Knocked Down, Not Out.

In boxing, there are rules that govern what constitutes a knockdown, a knockout (KO) and a technical knockout (TKO). A knockdown is what it sounds like it is – the fighter gets knocked off his/her feet and hits the canvas. If s/he doesn’t get back up right away, the referee will begin a countdown.  If after ten seconds the fighter is still not able to stand or continue the fight, this is a KO. 

Sometimes a KO happens quickly and definitively, with a boxer immediately falling to the canvas after a punch and clearly unable to recover. Sometimes a boxer will rally, only to be knocked down again – and again. In amateur boxing and in WBA bouts, a TKO is declared if a fighter is knocked down three times in one round. 

A referee will declare a TKO if a fighter is conscious but no longer able to continue, especially if doing so would be dangerous. This is called “throwing in the towel’ and can be understandably devastating to a fighter’s spirit. 

In the spiritual realm, we can equate a knockdown to a difficulty, pain, or misfortune in our lives. Something that comes against us, disrupts us, causes us pain and suffering. The kind of life challenge that blindsides us – a divorce, a diagnosis, a car accident, a lost job, a death – anything that devastates us and reminds us that above all, we really do need God. Because we know we can’t get through these times without Him. 

But here’s the beauty of it all: if we know the Word of God, and remember to pray and talk to Him – we may be knocked down, but we will NOT be knocked out

I will share that I have had some knockdowns in my life, and they felt like KO’s. Especially during the “plandemic” years, and those knockdowns had a domino effect that have continued to jab me even to this day. 

But …God. But…I got up. 

But I only got up because I had the strength. And regardless of the puffed up, ego-driven talk of most pro boxers, getting back up from a true knockdown has nothing to do with your own inner strength, or grit, or any of that BS. The truth is, we can’t do anything greaton our own. It may seem that way for a time, but that time is always limited. To make a real comeback, we need the Creator. 

God will always come through for us when we get knocked down, but only if we actually believe He will. That’s something I missed for many years. I would pray. I would say I have faith that God would help me – but in my heart, I had doubt. I behaved in a similar way the Israelites did in  the book of Exodus. 

Even though the Israelites had witnessed God part the red sea for them – even after that miracle- they somehow put it aside when they saw that the land God had brought them into had giants in it. They began to groan and complain and grow fearful. They even wanted to return to Egypt where they had been slaves! The land God had just brought them out of! All because they had doubt in their hearts, and falsely believed that the world could be bigger than God. (If you want to read more about this, read the entire book of Exodus). 

In January of this year, after many months of praying for deliverance, God brought me out of Los Angeles, where I had been struggling, and into a new land. It is quite literally a land of milk and honey. But I’m ashamed to say that although I saw that God brought me here (with resources beyond what I could ever get on my own), when I came up against challenges in my new home, I grew anxious, and there were moments my heart failed me. 

I lost my job. I didn’t know anyone here. I didn’t have a backup plan. I didn’t even have a boxing gym I could go to, which has always been important to me. And I spent 5 months wandering in this wilderness – spiritually as physically. I felt KO’d. I cried out to the Lord, “Surely life was easier back in the city, at least in LA I could find some work, and I even had a gym…”

It’s embarrassing to admit. God had just not only fulfilled my heart’s desire to leave that place – but my new home is the most beautiful land I have EVER seen! God gave me more than what I had asked for! Still, I foolishly grew doubtful because I had taken my eyes off of God. 

Fortunately, that did not last. One day I was praying and looking out at the orchard grove, and God said “Look up.” 

And just like that, I saw beyond the trees that had blocked my view, and as Heaven’s proverbial referee reached the number “8” I got up. 

So can you. 

Psalm 71:20-21: Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.

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