Even in the midst of what seems like a losing battle, recognize the small victories

Sometimes you win some, sometimes you lose some…”

Even If, MercyMe

My intent is for this to be a short little post. However, my mother claims that I wake up talking and fall asleep talking so I’m not sure how succinct this post will actually be.

But I’ll try.

This is about recognizing those small victories even in the midst of a losing battle. Because these small victories might actually help you turn the battle around.

Last week I wrote about the victory that came with properly dealing with pain after a fall. It may not seem like such a big deal but the devil got me with that one for years. No matter how good I was doing, pain was my downfall. So to power through the pain with just a few Tylenol was monumental and I publicly claimed my victory.

There’s probably very little the devil hates more than you announcing his defeat in your life.

So I should’ve been prepared for the attack that followed.

But I wasn’t.

I got extremely hurt over three things that happened in the same night and, as most people do, when hurt becomes unbearable, it turns to anger.

The next morning, I was mad at the world. I knew exactly what was going on. It was an attack because I’d written about the earlier victory. But I couldn’t stop the feelings of hurt and anger. These were people close to me. I mean, I’d given birth to one of them, married the other, and worked daily with the third.

Now, in fairness to them, I must say that I completely overreacted in each situation. Somehow I’d let the devil nest in my mind without realizing it and he made mountains out of molehills.

But at the time, I didn’t see any of that. I was just mad. And I don’t do mad silently very well.

I hopped in my car to go to the library and the grocery store, knowing I needed an attitude adjustment before my parents arrived for a weekend visit.

I was less than a quarter-mile from my house when I just HAD to listen to “Even If” by MercyMe. I’d insisted a dear friend in the ministry listen to it when she was having a rough day and it was time for a dose of my own medicine.

I love the song but it just wasn’t speaking to me right then. At least not fast enough. I was on the second verse when I heard the Lord.

“What are you listening to?”

You know that neat way that the Lord can ask you a question, you can answer it and know the message He is giving you all at the exact same time?

That’s what happened.

Because I knew instantly He was reminding me that for many years, even years after salvation, I’d keep a very angry, very explicit chick rock CD in my car to listen to when I got mad. I liked to feed the anger; it soothed me. I’d get right with the Lord and throw the CD out, get mad again and buy a new copy. I don’t even know when it was but at some point, I threw it out and never replaced it. I didn’t need commiserating music to soothe my soul; I needed music that affirmed the word of God.

I never considered listening to anything else that morning. I didn’t want to stay mad. I didn’t want to sulk and I didn’t want a pity party. I wanted to be right with God. The rest of it, I knew, would fall into place once THAT relationship was righted.

And it was. Immediately.

Because I recognized, with the Lord’s help, that even in the midst of my ugly mood, my heart still just wanted to be right with Him. It definitely hadn’t always been like that so even though I’d been losing that battle, I claimed the small victory. And I felt the tide turn. 

Claim your victories, no matter how small, and let the Lord help you emerge victorious.

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