Monday, November 29, 2010

When life gets "Rocky"





2 Corinthians 4:8-9  8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.




I know the Rocky films are from a bygone era, but they still tell a compelling story.  One that makes me think.

Think about the two really good ones, Rocky 1 and Rocky 2.  The most endearing feature about Rocky Balboa—the characteristic that garnered him the most praise—was not his fighting ability; that was regarded as being amateur level at best.  No, the thing that amazed commentator, spectator, and opponent was that Rocky kept getting back up.

That’s the part of the story that amazes me, as well.

It had to hurt, lying on the canvas, knowing that the pain would subside if he just stayed down.  It had to hurt, knowing that he wasn’t really winning the fight but just wearing down his opponent’s fists with his face.  And it had to hurt, bleeding and broken and one eye swollen shut, fatigue setting in, muscles unwilling to cooperate, brain nearly incapable of forming a cohesive thought. 

And still he got back up.

Why?  Why not just quit?  Stay down?  Throw in the towel?  Everything would be so much easier if he would just lay on the mat for a measly 10 seconds.  No one would think ill of him.  Everyone would agree that was the sensible thing to do.  Perhaps even the wisest thing to do.

And still he got back up.

When I see him struggle back to his feet, grasping the top rope for support, I still cheer every time.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Because I see a man with nothing to prove other than he can take a hit and get back up again.  I see a man willing to take enormous amounts of abuse and pain and suffering if it means he can take a stand for a principle; the principle that you cannot beat me until I give in.

I see Christ.

I see Christ in me.

There are great patches of time when life hurts, and hurts bad.  When confusion and pain and anxiety and uncertainty all conspire to force you to the mat, to make you swallow the bitter pill of defeat.  But those times cannot beat you while you still cling to Christ.  They cannot beat you until you decide to stop clinging to Him and instead weakly accept defeat. 

Yes, you’ll look to all the world like you’re still losing.  Beaten and bloody.  Hardly able to form a coherent thought.  Swaying on your feet . . . but standing in Christ.   


2 Corinthians 4:8-9  8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.


Are you hard pressed on every side?  Christ supports you, and therefore you cannot be crushed. 

Are you perplexed?  Christ loves you, therefore you do not need to despair.

Are you persecuted?  Christ has bound Himself to you and will not abandon you.

Are you struck down?  Christ has redeemed you, and therefore you cannot be destroyed.


Christ is in you.  He is with you today.  And today He will help you get back up.

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