Murphy the Apostle?

 

We’re all aware of the infamous and troublesome phenomenon known as “Murphy’s Law”. It states simply, “what can go wrong will go wrong.”  This basic tenet is expressed in many ways and manifests itself in unique situations. For example:

  • If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the FIRST to go wrong.
  • If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
  • If anything can’t go wrong, it will anyway.
  • The chance of the buttered side of the bread falling face down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.
  • A dropped power tool will always land on the concrete instead of the soft ground (if outdoors) or the carpet (if indoors) – unless it is running, in which case it will fall on something it can damage (like your foot).
  • When a broken appliance is demonstrated for the repairman, it will work perfectly.
  • Anything dropped in the bathroom will fall in the toilet.
  • Any time you put an item in a “safe place”, it will never be seen again.
  • Great ideas are never remembered and dumb statements are never forgotten.
  • The clothes washer/dryer will only eat one of each pair of socks.
  • Traffic is inversely proportional to how late you are, or are going to be.

…And my favorite…

  • The probability of being observed is in direct proportion to the stupidity of one’s actions.   
As Christians we are often caught acting in unchristian ways. Or more correctly we are thrown into situations which test our Christian response. And that response is not always biblical. As Murphy’s Law points out, things will go wrong. We can expect it and plan on it to do so. Our display of faith is demonstrated not by how we avoid trouble, but how we respond to it.  Openly showing our faith puts a big target on our back. And Murphy’s Law will lock on us like a laser-guided missile.          

Jesus tells us to leave the 99 sheep to search for the one lost lamb. (Matthew 18:12) What might surprise us is that Satan will do the same. When he discovers one of his slaves missing, he will do everything in his wicked power to bring him back. Having so many condemned souls in his prison, he can safely leave them behind to re-capture the one which Jesus took from him. While we laugh at Murphy’s Laws and it many manifestations, it is through such attrition that Satan tears away at our faith and slowly builds a wall between us and God.   When we succumb to the subtle onslaught of Satan’s tricks it does not show that Jesus is weak, but rather we are weak in our faith. And the only source of strength against sin is Jesus. 

 Judas and Peter clearly demonstrate this. Luke 22:3-4 states “Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot… And Judas went to the chief priests… and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. His betrayal was an attempt by Satan to tear Judas away from Jesus. And because Judas did not draw on his faith, Satan was successful.          

Satan also tried to draw Peter away. “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32But 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) Peter denied that it was possible, that his own strength of character would withstand Satan’ s trickery. But Jesus declared, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today; you will deny three times that you know me.” And of course Peter did deny Christ because in his despair he forgot to draw strength from his Lord and found his own strength insufficient.

During this Lenten season we must remember that in dying Christ gave us the strength to resist Satan and all his guile. The gift of the cross is that we are given not only what we need to remain faithful, but to share that strength with others who do not yet have the faith to stand against sin.     

May you receive and share God’s Grace

Pastor Dan