“The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace . . . Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” (Rom 8:6, 8 NIV)
Living in the Middle Ages wasn’t easy. (Are we any better with our hectic self-appointed schedules? We may be more health-conscious, but we aren’t “healthy”. Heart attacks are on the rise. So are headaches. Where do they come from? We have Aspirin and Acetaminophen to cover the symptoms, or Ibuprofen for those who can’t tolerate the above two, nonetheless, they keep appearing. What’s wrong with our medicines? Don’t they do what we want them to do?)
The people of the Middle Ages used swords as weapons (We don’t have to worry about these anymore . . . In our day and age, we have automatic machineguns!). And since people back then didn’t want to be killed (guess we haven’t changed!), they invented ways of protecting themselves.
Or at least the wealthy did!
They tried just about everything, from leather to wood to — silk! As these (especially silk!) didn’t do much to stop the swords, someone invented chainmail for those who could afford it. Suddenly it was harder to pierce a wealthy person to death, but more often than not, the sword found a vulnerable part of the chainmail. These vulnerable spots served as a real handicap to its wearer. And if the chainmail was found to be invulnerable, the head of the bearer was simply sliced off, as chainmail could not protect the head (An oversight, I am sure).
“Ouch! I want my money back!”
“Sorry! You don’t carry much weight any longer!”
It was time for better protection, and metal plates were invented to cover the entire body (Try to pierce me now! Ha!)
Every piece of armor was made to perfection according to the specifications of the individual who would wear it (No! You can’t have my armor, it would be too big for you!)
The weight was distributed in such a way, that a rider could move around quickly (Though likely not as quickly as in t-shirts and Reeboks!) and rise up (With difficulty I am certain!) when he fell from his horse. (Can’t this horse be more stable? How can it be otherwise! Horses live in stables!)
As a result, noble wealthy men could be more in control for the outcome of certain squirmishes. Until firearms appeared, that is, making those tomb-like contraptions worthless to the wearer, as it offered no protection against bullets. (And the manufacturer guaranteed I would be safe in this! No wonder he’s bankrupt!)
History keeps on repeating itself. We tend to think we are in control until . . . We find out we are not! Then we try to do something about the problem that is controlling us, and it seems we are back in the game. Until something again goes wrong, that is!
Anger bursts out of our mouth without us even planning it. Spouses and children may betray us without us even being aware. Jobs are terminated and we find ourselves desperately roaming the streets. Where did all of our control go?
In all reality, the more we hold on to control, the less we have it. It always seems as if circumstances and anyone around us, with some exceptions, are rising against what we think we are in control of. Peace is fleeting as despair fills in the cracks. Life seems without meaning.
Reality is not found in our capable hands, but in God Himself. Once we leave control to Him, we can experience a meaningful life, filled with inner peace. Unless we try to be in control again, that is!
Turmoil and trials will always arise, but we won’t have to worry about these. God is in control! No one can bypass Him, and not only does His armour cover Him completely, it is also impenetrable, even by bullets. He is the One who will re-energize us, just like those rechargeable batteries. He is the One who will give us rest during turmoil. He is our rest! He is our peace! He is the One who gives meaning to our lives, as long as we leave everything in His care.
And why not? He’s our Lord and Saviour, after all!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28 NIV)
This Armor is too heavy anyway. I would rather trust in the Lord!
(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)
(To access the entire “Only in Jesus” devotional series, please click here.)