You must be “up to” something, Lord… because I remembered something I haven’t thought about in years.
It was a commercial for a Winter Olympics of long ago. The ski jumper had lost his balance on the downhill slope and, traveling at breakneck speeds (literally), crashed into (and over) the barricade alongside the ski jump and hurled down the mountain slope like a rag doll. And all the commentator could say was: “The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.”
Today was “full to overflowing” with some of each.
The Thrill of Victory — the amazing conversations I had with two precious sisters-in-Christ, sisters I met only recently. They were talking to me from their respective “Sweet Spots” — that place where who they were made to BE intersects with what they were made to DO and nothing’s holding them back. Both of them so different, yet so similar. Different in the one-of-a-kind work You have set before each of them — precious work that is making a tangible difference in their clients’ lives, both now and for eternity. Similar in the Joy, Passion and Hope that exudes from them… because they are pointing their clients to You.
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7)
The Agony of Defeat — the rejection of an aspiring college student from his first choice school. After weeks of waiting, with a sense of expectancy, the “NO” hit like a two-by-four to the head… and the heart. So what does one do when The Road to The Future turns out to be a dead end, marked with a big DETOUR sign? In answer to that question, the world’s wisdom boasts a mantra that actually embodies a deep truth: “It’s not what you know but who you know that counts.”
Especially when the “Who” is You, Lord.
“No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 31:34)
In the aftermath of today’s bad news, I remembered the testimonies I had heard just hours earlier from these two women. Women who are operating in what athletes call “The Zone.” They had run into more than one “DETOUR” along the roads they had traveled. They didn’t arrive at their present place of Passion via an easy road that allowed them to coast. And my own journey through Life led to some dead ends that almost killed me. That would have killed me, except for the Who I didn’t yet know back then… You, Lord. The One Who didn’t let my ignorance of You — even my rejection of You — be the Final Word.
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Sometimes the sweetest victories are the very ones that are snatched out of the jaws of defeat… aren’t they, Lord?
Praying tonight for these dear sisters, that Your anointing will help their clients achieve life-changing breakthroughs. Also praying tonight for that dear college wannabe, that Your Guiding Hand (though still unseen) will turn every detour into The Road Back Home… sooner, rather than later.