Victory has less to do with finishing, more to do with starting, and everything to do with carrying on. I see too many of us waiting for the fulfillment of Romans 8:37. Too many of us are holding our breath and hoping for the day when we can stand over our defeated giant and exclaim: “NowI am more than a conqueror.” As if victory is only found at the close of the battle. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because if we’re going to talk about slaying our giants, well then love, don’t you understand that David was a hero before Goliath lay dead on the floor? This final defeat and consummation of the struggle of course merited the applause, but it didn’t win him the title of being more than a conqueror. Because he was already. This scrawny little shepherd boy was more than a conqueror the moment he decided to take action. He was more than a conqueror the moment he heard Goliath’s taunts and responded with a simple nomore. He was more than a conqueror the moment he stepped out into the open field with nothing but a sling in his hand and a promise on his lips: “I will strike you down.”
Because being more than a conqueror involves more than simply conquering, love. It’s not merely about getting through to the other side. It’s not all about finishing. It’s about starting – and saying no more to those voices that tell us we’re not good enough & we’re not strong enough & we cannot do this & we’re not worth it. It’s about standing in those trenches with mud on our faces and hands and tears in our eyes and hard words in our throats and remaining there, unmoved. It’s less about knocking our opponent to the ground and more about being willing to get knocked to the ground again and again and again only to keep getting back up. It’s about taking that next step even though it may lead to a fall. And it’s about carrying on like this as long as the battle rages, knowing that you were more than a conqueror the minute you stepped into that place – because you knew that to start wasvictory, to not give up isvictory, and to finish will bethe victory that has already been won because on your lips is His promise: In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! The war is over – because I have overcome it already.
Success isn’t found in perfection but it is found in: stronger hands and kinder minds.