Benjamin Franklin once stated famously, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. He was onto something there, but the list of certainties is certainly much longer.
This I do know— in this life, we all will get knocked down at different points. No one is immune to trials and tribulations. Ol’ Ben’s quote reminded me of John 16:33 where Jesus says to be prepared for these problems. Like death, they will come to us all.
I ran into an old friend at the park recently. He and his wife were knocked down hard by COVID back in the summer. Though he seemed fully recovered, his wife’s struggle remains ongoing. I am sure he would have gladly traded places with her, but she is a fighter, and the Lord has brought her a long way.
After talking with them, I later thought of a couple of things I wished I had said. I am bad about doing this. She needed more encouraging words from me. Even the bravest and the strongest of Christians need support at times.
Meeting her was no accident. You see, I had been praying for a long list of individuals that are going through difficult health trials. At least three of those people had recently passed and I was truly pondering their fatal turn of events.
I was not doubting the power of prayer, it just truly saddened me. And I was focusing on the negatives. Then my friend and his wife popped up, “all accidental like”, as Forrest Gump would say. His wife reminded me of those on the prayer list that have recovered or were on the right track. There were many.
This is the point. Too often, I put more of my attention on the bad in life instead of all the good that is happening at the same time. I guess it may be human nature to allow the negative events to overshadow the positive.
But seeing that young lady still in the fray to live reminded me of this. One thing the devil desires is for all of us to focus on our trials, our “bad luck”, and not recall all the wonderful things that have happened in our lives.
Job said it best, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity”?
What God desires is that we get up when adversity knocks us down. If we rise again, if we continue to stand and fight, what a great testimony that will be for others to see.
I remember a short little story about a group talking about their friend, Andrew Jackson, our 7th president.
It was much later in their lives, and they were sitting around reminiscing over childhood memories. This thought dominated the conversation, “How did Jackson ever become president?”
Laughing about it, they agreed that he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed academically. Yet Andy rose to the rank of general in the army, becoming a hero at the Battle of New Orleans.
“He wasn’t the strongest either,” another one chimed in.
They began to talk about how they wrestled as children. Back then, you lost when you hit the ground first. One said, “Johnny, don’t you remember how you used to throw him down 3 out of 4 times?”
“Yeah, Johnny,” another said. “What happened on the fourth time?”
He replied, “I guess that was Andy’s secret. He just wouldn’t stay throwed”.
That is a great statement on life and what Jesus wants out of us. When circumstances throw us down, keep getting back up.
So, I say thank you to that young lady who has not let life keep her down. You encouraged me without realizing it. Perhaps you have bolstered many others. The Lord only knows. “Don’t stay throwed”. Think about it.
May the Lord bless and keep you another week beloved. Amen.