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed (2 Cor. 4.8-9).
Take heart, friend! Keep pressing on. You’re okay.
Here for you,