13 Apr Defeating Defeat
DEFEAT-This six letter word sadly has many forms and adverse effects –failure in an exam, an acute health condition or the loss of a loved one. Irrespective of the form it might take, defeat can be devastating and heart wrenching and can increase the risk of depression and mental trauma. But the Good News is that God says:” When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk the fire, you will not be burned, and flame will not scorch you.”(Isaiah 43:2)
Defeat strikes people at any age, from a school-going child to a retired person. In a woman’s life, failure may occur in the form of barrenness or death of a loved one. The Bible records the remarkable story of Hannah. Even after failing to taste motherhood for a long time, Hannah never stopped praying for a son. She persevered and endured hard. She pleaded with the Lord for a child and also promised to dedicate this boy to God’s service. As it is rightfully said, prayer brings victory, Hannah soon conceived and gave birth to a son-Samuel, who went on to become one of the mightiest men of God. She kept her promise by dedicating him to God. Hannah never gave up on prayer. As the Word of God says in Jeremiah 29:12-13-“You shall call on me ,and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart. Hannah understood this principle and was rewarded for her faith. Not only did God answer her prayer, but also blessed Hannah with three other sons and two daughters. Hannah overcame her defeat with prayer.
Another example worth following is the life of Ruth as recorded in the Bible. She had lost her husband at a very young age. Despite being in such a painful situation, instead of fretting, lamenting and wasting her life, she chose to accompany Naomi, her widowed mother-in-law to Bethlehem. Ruth, unlike her co-sister Orpah, clung to her and refused to part ways. Ruth said, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separate you and me.”(Ruth1:16-17). Even after Ruth reached Bethlehem; she busied herself searching for food in the fields. That was how she met Boaz, found favour in his eyes and Boaz married her. Ruth and Naomi’s return to Bethlehem was certainly part of God’s plan .As the Bible says in Romans 8:28-And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Ruth chose not to dwell on her hardships but to move forward in life .Her life is definitely a great example of handling tough times.
The Bible teaches us to be strong and courageous and face any difficulty with confidence in the Lord. However big a problem may be, it is never too big for God to handle. All we need to do is to hold on to God and His promises and never lose hope. For He has said that all the promises He has given will be fulfilled and not one of them will remain unfulfilled. Against all disabilities, Helen Keller believed,” Defeat is simply a signal to press onward”. The Apostle Paul declares his secret of victorious life in Phil.3:13 “..One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” Let us defeat the defeat and keep going forward.
Bonita Joanna Nanda-The author is an engineering student in Bangalore.