Proverbs 24:16, “For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.”
Several years ago, during a Monday night football game, one of the sports announcers observed that Walter Payton, a former great running back for the Chicago Bears, had just accumulated more than nine-miles in career rushing yardage-this was a phenomenal feat. The other announcer underscored this accomplishment by noting that this was done with someone knocking him down every 4.6-yards.
Walter Payton’s average carry of the football was under five-yards. His brilliance was not in long sprinting runs from goal line to goal line. Rather it was in his ability to keep getting back up each time he was knocked down, and to keep running again and again and again.
There is no shame in the failures we experience in our lives. There is no shame in the number of mistakes we may rack up.
Shame lies only in giving up and giving in.
When we sin, we must never conclude, “I’ve sinned so may I never be forgiven again” or “I’ve sinned to such a degree God will never want anything to do with me.” God is always ready to forgive if you are willing to ask for “His forgiveness.” I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If you have been hit and hit hard you may need a little time to catch your breath. But then get up! Choose to move forward. If there are lessons you need to learn from the crisis then learn them. If you need to grieve then do so and in the process ask the Lord to heal your broken heart and to renew a right spirit in you (Psalms 51) so that you can live in vitality and joy once more.
If you need to make a mends make them.
If you need to get a fresh perspective or set new priorities take the opportunity for a new outlook and reestablish what truly is important to you and your loved ones.
Don’t give up!
Don’t give in!
Each time you get up from a hard hit, you’ll find you grow a little more resilient and a little stronger.
Being knocked down is painful, but choosing to remain knocked down can be deadly.
Psalms 31:24, “Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.”
Till next week, may God bless-Bishop Wheeler.