40 Days: 36) Get back in the ring

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Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4, 5 ESV)

Yesterday, MMA fans saw one of the most horrific injuries in live sports history when Anderson Silvas would kick his opponent Chris Weidman and break his own shin bone in half upon contact just moments after the photograph above.

The question was asked “Will Anderson ever fight again?”

The same can be said of other athletes who experiences terrible injuries – in basketball, I think of guys like Kevin Ware who suffered a major leg break in the NCAA tournament playing for the eventual champions Louisville. Or Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose who for their NBA teams (Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls respectively) are the superstars, but were out from terrible injuries last season, came back this season, only to suffer other injuries again this season that have them out of commission.

The question is, after facing these sorts of debilitating injuries, even if they do recover, will they ever be the “same” athletes?

Motivation after disappointment

Imagine how Christ felt, not just understanding from prophecies like the Isaiah one above, foretold hundreds of years before Christs actual birth. Jesus was the embodiment of the Old Testament – both in life, but especially in death, to die the most gruesome of deaths in the most publicly humiliating of ways.

Add to that the disappointment of seeing disciples that he invested three years of deep relationship with, imparting to them the best lessons that were ever taught… EVER! He let them participate in miracles, and yet he’d see one of the disciples sell him out, and Peter, his dearest disciple, denied having any association with Jesus.

How many of you would have gone through with what Jesus went through knowing what he knew was to come?

the reward > the pain

Christs reward was our restoration in right relationship with a righteous God. The joyous celebration shouts of praise far outweighed the screams of pain and suffering that he would bellow in His crucifixion. We are His prize.

The encouragement in Jesus example at the cross, should exemplify to us how we pursue the heart of the Father and all he has for us in eternal purpose. Let whatever disappointment we face currently lie in the past, and allow the grace of God to propel us forward into the proverbial ring again!

discussion/reflection question – are you willing to let go of the trappings if disappointment in the past so that you can move into the realm of a forgiving and free future?

Discussion

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