Luke 10:17-24 Lighting and Shining
The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power…
You can’t solve a problem by making it bigger. You can’t solve the national debt by making it bigger. You can’t solve unemployment by working hard to keep it steady. You can’t solve the priest shortage by making it easier to be a priest.
Job was not about to make a serious problem even bigger. He was not about to turn his back on God when God turned his back on him. Job was struggling, but he was not stupid. He was not about to lose everything including God. What he was about to do was to take him to court! And he did (sort of) and won! He got back what he lost (cf. Job 42:1-17). Actually, he received more than what he had lost.
But he only got it after he went through hell.
So, how did Job get through hell? Simple. He remained faithful to God in all things and till the end.
This is how satan falls from the sky. This is how we send him packing and with his tail between his legs.
Lord, let your face shine upon me! The devil is like lightning; just a flash of light. Pride is like lightning; just a narrow beam of light upon me. Fame is like lightning; just a flashlight with a short battery life.
Sin is spiritual “lightning”, my Andy Warhol moment of fame; my “fifteen minutes” of lights, camera and action. Yes, lightning produces light, if only for an instant, and wildfires, that last for days if not weeks. And then, it is back to darkness and devastation.
If the devil is like lightning, then God is like the sun. He is the light that breaks the spell of darkness. He is the light that illuminates all life, continually. His light is not for an instant. His life is not for a moment. His light and life are eternal. Of course, we take him for granted like we take the sun for granted. But we can learn from our losses how losses can be gain, and devastation can lead to renewal.
Lord, let you face shine upon me. Help me to remain faithful to you even in the little things.
Let’s make the pledge together. I, [your name], take you, Jesus, for better and for worse, regardless of my sicknesses and health. I will love you and honor you till we are finally united forever and ever.
Only after the Lord sent his disciples to nearby towns and villages did He see satan fall like lightning from the sky. Yes, there’s a lot of punch in lightning, but it does not even begin to compare to the sun. As powerful as satan is, and as much as he strikes fear in us, he does not have the staying power of the Son.
Lightning can only strike when there are clouds. Evil can only achieve a foothold when I am tired and weak. But good can exist in any conditions, at every moment, even the most difficult moments of my life, for “when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Good triumphs over evil. The only way it fails is if good turns bad; that is, if good people turn into bad people. But satan cannot compete with God, except in the movies. Evil cannot compete with Holiness, except on the news. Evil makes the news because it is rare and ever-so-noticeable. Holiness never makes the news because it is often and easily recognizable. Weird people make the talk shows all the time because they are a novelty. God never makes the talk shows because he is my neighbor; he is all that I am most familiar with.
When the disciples cured the sick and healed the sinners, satan went out with a little bang. Satan has only one skill: he knows how to destroy. God has multiple skills. He not only knows how to create, he knows how to re-create. God created the Big Bang. Satan creates little bangs here and there. The devil only knows how to kill. God knows how to build and resurrect.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of your heart and love.