10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and his powerful strength. 11 Put on God’s armor so that you can make a stand against the tricks of the devil. 12 We aren’t fighting against human enemies but against rulers, authorities, forces of cosmic darkness, and spiritual powers of evil in the heavens.
One of the things I’ve done to entertain myself the past couple of weeks has been to re-watch the Lord of the Rings films. This passage of scripture reminds me of a speech Samwise Gamgee, the faithful friend of the ring-bearer Frodo Baggins, makes as he tries to find the hope and faith needed to carry out their mission to save Middle-Earth:
Sam: It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.
The writers of the Bible want to enlist us in a struggle that’s much bigger than just us. It’s a struggle between right and wrong, good and evil, that’s ultimately a fight for the salvation of the world.
We don’t tend to think of ourselves in this way. We see ourselves in modest roles at the margins of the story. But maybe that’s not true. Maybe we’re more important than we think to the great story that God is writing. And I’m certain that in Christ, we’re more powerful than we know!
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
What are some of the core values that you have tried to live by, even when it’s been costly?
Prayer: Thank you, God, for inviting us to become part of your bigger story of hope for the world. Thank you for giving us a role in helping to spread your message of truth and the reality of your victorious love to all those who are in despair. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.