Listening to a song the other day, I came across some lyrics that drew my attention. In the song it said, ‘Everybody gets knocked down’, and then followed this with, ‘Just how are you going to get up?’
It is true. At some point in everybody’s life they will experience a knock-down, although there are various degrees of this. The song gave several examples, one of which was the boxer Muhammed Ali.
When Ali took on Joe Frazier to win the heavyweight championship of the world, it was a gruelling fight, which Ali only just about won, as he was knocked down a couple of times in the earlier rounds. Life can feel a bit like that. Some events we experience can be bruising or traumatic. Ali said that, during the fight, it felt the closest he had been to dying. And yet he still won.
The song also gave the example of Nelson Mandela. After twenty-seven years in prison on Robben Island he went on to become the President of South Africa, when the Apartheid regime came to an end. When he gained power, he promoted reconciliation and forgiveness, rather than revenge and recrimination.
Both these examples speak of a steadfast spirit, one that does not give up, even after receiving several knocks. But I do want to draw an important distinction. This song was a secular one, so it was really about being the architect of one’s own restoration.
But we have a Saviour who wants the very best for us, the abundant life. He wants us to come to Him when we get hurt and struggle in life. In Psalm 51 verse 10, King David said, ‘Renew a steadfast spirit within me’. Therefore, being steadfast, as David meant it here, is more about pressing into Jesus and drawing on His wonderful resources and His Holy Spirit.
In my early Christian life, I had a terribly traumatic event that for a while took the wind out of my sails. My response was, rather immaturely, to not be on ‘speaking terms’ with God. I was so angry with Him. I see now that in that kind of circumstance I should have come to Him, doing my best to declare His praises and weeping at His feet.
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