Recently my family visited the Alamo. I had been when I was a kid, and I wanted to take my own kids to see it - to experience a part of their heritage, (my dad’s from Texas.) I was familiar with what happened at the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, and how it impacted the War for Texas Independence from Mexico, but this time it struck me in a different way.
I kept reflecting on the fact that they lost the battle. And not just that they lost, but lost in a big way! All 183 men who fought in the Alamo died, and died brutally. I can only imagine how the surviving Texians and friends who were fighting for Texas felt a hopelessness - felt like their cause was lost. But it had the reverse effect. The loss of the Alamo renewed the call for Independence, gave them a defiant hope, and inspired a new group of freedom fighters to join the fight.
The cry, “Remember the Alamo!” resonated with the Texian soldiers, and though they were outnumbered 6 to 1, they went on to win the Battle of San Jacinto. Within 6 weeks of the loss at the Alamo, Texas had gained Independence.
There are thousands of examples just like this....how a loss can be turned into a gain; how failure can become success; how a defeat yields to victory.
Joseph is the perfect example. His brothers betrayed him, selling into slavery because of their overwhelming jealousy. But as Joseph told them in Genesis 50:20,
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” (NASB)
The Lord used Joseph’s defeat to save his family when famine struck. This is God’s standard MO; when all hope is lost, He intervenes to bring about His purposes.
My sister-in-law, Karen, is also one of my closest friends. God has truly blessed me. She knows more about me than just about anyone - and she still loves me! That is much more a testament to what a loving and forgiving person she is than how great I am. She is fiercely loyal and unendingly patient. And those times in my life that I have sincerely wondered if I should just give up my fight, her cry to “Remember!” reaches me with the truth of my testimony. “Remember what the Lord has done for you! He has not failed you yet, and He never will!”
Karen has had her own struggles. At times they have been so overwhelmingly difficult that I wondered how she would get through it. Those times she found herself in “the dark place,” as our friend Liz affectionately calls it, she remembers. She journals; she reads the Word; she talks it through; she prays; she worships; she remembers. And I have watched her go from defeat to victory, first in her heart and mind, and secondly played out in her life.
And it inspires me.
Revelation 12:10-11, (KJV) “The accuser of the brethren is cast down who accused them before God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony.”
The ultimate defeat of our enemy and our ultimate victory comes when we remember what the Lord has done for us!
Pass this on to someone you know who needs to remember!