In Junior High my friends and I would play tennis during the summer. Somehow there ended up being four of us, so we would play doubles on a regular basis. My friend Tom and I would play Greg and Brent, and although we would come close, Tom and I would NEVER win! Brent and Greg started calling us “loooosers.” Tom and I decided to go with it and went out and got ourselves t-shirts with “Loser 1” and “Loser 2” printed on them. I’ve sometimes wondered if this had some kind of lasting effect on me and now I am psychologically scared forever!
Stuff happens doesn’t it? Negative stuff. Stuff that makes us feel like a loser sometimes. As a result we pick up baggage along the way. Some of us have baggage that we have no idea where it came from; we just know we have it. Then we do all kinds things to deal with the baggage which creates more baggage, and a deep pit to try and climb out of. Dreams fade, relationships fail, we fail, and it can all begin to make a person feel like…a loser.
Now that you are thoroughly depressed let me tell you some good news. God has a solution for our feelings of failure, loss, and inadequacy. God desperately loves us. Let me say it again, God desperately loves us, and win or lose, He takes great pleasure in us. He looks right past all of our losses, weaknesses, failures, and sins because of Jesus and loves us more than we can imagine. Think of the New Testament examples, the Father longing for his son to return, the shepherd leaving all his sheep to go find the one that is lost, the owner of a coin turning her house upside down to find the lost coin (Luke 15). All of these stories have a tinge of desperation to them and they represent how God longs to be with us and save those who are lost.
...here is your reason to find your joy in me; see my love and find your joy in me, for more than anything this pleases me most." Julian of Norwich
I don’t think I can say it strongly enough – GOD LONGS TO BE WITH US, but we run, and we hide (Isaiah 30:15-18) Apparently, running from God’s love has been going on since the beginning of time. Adam and Eve hid from God. The Israelites rebelled and ran to other gods. In the New Testament some of the early disciples chose the law over a loving relationship with God, and modern day Christians and non-Christians? We do all of the above and more. Unfortunately, running doesn’t help. Running only multiplies our feelings of loss and pain, and further entrenches defeating patterns into our lives.
Sometimes feeling like a loser affects our openness to God. We somehow don’t think we are worthy of God’s love, or attention if we are not winning, successful, or “victorious” to use a Christian word. But if winning and victory were the conditions, or pre-requisites to receive God’s love, none of us would qualify. Besides, God took care of all that on the cross. He is our victory. We’re all winners in God’s eyes because of what Jesus did for us.
Aren’t you grateful for what God has done: that he loved us first, and keeps on loving us no matter what? That he saved us and forgave us? That He delights in all that He has done for us and is pleased with us. I don’t know about you, but I would be so lost and without hope if it wasn’t for the love and saving grace of God. This is good news for many of us who can’t quite seem to “get it together,” and probably never will.
Meditating on this - His unconditional love, His saving grace, His kindness, His desire to be with me, and the mind blowing mystery that He is pleased with me in spite of all the stupid things I have done - makes me want to run TO Him, not away from Him. He is my victory and He is yours too.
"Take your joy in your Savior and your salvation" Julian of Norwich
Learning to Pray: Repent (turn to God), rest, be quiet, trust