Have you ever been leaving the grocery store with a hefty sack-full of groceries, praying it stays together just long enough for you to get to the car?
Maybe it’s been raining and your paper bag rips just enough so your eggs and bag of chips can no longer be saved. Or, maybe the bag-boy filled that thin, plastic sack to capacity and it just wouldn’t hold. We’ve all been there.
And, of course, the groceries don’t spill out inconspicuously. It usually happens in a crowd and the milk jug bursts open. Even worse, you think you’ve made it home only to have the bag fail at your front door.
Who can forget the Home Alone classic scene when Kevin walks home from the store and both bags fail?
Life is like that. We move through life’s responsibilities, live out our roles, pursue our purpose and wham… thud… splat… the bottom falls out. We are vulnerable in moments like that.
How do you handle it when you’ve been good and life goes bad?
If the Bible was silent or unintelligent on this topic, we would be left to our own imaginations.
Constructively, the Bible records Jesus warning his friend, Peter, just before something is about to happen that could derail him from his very purpose.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
– Luke 22:31-32, New International Version
By calling him ‘Simon’ instead of ‘Peter,’ Jesus reminded him of his human weakness. Just like the weak grocery bag, we cannot place too much faith in our own strength.
Though Satan took full advantage of Peter’s human weaknesses and succeeded in temporarily derailing him, the evil one failed to fully destroy him because Jesus prayed for him.
When you’ve been good and life goes bad, never forget there is a loving, sovereign God that keeps things in check. Place your faith in a God who possesses all wisdom and has purposes that cannot be seen.
From time to time, our weak spots will be revealed. Bags break and bad things happen. We might even be temporarily derailed. Even so, with Christ, there is always hope. We see this as Jesus instructed Peter, to strengthen his brothers after his restoration.
There is life after the bag breaks and the best place to start cleaning up the mess is on our hands and knees. Prayer always works. It worked for Peter and it will work for you.