I sat on the sofa with him, one eye on our two young grandsons and the other on Facebook. A Facebook friend posted that the Rams won the game.
My husband was only at half-time on the recorded game.
I sat there and listened to John (my husband) lament. The Rams were a mess. They didn't stand a chance. Their defense stunk. It looked terrible. This team was giving the win to the Cardinals Football Team.
I kept the final score to myself. John hated the way the game was going, but the only thing he would hate more would be for me to tell him that we really do win in the end.
I realized that I could watch the game without stress - because I knew how it all ended. I knew that John would be relieved in the end. All his fussing and fuming was just baseless fear.
Our team had already won.
And I thought of Judith. How she stood up to the fussing and fuming men in Israel and told them to buck up. Their God had never let them down, and He wasn't about to let them down now.
As a Church, we are going through some tough days. We can't sit around as though the game is over. We are in the middle of the fray. In a strange way, we are playing the game in real time, but we are also looking at the status report that says the game is ours. We have already won.
We are actively engaging the opponent. AND we have won the battle.
There is peace in this kind of assurance - a Judith kind of peace.
Judith knew what it meant to be in this both-and place. God had already won the victory, so they needed to quit acting like they'd already lost. But they needed to get off their butts and pray and fast and DO SOMETHING! Anything. Except throw in the towel.
Chances are, you are dealing with your own enemies right now. Chances are, you have a few struggles that have you feeling down and out.
Take a lesson from Judith and pick yourself up. Wash the tears from your face. Skip a meal or two and pray instead. Amazing what a little prayer and fasting can accomplish - or rather, what God can accomplish when we offer him our prayers and fasting.
God has won the battle.
We know who wins in the end.
To the one who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you unblemished and exultant, in the presence of his glory, to the only God, our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power, and authority from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen. Jude 1:24-25