I feel like we’re in an epic boxing match with God right now.
And he’s the one most definitely winning.
It’s as if we’re stuck living a bad version of Groundhog Day, the cycle of hope and disappointment playing out in a thousand different scenarios.
It goes a bit like this:
- We think God is moving in an area or situation. Circumstances shift to underscore this possibility. And, so . . .
We pray. We get excited. We begin to think, “This is it–the realization of the Dream, the purpose for our lives, the plan God’s been orchestrating all along.”
We taste hope and get drunk with it– in finances or career, ministry, business, or relationship.
The anticipation rises and gloriously carries us for a few days, until
WHAM! Knock-down, drag-out, smack-down. The opportunity wasn’t at all what we thought. The position got given to someone else. Another donor had to drop us, oh, and the air conditioner just broke. The magazine didn’t like my writing. The ministry already has enough help. The business idea didn’t make any money, after all. A well-meaning soul hands out gut-punching criticism.
And just like that, we deflate. Hope gets the wind knocked out of her, and we find ourselves on the mat, head spinning and nose bloody, wondering what in the world just happened to our dreams.
But, there’s still some fight left in us, we tell ourselves– at the beginning, at least. There’s still some fight left.
And, so, we regather. We shake our heads and stand back to our feet, positive that that last experience wasn’t really “it,” anyway, and that God needed to make us stronger with that one, in order to give us this next one.
But, in the sport of boxing, a fighter only has to taste three knockdowns before the match is called a TKO. A body and a brain can only be pummeled so much, I guess.
Trouble is, it feels like suffering only three would be a vacation– an experience similar to lounging on the beach sipping little drinks with umbrellas.
Because what we are learning about this cycle we find ourselves spinning in
of hope, expectation, disappointment, and discouragement,
is that it can eventually begin to affect an outlook, a personality, a trust, a person’s ability to hope in the first place.
Because, really, how many times can a fighter get back up?
How. many. times?
Apparently, at least one more.
Fighting anything lately yourself?
*from the archives of Laura L. Parker, former aid worker in SE Asia