Here is a funny story you may be familiar with:
There was a lady who called her husband while he was driving home from work. She worriedly told him, ‘I just saw on the news there’s an idiot driving the wrong way on the same interstate you’re on. Please be careful!’ Her husband corrected her, ‘It’s not just one driving the wrong way. There are hundreds of them!’
It’s an old joke that still makes me laugh. But I want to add a new twist to the story. What if it wasn’t a joke. What if the man was correct and he was the one driving in the right direction on an interstate full of hundreds going the wrong way. In that case, it wouldn’t be a laughing matter.
I don’t think that has ever happened (outside of a Jason Bourne movie), but in another way, it happens every day for those who follow Jesus. The interstate that travels through this present evil age actively opposes Christ and his followers by treating them like ‘idiots’ traveling in the wrong direction. Christians can identify with phrases like, ‘Swimming upstream,’ or ‘Sailing against the wind.’ It sounds obvious when said out loud, but following Christ comes with obstacles, adversity, and conflict.
Thankfully, for the believer, we are not on this journey alone. First, we have our Lord and Savior who has completed the journey ahead of us and is presently preparing us for glory by the Spirit, even in the face of opposition. Second, we have brothers and sisters who have either completed the journey or are traveling with us in the same direction. This community of believers—known as the Church—not only encourages and equips one another to keep our eyes on Jesus to stay the course, but they also become a witness to others who have been driving in the opposite direction. True to who Jesus is, even then he continues to draw all of humanity to himself. He includes us in his ministry, as others experience Christ in us, inspiring them to take a u-turn towards him.
The author of Hebrews used the metaphor of a race instead of driving on an interstate. Listen to this description of Jesus and his followers facing opposition:
‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV).
No doubt there are challenges and struggles in the Christian journey. It can feel like an obstacle course as we move towards Christ. But please be encouraged that we are not driving alone. The great cloud of witnesses have gone before us. Jesus is before us, around us, and always with us. It is our joy to journey together with fellow believers and to invite others to come along for the ride.
Presented by Greg Williams
About the presenter:
Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA. Word of Life each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life’, (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International.
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