If you watch WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), you will know that is it not really a wrestling match. In this programme, the wrestlers get punched, kicked, slapped, arm twisted, body slammed, and yet after each match they can get up and do not seem hurt at all. The whole fight scene is usually choreographed, like a dance. Each move has been rehearsed and this is to avoid injury. The Malay word to describe this is “wayang” – play acting or a show to impress others.
As Christians, we also experience struggles in our lives. It may feel like a wrestling match as are eager to know the outcome of a situation in life. Most of the time, it is not a “wayang” but something real that affects our faith and trust in God. It may be because of work where our Christian principles are challenged or we are asked to compromise our faith. We also struggle when things happen in our family affecting our relationship with our spouse, brother or sister, children, parents or friends. When relationships need restoration, who should make the first move? This is like a wrestling match a Christian may experience: we are pressed to make decisions and with so many things on mind we get anxious and confused.
Sometimes these struggles are like what the apostle Paul said that the things he should do, he didn’t and the things he shouldn’t do, yet he did them (Romans 7:15).
We also struggle in our relationship with God. It stems from our sinful nature when there is no thought of holiness in our lives, words or deeds. It could be our sinful ambition to be successful in man’s eyes rather than be called a faithful servant of the Lord. It could be for an answer to prayer, which is taking so long and we are getting anxious. Our impatience can cause us to struggle like a wrestling match to force God to answer our prayer. Sometimes this can happen when we want to impose our time- table on God; or dislike the answer from God; or even question how God would want us to serve Him when what we wanted was just a simple life.
I think most of time this happens when we seldom look at life from God’s perspective. The “I” in us takes a greater priority over God. It becomes a struggle because we are grappling with what is true and what is false in God’s eyes. We debate the wisdom of God against that of our own and the world’s. Putting God first in our lives has been the struggle and we wrestle with the old man in us (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Let me conclude that if we want to experience victory over our struggles, we must remember our “first love” when everything in life is going well. We have been reconciled with God and experience His love. So, let us as learn to cast our burden on Christ and continue to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all his righteousness and all these things will be added to you (Matt 6:33).
Rev Eddie Chandra
April 17, 2016