Who Can Stand?
My son is a freshman in high school and stands 6’1” tall. I am 45 years old and hold a one inch height advantage…when I stand up straight…which is less often than when I was a freshman in high school myself. Isaac has been lifting weights regularly and working hard in all areas of his athleticism…so much so, that he recently called me out.
“Dad…I think I can take you.”
“Huh?...What was that?...You say you want to take me?...Like you are going to take me out and buy me a coffee and a donut?...Why what a nice boy I have?...Yes son…I would love to have you buy me a coffee and a donut!...When do you want to go?”
“No dad…I think I can ‘take’ you…as in…I want to meet you on a wrestling mat…and take it to you!...Take you down…beat you!”
“Wait…so…there is no donut and no coffee?”
“Nope…just me…taking it to you.”
“Let me get this straight…You…who have 4 years of ‘elementary’ wrestling experience, and…I…who have 13 years of competitive wrestling experience, including college…not to mention 4 years of volunteer coaching experience and 9 years of paid high school coaching experience...and you think that you have what it takes.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Because you are 45…and I am 15.”
“You’re on…the loser buys coffee and donuts.”
“No way!…I have no money.”
It took us a few weeks to find the time and space to get onto the mats. I will spare you of the painful details of what transpired…you can ask him yourself...but, I would expect that you may hear him say things like…
“Wow! He moves fast for a 45 year old.”
“Crazy arm drags!”
“Oh, the pain!”
“My nose bled.”
“I was really hoping to take him down.”
Or perhaps…“He graciously let me have a point.”
I would be willing to bet that most every human being who has ever lived has experienced both victory and defeat…both, the highs of dominance and the humility of lowliness. Each of us, at some point in our lives…need to endure a nice slice of humble pie. I have endured plenty of bitter slices myself…including one from this same son of mine, who totally surprised me as a four year old, and full on tackled me from behind during one of our backyard football games.
Despite the pain and bitterness of defeat, I think humility is a better place to be than in the place of pride. At the end of Revelation 6, we find a group of powerful prideful people, suddenly aware of the power of God…and they cry out in fear and humility…the chapter ends with a phrase that is stated while under the wrath of the Lamb…”Who can stand?” The simple answer is no one. No one can stand. There is no one righteous enough to stand under the wrath of the Lamb. Yet…what we find in chapter 7…is that the love of the Lamb…seals those who follow him. Picture the love of the Lamb…acting as a shield…to the wrath of the very same Lamb. It is a paradox. It is a mystery…yet it is true. As a believer I have been sealed…protected from the wrath of the Lamb, by the very Spirit of the Lamb.
Who can stand?
Not me…unless I have been covered by the seal of the Lamb!