Yesterday, I accidentally coordinated my son’s clothes into the colours of Superman. Red trousers and a blue top with the Superman ‘S’ on the front. All he was missing was the cape. It was pretty amusing that he was dressed up like this on the way to see the nurse. He had a minor allergic reaction but all is well with my little superhero.
As I was pushing him along in his pushchair, my mind started to wander; I tend to get a lot of my thinking done when I’m on the move. I chose my son’s outfit without thinking twice about it – that tells you a lot about my fashion sense right there. I would love to be able to leave the house donning a cape, tights and my superhero outfit so everyone would know that I’ve got my life in order.
I’m a Supermum.
I’m a Superchristian.
I’m a Superwife.
I’m a Superwriter.
Ahh these labels of my ‘identity’…
To be honest, that would be my idea of a nightmare because I would hate it if everybody thought I had it together. I really, truly do not. Let me give you a little insight into my thoughts just today:
Before writing this post, I had a mini panic as I read of a lady who is getting a book published next year, is being paid to write for different publications and has only recently started to embrace being a writer as her ‘job’. A little bit of envy caught up and bubbled under my skin. I thought to myself ‘I’ve been writing since I popped out of the womb, knowing in my heart that this is what I should be doing for the rest of my life, and here I am barely able to call myself a writer with not a lot to show for it…’.
Eww – I hate the comparison trap. I sound insecure, jealous and two steps away for a full-on pity party and everyone is invited. To be fair, we are all on different journeys and a lot of the thoughts that are not helpful are usually not wholly true. I don’t know anything about her life or what her writing experience has been like to date. Nonetheless, the negativity doesn’t help me to fight the shadow. When the bad days come, they really like to make an entrance. The clouds come rolling in my mind and the rain starts to pour with negative thought after negative thought.
If I was a superhero, I’d use my cape as an umbrella.
Then I thought about the walk with my son yesterday. He was recognised for wearing the colours of Superman. That got me thinking that, as Christians, we must be recognised for who we are in Christ. Our identity should be grounded in who He is, what He did on the cross for us and what that means for us today. It’s not a superhero the world needs, but a Saviour. That Saviour is Jesus.
‘I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me would not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and doesn’t keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.’ John 12:46-47
Jesus came to save the world from the power of sin and death. There is hope to be found in Christ. Although we may not understand the ‘why’ behind so much suffering, we can be confident in the truth that this is not the end of the story. I wish I could go further into this – perhaps in another blog post – but I think it’s a timely reminder that our eyes should be looking at the cross and the empty tomb. In a world of suffering, we need to be identified for Who our hope is in. Instead of trying to be superhuman, let’s take off our capes and put on the full armour of God – our Saviour who suffered for us.
‘For this reason take up the full armour of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armour on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the word of God.’ Ephesians 6:13-17 CSB
Putting on armour is probably heavy and uncomfortable, but it is needed to fight in battle. Likewise, following God can be difficult and takes us out of our comfort zone, but we are fighting in a real battle against evil. Yet, we have the confidence of everything we need to fight it at our disposal. I want to put on my armour everyday without thinking about it, just like my son was colour coordinated without me thinking about it. I need to do this because the arrows of sin and evil happen every day in this world – and it’s easy to get stuck in the crossfire, whether that’s at home, in the office, at school, on social media or somewhere else where the battle rages.
Next time I leave the house looking slightly dishevelled, imperfect and chaotic (in mind as well as physical appearance!), I will try my best to remember to put on the armour of God because I can be sure that there will be arrows flying my way. I want to be ready for them, but I do not fight these daily battles alone.
‘The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?’ Psalm 27:1