Written by guest author Jansen Bean, husband, father, and author of www.handymanhacks.net
Recently, I had a talk with my 10-year-old son one morning before he went off to school. The night before, my wife had relayed to me that a boy in his class had been teasing him pretty hard. But the boy’s final words had been the thing that really stuck: “You’d better get used to it.”
I tried to encourage my son with some of the things I’ve written here, but time was limited before work would begin, and I had to be brief. As I drove to work, I began to meditate further on this notion, “You’d better get used to it.”
I thought more about what was really being said with this little phrase. It resonated more than I expected it to . . . with things we might live with more often than we realize. The little whisper in the back of the mind that preaches not hope, but stagnation . . . I think we all, at one time or another, deal with the sentiment. Maybe someone pushed it on us; maybe we push it on ourselves.
You find yourself falling behind at work? “Better get used to it . . .”
You have a troubled marriage? “Better get used to it . . .”
Drug addiction? “Better get used to that, too . . .”
Finding it hard to pray? “Better get used to it . . .”
Seems like people always misunderstand you? “Better get used to it . . .”
Struggling with schoolwork? “Yep, you guessed it . . . Get used to it . . .”
As I thought about it, I couldn’t remember ever hearing this said in a positive sense. I’ve never heard:
You look really nice today. “Better get used to it . . .”
This day is so pretty. “Better get used to it . . .”
My husband and I get along so well. “Better get used to it . . .”
My prayer time today was wonderful. “Better get used to it . . .”
Work is going great. “Better get used to it . . .”
When you tell someone that they had better get used to something, you’re really saying, “This is it. There will be no change. What you are suffering right now is what you can expect for the future. There is no escape, no winning out over this complication. You are destined to stay where you see yourself right now.”
What I told my son that evening, when we had a little more time, was that this was a LIE. As a Christian, I do believe in good and evil, in a God and a devil. I do believe that the wicked one loves to deceive us, to lie, and to see us be misled.
The truth of the Gospel of Christ is itself the answer to the lie. It is the preeminent source of all hope, both in this world and beyond. It is the proof that God meant it when He said, “For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
What I told my precious son that night is what I’ve been telling him for years . . . who he is. It’s the antidote for so many poisonous things we encounter. And I use it frequently.
“William, you are my wonderful boy. You are not a hopeless child of this world. You are a child of God (Romans 8:16.) You are made in His image (Genesis 1:27.) You are a co-heir to Christ (Romans 8:17.) You are blessed with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3).”
Sweet to a father’s eyes is the sight of a child’s countenance that changes with relief. As William went to bed that night, he was covered up not only by his sheets and blankets, but also with the truth of God’s goodness. Reminded of his true identity, Will went to school that next morning a little more confident that no matter what his particular circumstances were that day, it didn’t have to alter his spirit. He was learning a little more about one of God’s best treasures: hope. He was free to see a lie for what it was, and to live a life of love and light.
It’s no small postscript that my son has, on a particularly hard day for me, reminded me of the same thing and performed a little heart repair himself. How blessed I am!
I hope you are having a blessed day.