Do you ever feel like the dog with the cone on his head?
Like everyone’s attention is drawn to you and your recent failure?
I was talking with a guy today who has raced in both mountain and road bike events. He was sharing different aspects of the race scene – the lifestyle, the preparation, the race, and even about injuries and recovery. During our conversation he told me about an event that he participated in when, at the starting horn, he went to lock his foot into his pedal and fell over – at the starting line! He said he laid there for half a second then got up, got on his bike, and continued with the race. He even ended up winning because of his decision to keep going. He told me that as he was standing on the platform getting the winner’s medal, with blood still trickling down his knee from the fall at the starting line, someone asked him…
“Hey, aren’t you the guy who fell at the starting line?”
“Yes. Yes I am.”
Have you ever fallen and been injured spiritually? Maybe you took a hard fall right off the starting line that left you dazed and unsure of your decision to start the race in the first place. Or maybe you’ve run for years but recently took a spill that’s left you with bruised knees and a bruised ego. Regardless of the timing, when we fall we have a decision to make. Will we will get back up and continue or will we focus on our injuries?
“You’re too beat up to go on!”
Those are the words of the devil. He wants us to feel ashamed, weak, and unable to continue. He is looking for those who are fallen and injured so he can destroy them while they’re down…
“…….Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8b NIV
But Jesus comes to us and says…
“That was a hard fall, let me help you up and give you strength to keep going…”
While the devil brings condemnation, Jesus is there to encourage us to get up and keep going. He does not condemn us for falling. He offers strength and healing…
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV
Hey, this is a tough race! Sometime we stumble. We get injured. We get bloody and bruised. But we must choose to get back up and continue the race. Sometimes we run through the pain, we bear the scars as testimonies of what Jesus has brought us through in our life. There is no shame in falling, only in quitting. When someone says, “Hey, aren’t you the one who fell back there?” Say…
“Yes. Yes I am.”
Then keep moving forward with confidence as they watch – amazed at your determination and progress – recognizing Jesus in you, giving you the strength and courage to keep going.
No matter what.