Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Knocked Down

I'm not into boxing and I have a feeling most of my readers are not, either.  However, we've all seen clips of fights or matches in which the fighter is knocked down, gets back up, fights back a bit, then gets knocked down again.  Each time the fighter is knocked down, it takes him just a little longer to get back up and recover.  

That's how I feel today.

Last week, I mentioned how I came to appreciate fully the love and grace God.  His forgiveness is the sweetest thing in this world.  Yet, there are people in this life who do not forgive.  We all have been there - we all have had a hard time forgiving other people.  It's natural.  We need to ask God's grace in helping us forgive as He does.

Let's just say that in the last few years, just when I get back on my feet, start fighting again and even having victory in sight, an opponent comes and knocks me back down.  Each time, the wind is knocked out of me.  Each time, it takes a little longer to get back up.  But, I know I must get back up...or I am the loser.

I am not talking about sin here.  I am talking about not being forgiven.  About another person directly or indirectly bringing up my failures of the past.  I am aware of my failures.  I have repented and tasted God's grace and forgiveness.  If I know He has forgiven me, why is it so difficult when a human does not?  

Because, it reminds me of my sin...and, maybe that's not a bad thing.  It's not bad to be reminded of where I came from, where God met me and where He's brought me from.  It's not a bad thing to be treated harshly, because I can learn not to be harsh with others.  I have tasted forgiveness and it is sweet.  Unforgiveness is bitter, yet the bitter makes me appreciate the sweet even more. I have learned that I want to leave a sweet taste with those I come in contact with.  

Yesterday, I was again knocked down.  I was caught off guard, hit between the eyes and the tears flowed.   I am trying to get back up...I want to get back up...I will get back up; yet, it's taking some time.  I am still trying to catch my breath.  

I am catching my breath in prayer.  I am focusing my eyes on God's Word.  I am holding up my hand for Him to help me to get back on my feet.  He is faithful.  He'll get me back in the fight.  I am benefitted by knowing that the victory is mine.  Oh, I am not fighting against a person.  While a person may be delivering the blows, I am truly fighting against guilt.  I am really fighting against my own pride.  I am fighting against bitterness, anger and doubt.  

But, I am still in the fight.  I am not laying down and giving up.  The referee may get to the count of 6 or 7, but he won't get to 10.  I will get back up. 

While I am down, I will consider,  do I help others when they are down, or do I just watch them suffer?  Do I knock a person down with unforgiveness and guilt-trips?  Will I do that to the one who delivers the punch or will I keep my eyes on the true enemy - Satan?

Lord, I am down here on my knees asking you for strength to get back up.  I ask You to help me to forgive and to strengthen those around me fighting for breath, fighting to get up, fighting to stay in the ring, fighting to win the victory that is theirs through You.  

If you are down today, take a few deep breaths and get back up with me.  

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