Who is a survivor? Is it just someone who has been through a tragic event and against all odds has miraculously survived and possibly even flourished? Is it someone who has beat cancer? Is is someone who has faced death and lived?
When I think of survivor I think of all the things that have happened in my life, good and bad, and realize that we are all survivors. We have all learned to cope with difficulties in our lives. We have survived. Some of us have survived a greater ordeal than others, but we are all survivors.
How about the Israelites? They sure survived. Exodus 14:28 explains that after they had crossed the sea and were safe from Pharaoh, “The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.” They ran from a ruler who meant them harm on all fronts. Moses was chosen by God to save His chosen (adopted) people. They survived. When they were sentenced to forty years of wandering in the desert, they survived. When they were met with opposition from the enemy, they survived. We are no different than the Israelites. I would go as far as saying that we are quite the same. We have risen up against God at least once, and we have been given trials and walls to bring us back to Him.
I am a survivor because I have walked away from God and tried to do this life on my own. I believed that it would be easier if I didn’t have to answer to someone or try to be a perfect person. Before I actually knew what being a Christian meant, I thought I had to behave a certain way, talk a certain way, make sure that people only saw the good stuff and hide all the bad stuff. The truth? Life is messy. There is always going to be bad stuff because we are all sinners, but an even better truth is that because we are chosen, God has given his grace to save us through faith that we can be a better person. He doesn’t expect perfect, just imperfect progress.
I am a survivor of my own path. You are a survivor of your own path.
I want to leave you with this verse from Joel 2:32, “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.” We are all survivors because we call upon the name of a mighty God who loves us all individually.
God, this life is hard and often complicated. We have choices to make and not all of them are bad or wrong. Some are really good, but they aren’t what You want for us. Help us to always remember that we are survivors who call upon Your name. We survive because we want to know the best You have for us. I ask that You continually remind us of where we came from and where You want us to go. Amen.