At Our Best

by Barbara Ann Oliver

One of my favorite movie lines is from the movie Starman. Sitting in a coffee shop, the alien looks across the table at the human and says, “Do you know what we find the most beautiful about you? You are at your best when things are at their worst.”

We have only to look at the lives of the early Christians to find examples of being at our best during difficult situations. Peter and John, after spending the night in jail, were being threatened by the Jewish priests and elders. But they proclaimed, “we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Stephen who lay dying, cried to the Lord “do not charge them with this sin” (Acts 7:60). Paul and Silas faced their “worst” by praying and singing hymns to God (Acts 16:25) and gave up their chance of escape to save a Philippian jailer and his family.

What causes a man or woman to stand calmly in the face of death? How many ordinary people have you seen become extraordinary dealing with disease or disaster? How many otherwise weak people have stood up to face unspeakable horrors for the sake of family, or friends, or God?

How much of our character have we inherited from our Creator, who when his moment of truth came, bowed to the will of the Father? The God-man hanging on a cross, pushed upwards against the nails driven into his feet for enough air to cry, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34).

We live in a troubled world. Who knows what the future holds for the Christian. Let us pray that when the trouble comes, we also will be at our best.

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Barbara A Oliver

Barbara Ann Oliver has worked with the church in Costa Rica for many years and serves as the associate editor for Forthright Magazine.

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