I did not want to get up. I could hear my trainer from the corner of the ring yelling in slow motion Get Up! I lost count of the several rounds I had gone at this point. My face was flat on the mat. My mouth guard hanging out of my mouth, drool.
I thought. “I can’t do it any more. I can’t. I’ll just lay here and the blows will stop. Every time they land right where it hurts. Every time! “
As I laid on the mat, time seemed to stand still. The pain of the blows sunk even deeper. It all seems so real. A knee to the chest- ‘everyone has rejected you.’ A right hook across my jaw- ‘your family has rejected you.’ An upper cut to the chin- ‘your friends have rejected you’. Several quick body blows- ‘no one wants to hear anything you have to say. ‘ A jab right to the forehead- ‘your work doesn’t want you.’ And a last hit below the belt- ‘Even God does not want you.’
It all feels so true at the moment. I have spent the better part of my life in this ring getting pummeled by the enemy’s lies. Then the fight would subside as if I was not in the ring at all. My bruises would heal, I’d get my strength and stamina back. Then unexpected circumstances would occur, hopes and dreams dashed and out comes my opponent. One-Two, One-Two-Three nailing the same previously bruised spots over and over.
So here I was again, in the ring with a roaring lion. I want it to be over. I think of alternatives… “I’ll stop trying. I won’t care. I’ll stop training. I’ll stop fighting then I won’t have to face my opponent. I’ll stop pursuing ‘that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me’ I’ll stay below the radar. I’ll get by. I’ll settle.”
Like a smelling salt, I hear the voice of my trainer again, Get Up! I may not have the strength to fight this battle. But I have the strength to get up. So I decide, I will not give in. Not today. Not ever. With my little strength, I stand. Boxing gloves by my side. Sweat drenching off my body. A bloody mess around my face making it hard to see. But I stand. I stand in defiance.
I lift my face and I quietly whispered – “it’s not true.”
My opponent mocks me, “What did you say?” Then again “it’s not true”. Then louder ‘It’s not true!” Then even louder “It’s not true!!”. My opponent comes at me. With gloves by my side out of exhaustion, I proclaim the Truth!
I AM deeply loved! I AM not rejected! I AM accepted! I AM chosen! My trainer rejoices over me with songs of victory! –Zec. 3:17
My opponent tries but he could not get near me. He swings but He can not touch me. I have won. From my youth, my opponent has hit me over and over and over in the same old bruised spots. But no more. Today I got up in the midst of the fight. I did not stay down for the count. I listened to the voice of my trainer from the corner of the ring, ‘Get Up Troy!’ ‘Get Up!’
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and having done all, STAND”- Eph 6:13