I really like game shows, at one point I contemplated paying extra money to have the Game Show Network added to my cable package-Thank God for deliverance. Seriously, I really enjoy game shows. Do you all remember Weakest Link? I may be showing my age here, but the host was a very stern, extremely curt older lady-think Judge Judy, but the British version. The host, Anne Robinson, would fire off questions to a panel of nine or ten contestants. The more questions they answered correctly, the more money they would win. At the end of each round, the player with the least amount of correct questions answered was booted off the show, the host would turn to the contestant and in the most cynical, yet slightly entertaining, voice would say: “You are the weakest link, Goodbye.” That phrase made the show. Honestly, I remember saying it to random classmates as a way to be funny or sarcastic. I wonder what Anne Robinson is doing right now…
Anyway, do we ever think about the contestants who were the weakest links? We celebrate the winners of these game shows, yet the “losers” are distant memories, all because they did not know an answer or were told they are the weakest link. Do they just go home to a family that expected them to come home victorious? Do they put on a happy face, while others give them the look of, “aww” or “well hey, you tried.” Have you all ever felt that way, like the loser of a game show? We may not have been defeated on national television, but often times what we sought to do, what we attempted to achieve…fails. That’s tough.
While I thank God my failures were never on television, they were pretty public. I posted things on social media, I was excited about life and where I THOUGHT it was going. However, when my plans were thwarted, I began asking myself, do I delete my posts on social media to ease the pain? Do I run away from the inevitable questions of “what happened?” or “I thought you were going to become a lawyer?” For a moment, I did run and I did hide. I didn’t want to face the reality of going full force at something and ultimately hitting a brick wall. I truly felt like the weakest link.
It wasn’t until I found out that my failure was a set up for a breakthrough that I stopped hiding and running. So often, rejection or failure is God’s way of protecting us. He is so merciful that sometimes he gives us exactly what we want, simply to show us that what we’ve been desiring is the wrong thing. I know many of the thousands of losing contestants on game shows had every intention of winning, coming home as champions and small-town heroes. They perhaps had the expectation of doing news interviews and using their winnings to buy a nice house or pay off debt. It is tough when your expectations never meet reality. What if God is trying to show us that what we thought we wanted is not what he wants? Sometimes God wants to show us that winning isn’t everything!
Winning pleases our flesh, we feel confident, we may boast or become prideful in what WE accomplished. However, we are not called to win all the time! Matthew 16:24-26 tells us, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?’” Taking up our cross, means giving up our expectations and trading them for the will of our Father. No, winning isn’t everything, but it is in the moments of loss, that we are actually winning something greater.
Sure, our expectations have been shattered and we may have even taken an “L” or a loss publicly, but Isaiah 54:4 states, “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.” You may feel as if you lost, but you have won. No matter what happened publicly, God will not allow you to be ashamed or humiliated. Sometimes he must do a work on us privately, in order to reveal his finished product publicly.
I am thankful for the times in my life I felt like I was losing, I felt as though I wanted to flee from everyone and everything and start over. I have learned that because of God’s faithfulness, he did not give me what I wanted. As my father, he protected me from a path that may have taken me away from him or my ministry. We do not see it at the time, because we are consumed by emotions and pain. Our expectations were shattered and we want to turn to comfort or simply disappear. However, that is not what we are called to do. We are called to share our testimony, share the fact that we lost and felt like the weakest link. Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” Our testimony is not just for us; Yes, we can overcome by it, but we also have the potential to help our brothers and sisters overcome as well. Do not be afraid or selfish with your testimony, it has power!
Friends, I lift to you, you are not the weakest link. Your loss or failure makes you great. It is an odd paradox, but God uses the broken, he uses the pain, he uses the weak things to get the glory. Begin to understand that rejection is protection and that our loss builds us for the win. What we are winning is the will of Christ which far outweighs the meager plans we have for ourselves. His ways are better, his ways are greater, and he is able to exceedingly and abundantly above ALL we can even ask or think. So, to all of the Anne Robinsons’ in your life, that may have told you that you were the weakest link, don’t get too deep in your feelings. Walk with boldness that it is only a matter of time before God reveals you as the true winner!