Victory in the Midst of Defeat

Seventy years ago last Sunday, on May 15, 1941, the New York Yankees suffered one of their worst defeats in Yankee Stadium- a 13-1 thrashing by Chicago.  By all accounts, it was an embarrassing game to forget.  However, in the midst of that great loss was one sparkling gem- the beginning of an incredible accomplishment no one on the team that day would have known of.  It was in that 13-1 loss that Joe DiMaggio got his first hit of what would become a record, (of all the records in sports) that many believe will never be broken- his 56 game hit streak.

In John 9 we read about a man who was blind since birth.  The religious leaders ask Jesus whose sin was the cause of the blindness: the man’s sin or the sin of his parents.  Jesus responds in v. 3, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”  I can only imagine the dark defeat this man lived in for his entire life.  In first century Palestine, being blind meant he was unable to properly support himself and he faced the constant shame and stigma from others that sin was the cause of his blindness.  In other words, “he got what he deserved.”  No doubt this blind man wrestled with the theodicy issue: “Why did this happen to me?”

Then he encounters Jesus Christ.  In a moment he learns that his entire life, and subsequently his blindness, was on a God-ordained collision course to have this one meeting with the Savior.  Suddenly he learns his blindness is not what he “deserved” and he finds the answer to the question “why?”  This man was born blind so that Jesus would have the opportunity to show some religious leaders, a community, and the entire world- present and future- that Jesus is the Son of God who alone has the supernatural power to heal disease and forgive sin.  What an amazing victory that day in the midst of a life of defeat!

The same is true for us.  There are many days and times in our lives that seem like such defeat.  We wonder why what is happening is happening to us.  We wonder what we did or what others did to be the cause of the darkness.  These are things that cannot be easily answered.  However, we know that if we, like the blind man, have faith in Jesus and His sovereignty, we can always see victory in the midst of defeat.  How so?  We have a Savior who came to die for our sin and deliver us from the bondage of the penalty and power of sin.  As a result, this life is not all there is and I do not have to face the hardships of life on my own.  In the midst of darkness, you have no idea what collision course for God’s glory and provision He may have you walking.

The Yankees had no clue that something amazing was beginning in the midst of their worst defeat.  Be faithful! Trust your Savior and His plan.  He certainly wants to use your every circumstance for His glory.


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One Response to “Victory in the Midst of Defeat”

  1. Thanks for the word of encouragement!