A few weeks ago while there were riots over the election in Iran, saber-rattling by North Korea over nuclear weapons, the biggest story of the week, it turns out, was the story of President Obama swatting a fly.
“ ‘I got the sucker!’ Obama told CNBC correspondent John Harwood after killing a fly that had been buzzing around his head. Harwood laughed and the camera crew applauded. But the sight of the fly’s corpse lying on the White House rug was too much for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - and insects, apparently. They sent a letter to the Fly Swatter in Chief, expressing their disapproval.”1
I think the general public told PETA to buzz off!
Ever felt like that fly getting swatted? Ever felt like your buzz just got busted, your wings got clipped, your life got driven to the floor? Many have, many do and many will. Battles where we feel like we are getting swatted are part of everyone’s experience. Go up to any person and ask them this question, “What’s your battle?” Do you think they would have an answer? Would they have to search long and hard for an answer, or do you think most would have an answer right at the tip of their tongue? My guess is that they would have a novel for you - a trilogy actually - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. Agree? Before reading any further why not answer that question yourself? “What’s your battle?”
All of us go through seasons where we may feel like we are trying to walk through quicksand or navigate through a snow storm. Every element known to mankind seems to be pressing against us, pushing us down, and attempting to unravel us. It may not be the president’s quick forehand that sends us into a nose dive, but a host of other sources can send our world spinning:
Addictions - Some are being swatted around by various addictions that are draining every ounce of their energy.
Emotions - Toxic emotions often take a swipe at us, seriously reducing our altitude. I know from being human and talking to other humans that occupy this planet that fear is one such toxic emotion for many. Fear of meeting people, stepping out, trying something new, disclosing, trusting, and fear of the future.
Relationships - Here is a battle zone that could fill a few novels for many. Children, spouses, bosses, friends, neighbors and fellow team members can all represent battle zones.
Belief - Some battle with unbelief. After years of following they are now flirting with unbelief. This is such a huge issue that we are going to address this issue in a fall series entitled Faith and Doubt.
Physical - Aging bodies or debilitating sicknesses make us weary as we face each day with the pain, the inconvenience, the medical appointments to manage or mend our bodies.
As I think of our battles I am reminded of two things. First, this theme of battle is an issue that connects us together with all those of have ever occupied space on this planet and all those who will. We are “battle buddies”, a company of warriors. Whether you are strong or weak, rich or poor, young or old - battles know no boundaries. And I think that as we learn to share our battle stories we deepen our relationships with one another. We discover just how much we have in common. Letting people in on our stories helps us get perspective and strength for the next leg of the journey.
Secondly, this theme of “battle” connects us with God. God throughout the Bible is described as one who battles for us. In the Old Testament the imagery is one of God fighting on behalf of the Israelites to help them conquer their enemies. Physical battles that took place in literal war zones. In the New Testament God sends His Son to face the ultimate battle with sin. Swords are lain down and a cross is taken up. God realizes that we live in a world at war and He comes to us ready to help us fight! Are you battle-weary? Lock arms with others and find strength and counsel in community. Most importantly reach out to God. Remember what David said to that big ugly guy?
“David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (1 Sam 17:45)
David may have been the fly, and Goliath the giant, but God was (and is) the Lord Almighty! So who ended up being the fly?
1Charles Colson, BreakPoint commentary dated 24 Jun 09, available at