85-82. That was the final score of the K-State vs. KU Basketball game last Monday. Let me preface the rest of this post with these words: I am NOT a sports fan. I may have married into a sporty family, I may have actually kind of watched the Superbowl (not just for the food and the commercials) and I may have worked for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for nearly six years, but I am NOT a sports fan.
Hans, my husband, went over to our neighbor’s house to watch the game. Sidebar: we have the *best* neighbors in the whole world. They are an adorable old couple named Jerry and Mary, and they invite us to lunch, take out our trash, and drop off key lime pies “just because”.
When Hans got home (I had stayed in to finish homework and laundry), I didn’t ask him about the specifics of the game, what players made what shots, or what plays were made (partly because I don’t understand/don’t care). I only asked him one question.
I firmly believe in writing in my Bible. I scribble, highlight, draw, underline, and cram notes into the margins. A friend once told me, “Your Bible can be an art project”. I write dates next to verses that God uses during certain seasons of life, I jot down Greek/Hebrew definitions from my Strong’s Concordance, I scribble thoughts and random sketches. There are tear stains, coffee stains, and wrinkles where I accidentally spilled tea on the pages. My Bible is a physical chronicle of my walk with God.
One of the things I wrote in my Bible is this:
I probably heard it in a sermon series somewhere, and it stuck. You see, it doesn’t matter what the “game” is like. It doesn’t matter who wins the battle, it only matters who wins the war. It doesn’t matter who is winning at half-time, it’s only the final score that counts.
“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and satan, the deceiver of the whole world – he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore,rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
Dear friend, when you are feeling discouraged, when it seems like the enemy is going to win…remember this: we know how the story ends. Jesus is our great conqueror, and HE WINS.
“They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”
Even if things look bleak, even if it seems like satan is getting the best of you, do not despair. GOD WINS.
P.S. – After I read this post by Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like (hilarious site…go there now if you need a belly laugh) I never capitalize satan. In his words, “I think you’re supposed to capitalize [satan], but I sometimes don’t just because I think lower casing it is like giving the devil the middle finger of grammar. That’s just how I roll.”