How the Underdog Wins in the End


February 26, 2021

Psalm 13

To the tune of “Lord, Whose Love through Humble Service” 87.87 D Sing it at

1  How long, Lord, will You forget me?
How long will You hide Your face?
2 How long, Lord, will this depression
grip my soul in its embrace?

How long will this dreadful sorrow
pierce my heart all night and day?
How long will my soul’s attacker
be exalted o’er my way?

3 Look on me, Lord, come and answer;
Light my eyes, lest death approach.
4 Lest my enemy claim vict’ry
and my foes gloat in reproach.
5 But I trust Your lovingkindness
and my heart shall yet rejoice;
6 For the Lord has been good to me,
I will sing with heart and voice.


Every time the doors were open, she was there. She always arrived early, never missing an opportunity to be there. And like clockwork, this small, frail widow presented her case before the towering, distant judge, appealing for mercy, for justice, for relief, and for vindication from her enemy. And every day, like clockwork, the callous judge dismissed her pleadings. Despite the ever-mounting despair, she would never give up. For her it wasn’t “if,” but “when.” Her only question seemed to be: How long? Finally, one day everything changed. Finally, the judge, worn down as dripping water wears on a rock, granted her plea. He simply wanted to be done with her. Widow wins. Case closed.

The moral to the story? Try harder? Never give up? Sort of, but not really. Jesus told this story to his disciples so they would “always pray and never give up” (Luke 18:1 NLT). But we so easily miss the point if we stop there. We readily translate the story into something like this: the answers to my pleas for help depend on the degree of my persistence in prayer. Wrong! The real truth behind the story: never give up, because the God to whom you pray is nothing whatsoever like the judge in the story. God always sees, always hears, always cares, always responds, always loves, and always wins—even if it takes a while; and sometimes it will. It’s not our persistence that gets it done in the end. It’s the unwavering, unfaltering, unfailing, unflinching love of God in Jesus Christ that gets it done. What fuels the persistence Jesus speaks of is not our dogged self-determination, but an unstoppable faith in this kind of God! Hang on . . . what’s that music I hear in the distance?

Song 13 is the soundtrack of the widow’s story. She probably sang it every time she climbed those courthouse steps. Can you hear her frail voice singing those last verses as her hand once again reached for the door?

But I trust Your lovingkindness
and my heart shall yet rejoice;
For the Lord has been good to me,
I will sing with heart and voice.

That’s the truth about underdogs. They never stop singing.

Ask Yourself. Share with Another.

Am I really growing in my confidence in God or do I still believe self-confidence is the preferred path? It can mean the difference between faith and faking it.

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

One Response

  1. I don’t know about the music in this psalm 13 arrangement but it is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. The persistent widow is one of my favorite parables so your message yesterday really struck a chord in my soul. Great awakening is happening

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