Feelings of defeat – they are something I’m sure we’ve all had to overcome at some point in our health journey. I know I have! Today though, I’d like to take a moment to encourage anyone battling through the muck and mire of feelings of defeat in your life.
Several weeks ago, I saw the film Queen of Katwe. In the movie, a young girl is gifted with an incredible talent for the game of chess. Eventually, she is coached to victory by her steadfast teacher. At one point though, she suffers from a terrible sense of defeat. Her coach recognizes her frustration and sees that she is losing hope. Her coach says to her, “Don’t be quick to lay down your king!” That particular line from the movie has just rocked me ever since. You see, in the game of chess, when a player lays his king on its side, it indicates that the player is surrendering (or resigning) the game. They see no way to win, they concede defeat.
I realize the script writers didn't intend the profound spiritual implication in that one-liner that I'm about to, but man alive has that simple statement impacted me. It’s had me thinking, in our journey to health, in life – in faith – how quick are we to lay down our king and surrender to doubt and defeat?
I’d like to illustrate that thought with a story as this idea intersected with my own life this week. My little girl had a loose tooth for weeks. I mean that bad boy is hanging on by a thread. She won't pull it - period. She insists on leaving it to fall out on its own. It is holding on relentlessly I tell you. And, it's absolutely. Driving. Her. Crazy. Everyday we've prayed and asked God to speed up the process for her, and for the love of solid food, just force that tooth out! It hasn't budged.
Last night as I tucked her into bed with that tooth still dangling in place instead of placed under her pillow, she began to lay down her king. She said, "Why doesn't God care about this? Why isn't He listening to me and giving me the help I'm asking for? Why would He just let me suffer?" Ouch!!
It is SO easy to lay down our king of faith when we don't understand isn’t it? It’s so hard to remain steadfast in our faith and pray fervently through our disappointments, because the truth is, that so often that is where we lose heart and hope. I think that’s why I love verses 37-40 from Psalm 18 so much – it reads, “I pursued my enemies and overtook them; And I did not turn back until they were consumed. I shattered them so that they were not able to rise; They fell [wounded] under my feet. For You have encircled me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me [in defeat], And I silenced and destroyed those who hated me.” It’s a powerful reminder that the only one who will truly suffer defeat is the Enemy.
When we see no way to win. When we doubt. When we feel alone. When we feel weak, weary, worthless. It's so easy to surrender the game and succumb to defeat. It's easy, but it's not obligatory. Laying down our king is a choice. The game continues until the choice is actually made. To CONSIDER the choice is not the same thing as making it. I love this comment from a chess pro, "It is not necessary to lay one's king on its side in order to resign. It is just a symbolic gesture. Fighting to the end is the best way; you never know, your opponet MIGHT make a mistake." Yes!!!!
Friend, whether it's your health journey, your marriage, parenting, an unrealized dream, whatever it is, DON'T BE QUICK TO LAY DOWN YOUR KING! While victory may seem impossible, it's best to fight to the end! By all appearances it may seem as though you're surrounded by life's opponents. Listen to me child of God, heir to THE King, you never know, he [your enemy] might make a mistake! The Enemy may get cocky and underestimate the King of Kings! You have, as your coach, the One who never rests, never concedes, and never, never lies down.
Today, if you're feeling tempted to lay down your king, to give up the faith and fight, don't! Don’t do it.
Instead of laying down your fight, lay down your doubt. Instead of laying down your king, lay it all down before the King. He will show you a previously unseen way to victory! Today, rise and refocus – the victory is yours!