Last week, we attended a benefit for our local Ronald McDonald House. George Foreman was the guest speaker. He was wonderful and funny, but he love for Jesus Christ stood out the most. He told his life story of how he was a street-fighter turned boxer. How he hated school and skipped often. How his cousin told him he'd never grow up to be anything anyway. How he would just close his eyes and knock people out. And how it was more than just the boxing gloves he wore, but all that went into those gloves.
Passion. Determination. Sweat. Blood. Tears.
He also said he didn't want to keep fighting, but he did to support his family and his church.
He told how the very few times he did get knocked down, he could hear the ref counting and him thinking to himself that he better get back up!
Goodness. I may not be a world champion boxer in the ring with Cassius Clay but that doesn't mean I cannot totally relate. Anybody with me??
As God continues to reveal Himself to me, I am in awe of His wonder and love. But then I am suddenly reminded he is not done with me yet. He meaning satan.
I woke up feeling on top of the world. Feeling I was finally making head way in this season of life, only to find myself sitting in disappointment and despair this afternoon.
Job 4:5 says, "But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed."
The devil isn't going to back down without a fight. Obviously. I'm confident he would love for me to stay down, to feel discouraged, or dismayed. Likely all of the above.
And that's exactly how I feel. In the last round, trying to catch my breath. Finding strength to stand up and keep fighting. Even when I don't want to.
The enemy doesn't play fair, well, or nice. Especially when we start to unveil his schemes and ways. Which is why I think our fight has to get harder and more difficult, before getting easier. Thankfully, God shows us glimpses of His glory in between rounds to help us to keep fighting. Putting on the armor and shield of what we know is true - the armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-15.
That He is faithful and good. Even when we don't understand or don't know the WHY???
There is also purpose in this. Whether we like it or not.
I may not be in the ring with a heavy weight boxer, but there's no doubt I'm not waging a heavy weight war against an enemy who wants nothing more than for me not to fulfill that purpose. To not be refined by God's grace and mercy. To not get back up once the final bell rings...while I want nothing more for him to look back and wish he never, ever missed me.
"But I know where you stay and when you come and go and how you rage against me. Because you rage against me and because your insolnece has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you come.
By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city." declares the Lord.
"I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!"
There is purpose in refinement. And this battle I'm waging has already been won.