Okay, so this blog has actually been a long time in the making. I watched this past season of the CBS show Survivor. If you didn't, you actually missed out on seeing several huge witnesses for God. Though actually, I think you can probably watch them online still, but since I have dial up I'm not about to go check for you, it would take to long to even load the website!
So this season Survivor introduced 'Redemption Island'. After each person was voted out of their tribe, instead of going home, they'd go to Redemption Island, where they had to live alone. After two were voted out, there would be a duel, one would remain, and then there was a subsequent duel after each person got to the island. At some point, undisclosed, the survivor left on Redemption Island would be allowed back into the normal game.
I'm pretty sure Matt was the first person voted off. The reasoning of his tribe? Well, when they lost the immunity challenge (the two tribes face off. The winning tribe gets a reward and the losing tribe has to vote off a member) Matt had good sportsmanship and went and shook hands with the opposing team. That made Rob, the leader of his tribe, hate him. Also, he'd formed a quick and tight friendship with a fellow tribemate named Andrea. Rob knew a tight pairing can do damage as allies, so he quickly broke them up.
So Matt, a sweet Christian man, was sent to Redemption Island.
Redemption Island. Can't you see from that title why God was all over that? He is the Redeemer, and He glorified Himself through his servant and son Matt.
After a while, one of the people voted off was Krista, from the opposing tribe, who is a sister in Christ. When each tribe member arrived at Redemption Island they were given their 'luxury item'. Matt's was a journal. Krista's was a Bible. Krista and Matt had a Bible Study and worshipped. After Matt defeated her in a duel the next day, she said God's will had been done, and gave him her Bible as a parting gift as she left.
After a while, the tribes merged. When they did, Matt came back in. His former tribe had a tight alliance and slightly more members than the other tribe. The other tribe tried to recruit Matt to vote with them. Matt talked to Andrea and they considered flipping. Then Matt decided God was telling him to remain loyal to his original tribe, even though it might not seem like the best decision. He told Rob, the leader, that he'd considered flipping but had decided to stay loyal. That he'd ever considered it angered Rob, and Matt was the first person voted back to Redemption Island after the merge!
Matt was upset and broken. He cried and told the cameras that the only thing carrying Him now was God. What glorious beauty!
After the merge, instead of just having two people that had to duel, they did duels in threes and fours, with only one getting knocked off each round. That meant Redemption Island had twos and threes on it.
At one point during every season, Survivor brings in visitors from home and people win a chance to see their loved ones. This season the winner of a Redemption Island duel had a choice: visit with his loved one and no one else got to see theirs, not get to see his but let his fellow Redemption Island people see theirs, or let the people in the main game-- the very people who had betrayed and voted him out-- see their loved ones. The man who won the duel, Mike (the top three stayed in, and Matt was second), is also my brother in Christ. He thought of how Christians are supposed to treat others as better than themselves, forgive, and love their enemies. So he let the people who betrayed them get their visit. It was beautiful. He gave Jesus the credit.
Then the time came. There were four on Redemption Island: Matt, Mike, Grant, and Andrea. All believers! They fellowshipped and prayed together before going to the final duel. There would only be one winner among them.
It was Grant.
I'd been praying for Matt all season. I wasn't sure if he was going to win, though I thought it would be awesome. But see, I'm not sure if Matt saw it, but Redemption Island protected him.
Survivor is a game of politics. Of backstabbing and lies. I've seen Christians on there in the past, and they always had to deceive to get ahead. It's sad.
But this season, God protected Matt from that. He took Matt as far as He could go without ever once having to lie or backstab anyone.
I voted for him. Each year, at the end of the season, Sprint opens up voting. The winner of survivor (who ended up being Rob, the leader who kept voting Matt out) gets a million dollars. But the winner of the fan vote sponsored by Sprint gets 100K. I really hoped God would give it to Matt.
It came down to two survivors. One got 40% of the vote, one got 36% One was Matt... but Rob got both the million and the 100K. It made me feel guilty. He just lost by 4%! I'd used up all my online votes, but I hadn't used up all my texting votes because I wanted to save my texts, since they are limited. I know my 8 left over votes wouldn't have made up 4%, but still...
In the advertisements for next season, which came at the end of the grand finale special on Sunday, I thought I saw Matt. I can't be sure, his face was obscured, but I think it was him. I just pray if it was, that God would protect Him again. That He would glorify our King, always. I've recently been shown how interconnected everyone is, and so Matt, if you read this, you did a great job and I'm so joyful you're my brother. Remember that God protected you from having to sin through lies or such. No game is worth that, so keep yourself pure if you do play again. It was an honor and joy to watch you this season. Oh, and this verse: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 1 Timothy 1:7 (emphasis mine)
Also, if Mike, Grant, Krista, Andrea, or any of my other brethren read this: good job for you too. Mike especially, you reflected Christ's light gloriously.
And if any of my readers were wondering why I am publishing this on Wednesday instead of Sunday, when the end of season special aired, well I wanted to write about a few other things happening in my own life first, like the bridal showers I went to Wednesday afternoon. And then I decided publishing it on Wednesday made sense because that's the day of the week Survivor comes on television when it hasn't just had a season finale.