This week on Faith Radio in Minneapolis, I talked about the spiritual lessons that could be learned from watching the agonizing moments of defeat experienced by several members of the USA gymnastics teams.
In case you missed the women’s team competition, gold medal contender Jordyn Wieber had a disappointing run. It was heart-wrenching to watch as she made mistake after mistake on each routine. All her work dashed by a few problematic errors. Her face reflected the huge disappointment she felt.
After not qualifying for the all-around gymnast medal, Jordyn told reporters, “I was pretty disappointed, but I had to pull it together mentally, especially for this team. A team gold medal was also officially a goal of mine, and I had to pull myself together and move on and be stronger mentally for the team.” And she did.
The lesson: one moment her hopes were dashed, her dreams elusive and the next, gold! It was all about Jordyn’s attitude. Would she allow disappointment to get the best of her or pull herself together for the team?
So many times in life we face this same challenge. We can allow disappointment to drag us down and even paralyze us. Our expectations are dashed and we face loss—loss of relationships, situations or dreams. Grieving a loss is normal, but we have to be careful not to get stuck in that grief and allow it to overtake us. How we respond to disappointment is what is important.
We often fail to realize that we may be in a spiritual fight as well, one that depends on how we respond to the disappointment. Do we give up on God, feel God has abandoned us, or doubt His care for our life? When we trust God in the difficulty, victory is often around the corner.
So when you feel defeated, cry out to God. He fights for you and is strong when you feel weak. He defeated darkness on the Cross. He knows your grief and sorrows and intercedes for you. He is ever present to go with you through the valley. God never thinks of you as a loser.
Like an Olympian champion, God places you on His platform and declares you gold! His strength is perfect when ours is weak. Put your trust and confidence in Christ even when you are disappointed. Because of Christ, you are always on the winning team, even when set backs occur. Persevere until the end. The prize is yet to come.