ALWAYS IN THE FIGHT
By Matthew Barnett: My father had a saying: “Boxing is violent, dangerous, and should be banned. But until it is, I’m going to watch every fight.” So when I returned to my hotel one night and clicked on boxing, I knew I was in for something special.
It was the last round, and one guy was absolutely destroying the other guy, finally knocking him down just as the fight was ending. The bell rang, signaling the end. The judge grabbed the hands of both of the fighters and stopped me cold when he declared the winner.
I couldn’t believe what I heard – the guy who was knocked down won the fight. I only saw one round, but I saw enough to know that he didn’t look like a winner.
But then, the announcer said something that stopped me in my tracks: “In boxing, you don’t have to win every round to win the fight.”
I was in total awe after hearing that statement. I had judged the whole fight based on the end of the final round. And then I thought of God, and how he judges.
I remembered how God raised David’s hand in victory and gave him a champion's declaration when he said, “You, David, are a man after My own heart.”
This is the same guy who murdered a good man and broke all Ten Commandments with one act of adultery. He probably couldn’t even get ministry credentials today!
I remembered how God called Noah “A preacher of righteousness.”
This was the same guy who was found drunk in his tent after building the ark. Naked, no less!
Back on late-night boxing, the announcer explained that the judges look at the entire fight, start to finish, before making their final decision. I realized that God, too, watches us over our entire life, and not just the rounds we struggle through.
You see, we can still win the fight even though we’ve lost some rounds. We may not deserve it, but we’re always still in the fight. We’re never beyond victory.
This also means that we must leave room for others to make their comebacks. If God doesn’t count them out, there’s no way we should either. As long as someone’s alive, they are an opportunity for a miracle.
It must have been embarrassing for David to hear God’s praise after all his failures. But God doesn’t see all the times we got knocked down. Instead, He roots for us, and gives us hope for a new identity. I don’t know what God will call me one day, but I’m sure I’ll blush because it will be bigger than what I feel I really am.
What does your comeback look like?