Matthew 20:20-28 (selected verses)
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus along with her sons. Bowing before him, she asked a favor of him. “What do you want?” he asked. She responded, “Say that these two sons of mine will sit, one on your right hand and one on your left, in your kingdom.”…Now when the other ten disciples heard about this, they became angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that those who rule the Gentiles show off their authority over them and their high-ranking officials order them around. But that’s not the way it will be with you. Whoever wants to be great among you will be your servant. Whoever wants to be first among you will be your slave— just as the [Son of Man] didn’t come to be served but rather to serve and to give his life to liberate many people.”
Sometimes we are going to lose, fail to follow through, or get the results we plan for. Our attitude as we prepare for and execute something can keep a defeat from devastating us. When we remember what’s truly important and act accordingly, we know that we still win in the end.
I have recently started listening more to Christian radio and have really been encouraged by some of the songs I’ve heard. One song called “Confidence” by the Christian band Sanctus Real says, “So give me faith like Daniel in the lion’s den. Give me hope like Moses in the wilderness. Give me a heart like David, Lord be my defense. So I can face my giants with confidence.” I love that the men mentioned in the lyrics didn’t necessarily all “win” in the way we might consider a success. Moses had hope in the wilderness which kept him going, but he didn’t get to enter the Promised Land. He did, however, get to see the Promised Land from afar and knew God was indeed giving his people what had been promised. David killed the giant many couldn’t and was anointed at a young age, but in mid-life he made such a big mistake with Uriah and Bathsheba, you’d think he could never come back from that. With God, though, he did.
Another song I really like is called “Remind Me Who I Am” by Jason Gray. The chorus says, “Tell me once again who I am to You, who I am to You. Tell me, lest I forget who I am to You, that I belong to You.” When we know we are a child of God and we belong to him, being a loser isn’t a possibility. I encourage you to listen to these songs to see if there is a prayer in the lyrics to encourage you.
Thank you for loving us no matter what. Help us to remember the importance of that above all else. Thank you for the examples you have set for us in the Bible, in history, and in our lives. Give us faith, hope, and love to give us confidence to prepare in such a way that we see the victory in all circumstances.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
– Angela LaVallie Tinsley, Facilities Services Program Director & Memorial Garden Administrator