As most of you already know, while we were vacationing in Eastern Oklahoma, my eldest son gave me the scare of my life. I was so terrified in that moment that I literally pulled clumps of hair out when it was all over. It is hard to describe that kind of fear, panic, worry, etc. I was stressed beyond anything I had ever felt before, but though it all, God brought us safely through. For those unaware of what happened, let me quickly explain. My son, along with a slew of other kids were climbing a rock at the entrance of one of the more popular trials in the area. I should have remembered from last year’s near fall that he didn’t exactly have a fear of falling. If it hadn’t been for one of the other parents he would had fallen off a cliff of a different cliff last year. Alas, he managed to fall some 12 feet and smash his ankle against a jagged rock which then through him through the air unto the hard, rocky ground below. What most of you don’t know is what happened next.
My son refused to be held down for too long. Keep in mind that everyone was certain he shattered his ankle. I mean, how could he not. It was very swollen and he couldn’t put a ounce of weight upon it. By the time we got back to camp to get the nearest bag of ice, he was much calmer. I think I even saw him smile a bit as I carried him around. The camp “medic” took a look at him and thought it was more than likely not broken. Severely sprained was a possibility, but somehow he managed to not break it. (That was a huge sigh of relief). We iced his ankle set him down at a game table (it’s camp after all and there was no since he laid in bed all day). We propped his foot up and let he and his bestest friend in the whole wide world play games and laugh. I sat in the room to keep an eye on him. I few of the older kids asked if I wanted to join in a game with them, and I did. It was better than just watching my son to make sure he didn’t start really hurting. What happened next stunned me. My boy got hungry. So, he found a little bike one of the little ones were riding around on. Set his knee upon and scooted towards the snack table. I immediately got up and told him I would get it. What he said, I will never forget. “I don’t need your help, I can get it on my own.” Not two hours earlier he tried to give me a heart attack. Not two hours earlier we were certain that his ankle was broken. And now he was back, mostly on his feet. By the end of the day he hobbled, rather badly wherever he needed to go, refusing to let anyone take care of him. While there is some things about this that could make for a negative lesson, what I appreciated about my son was the fact that he refused to quit. He got back up, even after taking a nasty fall and was playing hard, riding bikes, etc by the end of the week.
How many of us need to find a way to do the same spiritually? The reality is, we all at one point or another do not have a proper fear of God. At some point in our life we convince ourselves that we can stand on the edge of the cliff and not take into consideration what will happen if we fall. We convince ourselves “we got this.” That is usually when we end up slipping off the cliff and finding ourselves clutching our souls in despair because we permitted ourselves to succumb to the pressures of sin. While we shouldn’t be proud to admit it, we shouldn’t be so proud to say “not me.” We all have (Rom. 3:10; Rom. 3:23).
But, this really isn’t about whether or not we hung out near the cliff and fell. This is about what we do after we realized we are lying at the bottom of the mountain we just fell off of. This is about realizing that we just got knocked down. Are we really willing to get back up? Can we get right back up? Too many times we find ourselves clutching our souls, crying out in pain, but we refuse to do what is necessary to pick up the pieces of our broken lives. The best thing we can do is follow my son’s example. When we get knocked down, when we stumble over our sins, when we fall off the proverbial cliff, we need to get back up and keep striving on to the goal.
The word striving is an interesting one in the Greek. It is agonizomai. It is where we get our English word agony. When we are told to fight the good fight of faith (I Tim. 6:12) it is this word Paul uses. He didn’t say that there wouldn’t be struggles. Hardships always come with agony. But, Paul tells us that is certainly is worth it. For he tells us that those that do fight the good fight have a crown of righteousness awaiting. The victor’s crown. So, get up. Keep fighting. Don’t lose heart.
Grinnell church of Christ
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When You Get Knocked Down, Don't Let It Get You Down
Volume 5 Issue 47