A couple of days ago I played a board game with two of my youngest grandchildren plus another adult. The grandchildren are both four years old. They played really nicely, enjoying having two adults helping them. Then something happened, and Seth was out of the game. He laughed, and I was so happy that he was taking losing so well. Then he asked if we could play again. When I explained that we had not finished the game yet, because we still had to find a winner, Seth lost all semblance of an appropriate reaction to losing. I encouraged him that he could partner with me now, which helped a little. Then when Caroline lost, she tried to flick the cards across the table. Neither of the grandchildren wanted to lose. I do not like losing either. Not that I mind losing to my grandchildren, but when I am playing tennis, for example, I prefer to win. I am mature enough to lose graciously, however.
Someone asked me recently what my favorite sport was, and I had to say rowing. I love playing tennis, and have been playing for many years now, but the problem is that sometimes I lose at tennis. Somehow, I enjoy tennis more when I win. I row recreationally, however, and more often than not I row alone. Since a row a scull I am able to move quite fast on the water. I do not rely simply on my arms to get me going, but my legs push hard, and my seat moves backwards and forwards. Occasionally I will come across a very strong looking guy in a kayak and I do love flying past him in my scull! I do not race against other scullers though.
I confess that I have been competitive in my Christian life. I wanted to pray in tongues before my friends. When that did not work out, I wanted to prophecy more than them, lead more people to the Lord, do better in every way that I could think of. I do sometimes look back and laugh at my younger self. I am becoming more aware of how much I am loved by God, and it does not depend on my performance. My desire now is to spend more time alone with the Lord, basking in his love for me. Yet I still long for more.
I have family members who are struggling with their health. Nothing huge, but definitely inconvenient, painful and causing difficulties. I pray every day for their healing. I also have some friends who are struggling physically. I believe God loves them as much as he loves me, and he wants the best for them. Yet they are not walking in full health, yet. Then there are those friends who do not know the love of God for themselves presently, and that also makes me sad. All my Christian life I have longed to walk in all that Jesus won for us when he died and rose again. I read my Bible and I get excited. Then I see some of what I read happening around me – folks being touched by the love of God, being set free from fears, depression, anxiety. I see prayers answered, and some who did not have a job find one. Many times, I have experienced a winning situation, after prayer. But there have also been occasions when I have prayed, and what I asked for I did not receive, not in the way I wanted to that is.
It is so important that we continue to ask God for those things that he longs to bless us with. I believe he wants us to receive so much more of the holy supernatural in our lives. Never give up in the pursuit of more of God. And while we are failing to walk in all that he has for us right now, we need to recognize that we are not losing. We need to see those areas of growth, those areas of blessing, those small steps that we have been able to take. We need to ask for more from a place of gratitude, from a place of joy, from a place of knowing that we have already won. Jesus has won, and we are identified in his victory. Thank the Lord for all that we have already embraced, and from that position of gratefulness, ask for more. He wants to give us more.