Always a Winner
I was browsing around Big W, looking to buy a few gifts. The problem was that I was tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Corduroy trousers that looked good – and would keep me warm in the winter. Or denim trousers that were smart and enticing. I decided to try on a few, half hoping they wouldn’t fit. I wanted to have them. I didn’t want to buy them. A shopper’s dilemma.
I disappeared into the fitting room and tried on four pairs of trousers; one at a time of course. Problem. The medium sized dark purple corduroy was too tight. The large size was too big. Then I tried on brown denim. Next a grey denim. They presented with the identical problem. Medium size too small. Large size too loose.
Hooray, I thought. I’m glad they don’t fit. I grinned to myself knowing that I was always a winner. If I’d found one I could buy I’d have been glad. Now that I couldn’t buy them, I was gladder still; relieved that the temptation was taken out of my hands. Hooray. There’ve been other times like that. When I played games with my small son many years ago, I most often liked him to win. It was a thrill to see him happy. Sometimes he won on his own steam. Sometimes I contrived to make it happen. There were other times I decided to win – so he’d learn how to lose gracefully. I was always a winner. If he won, I was glad. If I won, I won! A definite win-win situation.
30 years ago today, August 4th 1984 was a very special day; one printed indelibly in my heart. It was the day God whispered into my heart that He was working things out in my life. Shan and I had been good friends for 4 years. I’d never thought of him as a possible husband. But that August evening 30 years ago, I finally saw clearly. Like seeing through a once smeared glass window; now wiped spotlessly clean. Yes, I thought in glad surprise. Yes! He was the man I’d been waiting for. That tall dark handsome hero who would swoop me away to live happily ever after. What an awesome discovery! I fell in love.
Marriage turned out to be all the more blessed because I had to wait for it. Always a winner. While I was waiting, because waiting gave me time to serve God and grow in Him; to enjoy my girlhood to the full, to create beautiful friendships with many wonderful women. And then I won a special grand prize when Shan carried me off into the sunset; as we linked our lives together for the rest of our days.
10 years before that, the 4th of August 1974 was also a special day for me. It was the day I confirmed my baptism. In April 1974 I’d made a commitment to following Jesus, so my Confirmation was a deeply meaningful occasion. I remember the joy and the thrill of standing before the alter, dressed in white, together with many other young men and women, professing our faith before God and His people. What an awesome day that was.
Today on August 4th 2014, four decades of following Jesus have taught me learnt something. In Jesus, I am always a winner. When times are good – it’s easy to rejoice and to trace His loving Hand. When times are bad, I am still a winner. I may not be able to trace His Hand then. But I can trust His loving heart, knowing He’d bring meaning out of every tough season; like the glorious spring that follows a grey winter. Like the enchanting butterfly which emerges from a damp, broken chrysalis.
Yes, in Jesus, I am always a winner.
When I was lost - He found me. Acts 4:12; John 1:41
When I was blind - He opened my eyes Isaiah 42:7; Psalm 146:8
When I was a sinner – He forgave me. John 3:16; Psalm 103:12
When I had no one – He was there for me. Psalm 34:17,18
When I stumbled - He put out His Hand and caught me. Psalm 37:23,24
When I fell down - He picked me up. Proverbs 24:16
When I lost what was precious - He turned it into gain. Psalm 145:18,19,16
When I didn’t know the way - He took my hand and led me. Isaiah 42:16
When I was sad - His gave me His joy. Isaiah 61:3; Isaiah 55:12
When my cup was empty - He filled it with Himself. John 10:10; Psalm 103:1-5
His Word reminds us is that His love remains. Through all of our lives and through every season and until the end of time. Yes! You are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus!
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.