Homeschooling was the only option for the rest of the crew both financially and logistically. The rental house the Lord provided was almost a two-hour commute. The people in our church were like family, and we now found ourselves at a place where friendships were scarce. Our calendar changed from being overbooked with sports and church activities to “much the same as yesterday.” However, we clearly heard the voice of the Lord calling us to move and follow, so we trusted that all things would work together for good, eventually.
Fast forward to the day I read Cowman's quote:
There I sat on a hot Florida day trying to read my devotions and recover from one of the worst homeschooling days ever. My husband had left at dawn and was sure to be gone until well into the evening. I was exhausted, discouraged, and completely overwhelmed. As I read those words, “In His own world, He is content to play a losing game,” the tears began to stream down my face.
"Losing" is exactly how I would describe the life that I was living. It was the last quarter, down by fifty, and only one play left type of losing. Finances were so tight that we could barely keep afloat. There were no friends to help ease the load or the loneliness. The scoreboard said it all in my mind, GAME OVER!
God has a very different vantage point!
I asked myself this question, “How can it be that the Almighty, Creator, King of the universe would ever be content to appear to be on the losing side?” I use the word "appear" because it is all about perspective.
The answer: God has a very different vantage point. His view spans eternity. Instead of seeing through a narrow microscope of circumstances and limitations, He sees them through the wide lens of His sovereignty and will. He is perfectly fine to let times in the course of history resemble defeat because He knows that He will always win in the end. There is not a scenario that any of us face where He comes out with the consolation prize.
That day the answer to my question flooded my heart with confidence to keep on stepping by faith. Many times, during that season of our life, the Spirit would bring it back to my mind.
What powerful truths as we head into the next month! Everywhere we look points to a God who appears to be losing His grip and control. Every slide of circumstance or current event is being examined under the microscope of worldly wisdom and appears to be infested with the loss of freedom and faith. God seems to have turned in His jersey and decided to head for the showers of surrender. Much like a devoted fan sits mired in disappointment while the winning team exits the stadium, we embrace a sense of hopelessness and utter despair. We maybe even say things like, “I will still be a fan of His, but when is He going to show up and get in the game?”
When our eyes can’t seem to locate His winning strategy, what are we to do?
When God seems to be absent and we are eagerly waiting for Him to appear from under the stadium tunnel how do we respond? The answer is clear, keep your jersey of faith on and place your loyalty and confidence in the games you have seen Him win time and time again. Look back through the seasons of just the past few months. I am sure you have been through some dark, barren, and unfruitful times where the win column held nothing but zeros.
Maybe you find yourself there now like I did on that back porch. But then, God showed up and did what He always does. He stepped onto the field of your circumstances and no one could thwart His advance. He sent a friend. He provided a job. He brought healing. He allowed His Word to comfort and guide you. He cleared the conflict. He gave strength to get up and try again.
Deuteronomy 20:4 says,
”For the Lord your God is the One who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
His goal is always victory on our behalf, and He will see it come to pass every time.
In my experience, God has taught me the most when He waits until the last play of the difficult, painful, or uncomfortable situation. Coming in as the buzzer is about to sound has allowed me to see Him as He should be—the only answer to all my desperate deficits.
Maybe you find yourself waiting for the whistle to blow and the last play is about to get underway. Look at the tunnel! There you will find Him clad in the glory of all His mighty power, promise, and provision. He will be the same faithful God that has done it over and over again. Victory will be His, and the gates of Hell will not stand in His way!
Streams in the Desert is a daily devotional that was originally published by Lettie Burd Cowman in 1925. She was co-founder of the Oriental Missionary Society (later known as OMS International, and eventually the One Mission Society), and served as a Christian missionary in China and Japan, from 1901 until 1918, until her husband’s declining health motivated them to return to the States.
“The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the desert.” Isaiah 35:6
How have you been doing at keeping your jersey of faith on lately?
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