Prevail (Lydia Calder)

In the fall of 2020, I chose my devotional book for 2021.  It’s called “Prevail”.  We don’t hear the word prevail very much. It old-fashioned and doesn’t fit well in a world of instant communication and quick fixes. For me the connotation is of a long, arduous struggle… or journey… or conflict …with an eventual win.

The title “Prevail” appealed to me because I suspected I was going to need to prevail through many more months of Covid 19.  Sadly, I was right.

As is the case with any book of 365 readings there have been some that, for a variety of reasons, did not touch my spirit – some were less relevant to my life phase…a few were odd…a couple I flat-out disagreed with.  But overall, it has certainly given me inspiration to carry on. It has helped me endure the regulations and restrictions of Covid 19. It has helped me survive the lethargy of too many months of relative inactivity and the futility of life with nothing new on the horizon.

William Shatner found something new and exciting to do and shot off into space for 10 minutes and 17 seconds. And, he went as a celebrity guest, so he didn’t even have to pay the estimated $350,000.00 for the privilege of doing so.

Meanwhile, most of the rest of us are still fully earthbound, stuck in this spot at this time. We keep looking forward to the day when things will return to normal — whatever that might look like in a post-Covid world. 

We have struggled over these past 20 months, dealing with things never-before seen in our lifetime. We’ve been threatened by an invisible enemy, confused by many voices, frightened by unsettling thoughts, and held captive in our own homes. Plans we had made crumbled to dust. Joys we had looked forward to evaporated. Although we’ve been doing practically nothing, life has been exhausting.

Prevail is a good word for these times. But the word prevail isn’t just about endurance or survival – it is about victory.  Right now, the Covid victory still seems rather far away.  How long will the 4th wave be?  And will there be a 5th?  I hold on to the words of Jesus: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Mandiesa sings a song called Overcomer.

The same Man, the Great I am,
The one who overcame death
Is living inside of you;
So just hold tight, fix your eyes
On the one who holds your life.
There’s nothing he can’t do,
He’s telling you
That you’re an overcomer,
You’re an overcomer. *

Some days I feel more like an under-achiever than an overcomer.  But feelings do not negate God’s truth. With the Spirit of Jesus living in us we too are overcomers. 

In this world we will face circumstances that leave us feeling weary, beleaguered, on the verge of collapse or defeat.  But let us never forget that God has equipped us to prevail, to be overcomers.  Even in these seemingly endless months of Covid 19, we hold on to the hope we have in Jesus Christ, the victor!

Submitted by Lydia Calder
On behalf of Mill Woods Presbyterian Church

*Songwriters: David Arthur Garcia / Benjamin Glover / Christopher E Stevens. Overcomer lyrics © Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publ., Spirit Catalogue Holdings S.a.r.l., D Soul