Getting back up
Thomas Bonham is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
A dozen weeks ago I said I needed some time to re-evaluate my life and perhaps let some things go. Well, I’ve taken a deep look into my life only to discover it’s true, I’ve made some drastic mistakes and have behaved rather poorly in times past. I also discovered I have improved greatly throughout the years, probably most improved since ridding myself of some debilitating addictive habits nearly 20 years ago. Unfortunately, my change has not come quickly, completely, or perfectly enough to satisfy everyone in my life, but God’s still working on me, and if He chooses to force me to examine myself in the light of how others perceive me to be, so be it; it has been done. I’m still not perfect and walking on eggs will need a lot of spilled milk to make a decent omelet. I’m not going that route the rest of my life. I’ve been knocked down, but not knocked out. I’m getting back up and getting back on the road to forever, traveling a lot wiser and fitter for the future alterations of life I’ll surely have to endure.
In his book, A View from the Zoo, author Gary Richmond describes the birth of a giraffe. Did you know that when a giraffe is born, it tumbles 5 to 10 feet to the ground, landing on its back? Within seconds the baby giraffe rolls over and stands, struggling on long, untried legs. In the wild the mother positions herself directly over the newborn, swings her leg outward and kicks the baby, sending it sprawling! If it doesn’t get up, she kicks it again! If it grows tired, she will kick it to stimulate its efforts to stand. Each time the baby giraffe manages to get to its feet, the mother kicks it once again. Admittedly, this behavior sounds cruel, but there is a good reason for it. The mother is working diligently to prepare the baby for survival. The little giraffe must learn to get up quickly and run with the herd when danger comes; otherwise, it will not survive. Aren’t you thankful we’re born helpless and in need of tender loving care? Some of us, especially at 63, need a stimulating kick to get us moving.
[Psalm 118] (Inspiration - AudioEvangelism.com.) At first glance it doesn’t seem to make much sense for a mother giraffe to kick its baby. However, there is a good reason for it. Likewise, at first glance, it may not seem reasonable to us for God to allow us to suffer in certain ways and endure various trials, but he has reasons beyond our understanding (Isaiah 55:8-9). He loves us and wants what’s best for us (Romans 8:28). There is a lesson here for Christians. We must learn the same lesson that baby giraffes do: When life kicks you down, it ought to encourage you to get back up! When you’ve been dropped on your back (so to speak), giving up is not an option. Lying there, feeling sorry for yourself, is not acceptable. Our spiritual survival depends on our ability to persevere. Our Lord himself said, “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22). “Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:3, “Endure hardship with us as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” James 5:11 reads, “As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” Satan would love nothing better than for you to throw in the towel and give up your faith. He wants you to forsake the church and turn your back on Christ. Refuse to lose! Get back up! You are the winner already! (James 1:12)
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.