Savoring defeat?


My friend, may I ask you a question? Sometimes we win and sometimes, all too often it seems, we lose. It’s about as certain as death and taxes. Will being able to look forward to the win in the midst of a loss make the difference, however?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.


I’m a big baseball fan and I get pretty wrapped up in the sport over half the year. This year my team although they’ve been playing pretty well and have more wins than losses, has recently hit a slump and lost a number of games in a row. When they lose a game, it’s particularly disturbing to me since I had become accustomed to more wins than losses. I expected them to win since that is what they were doing fairly well, and it became very disappointing when they hit the slump. Nevertheless, rather than dwell on the losses as they piled up, I tried to look forward to the next game which, of course, I was certain that they would win. In this way even a loss had some sort of potential, realistically or not.

There is no doubt that life is similar. Sometimes we win and sometimes, all too often it seems, we lose. It’s about as certain as death and taxes. It’s being able to look forward to the win in the midst of a loss that makes the difference, however.

Here’s a story from Philip Yancy: “One evening I met with a good friend for dinner who informed me she was leaving her husband. “He doesn’t meet my needs,” she said. “I’m leaving him.” I left that meal with a heavy heart, knowing my wife and I had lost one of our best friends. The very next night I attended a celebration organized by a young widow whose husband had died of brain cancer. On the night that would have been Chuck’s thirty-second birthday, she was holding a party in his memory. Lynn now faced the double burden of paying off medical bills and supporting two children as a single mother. At the party I heard not a word of complaint or regret that night. Lynn passed around photos and had each of us call up memories of her husband. We laughed, and cried. She talked about the good times they had shared together, his corny jokes, the cartoons he drew, the intimacy of walking together through the progression of his ill- ness. “I will always miss him,” she said, “but I’ll always be grateful for the exciting few years we shared together. Chuck was a gift to me.” (Yancey, Philip. Prayer, Does it Make Any Difference? p. 276-278. )

There are two ways to approach disappointment; one resents the loss and wants more; the other one celebrates life as a gift, something to remember with gratitude, thankful for what has been given. As Christians we win some and lose some. We do the right thing, expecting the best results, and things turn out bad anyway. In fact, there may be times we fall in a Christian slump. Nothing seems to work out the way we so faithfully hope for. The key to our happiness, however, depends upon whether we’re looking ahead toward hope or behind toward regret. Knowing that God is just as busy working in our defeats as he is in our victories allows us to savor the win even when it comes off as a loss. What makes the difference is our ability to look ahead and not behind.

We pray. Heavenly Father, we like to win and losing is something we would prefer to avoid at all costs. Nevertheless, Lord, life is full of losses even when we are trying to do our best. Forgive us Father when we become discouraged, unable to find the hope that gives us victory even when we are defeated. Remind us daily Lord that you work as hard in defeat as you do in victory. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to "This Passing Day!"

<markcbrunner@thispassingday.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.

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