I feared it.
I even told my friends it would happen!
The supposed invincible England rugby team would lose.
Unlike football we tend to win games regularly in recent years.
Thankfully I was at a game so was unable to watch yesterdays game.
It was according to many of my Scottish friends never in doubt!
The better team simply won!
There has been a real swagger about the England rugby team in recent months, brought about by a leader who has instilled a real sense of living as winners.
(This has come of a terrible world cup in England where we did not event qualify, despair across the England rugby fans was unbearable)
The new coach has been ruthless in his team selection, dropping players even when they were playing it seemed well.
He has not held back from his stated aim of becoming the best.
I've not heard whats hes said after yesterdays game, but I have no doubt he will have gone straight back into the changing room yesterday and said, losing is not nice is it!
He will, Im sure have said lets use this defeat to make us better and stronger!
They tend to beat England at rugby once every team years or so.
But good on them, and indeed this year there are four sides in the 6 nations who are very good sides! So honestly it wasnt a surprise.
As I've been reading the Nehemiah 52 days of prayer, I've been increasingly challenged by the fact that Nehemiah did not let his circumstances cause him to lose sight of His Victorious God. Indeed if anything the challenges that He faced caused him to focus even more on who God was and what He could do!
It seems to me that it is easy to live as a defeated person, to allow circumstances to pull us down, to dictate our responses. Yet as we are told time and time again, 'we are more than conquerors!' We, the people of God should live as victorious people!
The tomb could not contain, the Lord whom we follow.
What seemed like defeat was in fact victory!
The Redemptive God, can bring about glorious victory even when it seems all there is, is despair.
I believe that we, the people of God, have spent long enough looking at the ruins, at the hopelessness of our situation, there needs to be a switch in mindset an approach.
Victory is an attitude of the heart and mind.
Christ chose victory, yet it was achieved on the cross!
I think its fair to say
'I chose life, not death'.
'I chose victory not defeat'.
I chose Christ!
These may well have been the words that bounced around Nehemiahs mind when he stated in verse 2;20 'The God of heaven will give us success'.
Yes Im gutted the rugby team lost yesterday (i may bring myself to watch it later, may)
But we will come back stronger and better, of that Im confident.
Today in my own life, even though their are blockages, obstacles, circumstances that can get in the way, I still believe that Victory in Christ is assured.
I believe that we need to keep our eyes focused on the finishing line, and see beyond the here and now.
Nehemiah saw the potential.
He saw what the rebuilt city could look like.
He saw beyond the rubble
What are you seeing beyond the here and now?
My pray for you each is that you will see the Victorious Risen Lord at work with you in your here and now, seeking the good of the kingdom in all things. That you would be reminded that today you serve a Victorious Lord.