"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."
Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time, coined this phrase. Now, I’m not much of a sports fan, but boxing intrigues me. I’ve watched many-a-fight through the cracks of my fingers with my hands over my eyes. Isn’t it strange how something so gruesome can be so appealing?
One punch is hard enough to take, and yet, these fighters endure blow after blow and keep coming back for more. When the bell sounds, the opponents retreat to their separate corners. While they catch their breath, their trainers offer them wise counsel, motivation, encouragement, and clean their wounds.
When the bell rings again, the fight resumes. One of the most thrilling parts of the fight is watching someone you think is completely crushed rise up from the f loor of the ring and stare down their opponent as if to say, “Oh, now it’s on.”
The life of a Christ-follower can feel much like a fight in a boxing ring. A few months ago, our family faced one blow after another. After our faces met the fist a few times (metaphorically speaking of course), instead of saying, “Oh, now it’s on,” it was more like, “Ah, come on! Why!?”
Ever been there? As you begin to feel the pain of defeat, you start asking questions like, “Why, Lord? Why do I keep getting knocked down? Why do I have to keep facing such opposition?”
A boxer doesn’t step into the ring for his first fight after only one day of training. He has to go through rigorous times of discipline and training to prepare for the main event. Some practice rounds end quickly, while others seem never-ending. Some blows are anticipated, and others come out of nowhere.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11, NIV).
It’s the same with us. What matters most in living out our faith in Christ is how we prepare for and respond to the punches thrown at us in life. Whether in the past, the present, or those yet to come, not one punch catches God off guard. He is always waiting for us to come back to our designated corners to be with Him. He takes no pleasure in watching us fall on our faces, but calls for us to head into His presence where He’s ready and willing to coach us through, give us wise counsel, teach us His strategies, and pour into us strength for the next round.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3, NIV)
So, the next time we find ourselves duking it out in the ring of life, may we take comfort in knowing we are not in it alone. Our Savior is there to impart wisdom, offer encouragement, clean up our wounds, and heal our hearts. Never give up. Keep fighting for the faith. And when the bell dings, head straight to your corner with Jesus. Remember, He’s already won The Main Event.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12, NIV)
Is a flip-flop wearing, Coke Zero drinking, Bible reading southern gal born and raised in South Carolina. She is wife to Chad, Mom to Jeremy and Ava and bonus mom to Emma and Abbey. When not at work for the S.C. Highway Patrol, you can find her at diannabuchwalter.blogspot.com.