Right now, life seems to be a fertile ground for great victories. But now is not the season of celebrating great victories. I am too tired, too stretched thin. I stumble and I fall. In those seasons, it is hard to see any victories at all. Maybe you know those moments. The hard conversations, the unwarranted accusations and words that cut right through your heart. Those unreasonable demands, your raging hormones, the constant reminders of a loss that still grates you raw. Maybe you are stuck — crumbling without a way out, without freedom anywhere in sight.
But small victories come in the most unlikely seasons.
Even in the seasons of darkness and confusion, light rules. We wait through the night; we sometimes weep through the night. Yet a morning comes, and with it grace pours down on us undeserving ones. Those small victories surprise; this unexpected grace that falls down so suddenly leaves us in awe. These moments, it is easier to see the light for a moment. We can see these rays of grace that pierce through the darkest situations.
“Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.” (Mark 16:9-11)
Aren’t we reminded about this just this weekend, walking through the sorrow of Good Friday? We were there with the disciples, our hearts questioning in confusion and riddled with doubt. Waiting for hope, waiting for something, anything. Why is it so hard to keep holding on? Why does our step falter so easily, our faith shattering in the corners? We hide the ache that has settled in our souls, rather than confess it all right out loud. We forget all that has been done for us — in us.
If only we would remember that light always rules. Light will shine, no matter how dark it is.
On one Monday morning, I scramble into the office early in the morning — too early for my liking. So I am coming a bit undone at the seams. It is hard to hold a life together some mornings — and really, some weeks and months feel like this constantly. I breathe in deep, fool myself into thinking it will help. Words escape my mouth before I realize it, “Jesus help.” Those words echo in my chambers of my heart, this prayer as much a vital function as breathing.
An hour later, I hold a crying child. I look into the face of her mother, silent tears falling down her face as well. We have just said goodbyes, after walking this journey together for the past seven months. To my surprise, we were all coming a little undone at the seams. For all that had been so hard, had now turned into a blessing. While I got so much wrong, all this impatience tainted with weariness at times — light had shined. The dawning grace covered us; covered me.
“who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
So when your heart crumbles beneath the heavy weight? When the pain keeps stealing your breath, keeps driving you on your knees? Light will shine into your darkness. When you can’t hold yourself together anymore? When you just don’t know what to do? Light will shine. And rather than setting your eyes on great victories — set your eyes on Jesus.
Let Him work what is right; let Him be your strength. He is with you when you are barely holding on — and He never fails. Soon you will see those small victories unfolding. So hold on for a moment longer. He is in the waiting. There will be grace upon grace until we get home.