The other day, a dear friend was lamenting the issues of the world: crime, poverty, politics, taxes, injustice. I’ve been thinking about advice I gave my friend in reply: I asked him to imagine a meth lab—a toxic haven of nastiness wrapped in a chipped, dark, old house across the tracks. That meth house is a picture of the world we live in: it’s over there—even an eyesore on our way through the neighborhood. We pray for it, and pray for protection from it; even find ways to help it. But the meth house is still there—across the tracks. We do not make a habit of going over there and digging in. We don’t ponder its daily processes. We don’t make it our topic of conversation. That wretched meth house, like the world, is a den of fools (or worse), and—except for prayerful ministry, we protect ourselves from it.
Yes, for those in Christ, our house is a different house. Unlike the whirlwind of temporal pleasures spiraling downward, our home is built on God and family, bonded through an unbreakable covenant sealed in blood—the kind of promise that cannot be breached even through generations—being built stronger on truths that produce love, forgiveness, growth, and goodwill.
And there’s more: not only do we do well not to focus on the “meth house” this world has become, but we can actually turn this upside-down: you see, even in a solid house, life tends to toss us curve balls. Which of us has not endured stress, pain, change, or loss? But if we live in a “peace house,” we can find a way; we can remember we’re cared for forever; we can turn back to proper perspective. In other words, we can have peace.
“…In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world….”