As I sit here looking at a blank page with the words “The Last Word…” printed at the top – it suddenly occurs to me what a presumptuous name for a column I’ve been using over the years. While “last word” refers more to the fact the column is on the back page than anything else – I could see where a person might get the idea the author had certain ambitions beyond which even the wisest pastor might hope to reach.
The funny thing about trying to get in the last word is that it almost always backfires. This was a lesson that took me a long time to learn growing up. My brother, however, watched and learned. He noticed the more I argued my point with my parents, the firmer their answer became. Unfortunately, I was the kind of kid that not only wanted what I wanted, but I wanted my parents/teachers/etc. to agree with me it was the best thing for everyone, as well! Needless to say, my brother learned that trying to get in the last word with the “powers that be” rarely does what we hope it will.
Someone once told me they keep a sign near their desk on which is printed the words, “There is a God… and you are not Him.” It’s always a good idea to remember that while we may “want what we want when we want it,” ultimately it is God who has the last word. That doesn’t mean we can’t pray or even complain (also known as a lament in the Bible). God understands we are human and sometimes unhappy with how things turn out. However, in the end it is always best to trust that God has things under control – no matter how badly we might want to take over.
Jesus once said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it…” In other words, when we try to have the last word, we are likely to botch things up. In fact, Jesus tells us the very thing we are clutching at will escape us. However, when we relax, surrender and submit to the one who truly does have the last word – we find that every good thing is ultimately provided.
Is it hard not always having the last word? Well, if you are anything like me – then it probably is. Is it better receiving blessing upon blessing and experiencing the amazing grace and life giving power of God? Of course. And if that means stomping out that little angry voice that wants to pout and throw tantrums when it doesn’t get the last word – then so be it (also known as “Amen”).
Here is the Good News: God does indeed have the Last Word… and God’s last word will always be LOVE. I think we should all keep our mouths shut and let him talk. What do you think?