One of my joys as a young father was to watch my son play soccer. Josh could run like the wind and as a midfielder he was constantly running (which was a good thing because that boy had a never-ending source of energy that he would unleash on his sisters if not on the pitch). Josh’s full-throttle intensity was a bit aggressive so his plays were spectacular and his falls were epic. Opponents therefore pushed and bit harder and he got knocked down to the ground. At first it was a bit shocking for him and he stayed down, sometimes getting discouraged. So I would yell from the sidelines, “Get up, Get Up, GET UP!” As an obedient son he popped up look at me and his coach for what do next and both of us would point and say, “Get in the game!”
After the games, as he would enthusiastically walk through rehearsing all his plays, asking, “Dad did you see when I got the ball and…” we would walk through much of the game. When we came to the part where he got pushed or shoved or tripped and knocked down he asked why I keep calling out to “Get up, Get Up, GET UP?” Because sometimes he said, he did not want to get up. He was tired, or discouraged that people were being mean, or frustrated with himself. Though I acknowledged those feelings, and we talked them through, I mentioned that the game was still on and right then it was time to get up. As we talked I suggested he could ask the coach to take him out for a bit, but he looked at me like I was crazy. He had to play and finish the game. I also mentioned that when you bounce up so fast you show your opponents and your fellow teammates that these setbacks will not hinder your play.
The reality is we all get pushed, shoved, tripped or knocked down all throughout life. Some are not as huge as others; a flat tire, a little cold, a bit of extra work from the boss. But some are take us right off our feet and slam us to the ground; a betrayal of friend or family member, an abusive boss or spouse, a job loss, cancer, death and maybe you have a few you could add to the list. Now, yes we need to process through these setbacks, grieve, and get help…but then… get up! It may be to a new normal but we are still in the game.
The Apostle Paul from the Bible had a number of set backs
2 Corinthians 11:25-27 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
Paul was knocked down quite a few times. But he got up! One issue that hit Paul hard was what he called ‘a thorn in his flesh’ (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). He pleaded with God to remove it, but God did not. Paul did not stay down, but got up.
2 Corinthians 12:9 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
In a letter to the church in Philippi Paul said this…
Philippians 3:13-14 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul got up. He could hear Jesus saying ‘Get up, Get Up, GET UP!’
I don’t know what has knocked you down or will trip you up but one way to encourage those around you and yourself, let along push back against an opponent, is to get up. Yes, get help and process through your feelings, but Get up…Get Up…GET UP! God still has you in the game and there are some major plays He wants you to make. Maybe even today!
Church can be a place where you get inspired to get up but also to help process through all the knock-downs of life. If you do not have a church you regularly attend, please feel invited to our church. Our website has information about our various campuses and online sermons: www.cypresschurch.net . We would love to help and encourage you!
Seeking to continue to get up and stay in the game along with you,