The Power of Getting Back Up

Updated: Dec 28, 2018



Our maturing process continues as we learn that we deserve discipline and need training. Brokenness does not come to those who resist it or run from it. The training process never feels good but without it we will never reach our potential or step into the fullness of who we were created to be as the Signet Ring on the hand of God.

The following passages illustrate this truth:

Hebrews 5:12-14 - You have been Christians a long time now and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. And a person who is living on milk isn't very far along in the Christian life and doesn't know much about doing what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right.

Jeremiah 31:18 - I have heard Israel saying, 'You disciplined me severely, but I deserved it. I was like a calf that needed to be trained for the yoke and plow. Turn me again to you and restore me, for you alone are the LORD my God.

1 Corinthians 9:27 - I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

In years past, my favorite event was participating in the Hood to Coast Relay race. This event is the largest running relay in the world, stretching one hundred and ninety-seven miles from the top of Mt. Hood down to the beautiful Pacific Ocean beaches. Over 12,000 runners participate every year and the mayhem is unlike anything else.

One year stands out vividly in my mind as it serves to illustrate these passages for me. My second leg found me running in the darkness of the early morning hours. I had been told that this particular stretch was relatively flat and that no van support would be available to me. Traffic would be averted onto a larger, direct route and I would need a headlamp to navigate through the darkness alone. I received the baton and started off around 2:00 a.m. My muscles were tight and sore as the lactic acid in my quads reminded me of the grueling seven, hilly, miles I had completed in the hot sun earlier that day. The temperature had dropped significantly so I was anxious to warm up my muscles for the challenge ahead. As soon as I left the exchange point, I found myself running into complete blackness. My eyes quickly adjusted, and the moon came out from behind the clouds, so I decided to switch off my head lamp to save the battery.

About a mile into the leg, I realized I had been misinformed. The terrain was not at all flat as I had been promised. It was the strangest sensation, I could not see my feet or the ground clearly but I could feel the sharp grade I was climbing. My muscles were already so sore; I started to worry about what might happen if I could not keep running. There were no runners from the other teams around me; I was jogging in complete darkness all alone. It was so eerie and quiet that I began to question my wisdom in accepting this particular leg assignment. My muscles were telling me that I was still climbing a steep hill, so I pulled back my intensity to save some energy. Just as I did, my foot caught a pothole. I had no way of seeing it there, so I was completely taken by surprise. I desperately fought to regain my footing but found myself tripping on the large piece of asphalt that had created that spacious hole. I felt myself going down as I scrambled to find level ground but there was nothing I could do to avert the fall.

As I fell, all I could think was, Kerri, do not land on your knees, you must keep running, do not hurt your knees! So, in my frantic attempt to save my knees, I made the quick decision to catch myself on my hands instead. I reached backward as I fell and braced myself for impact. As I hit the road, I heard a snap and a feeling of nausea surged through my body. The grade of the hill had caused me to fall on one hand, but the extreme pain I encountered on impact caused me to quickly flip my body over to cushion my descent. I felt an intense heat on both of my knees as I slid along the pavement. For ten seconds I lay motionless, my brain scrambling to make sense of what had just happened. My first thought even in the complete darkness was that hopefully no one had seen me fall. Then with a rush of adrenaline, I jumped to my feet only to feel shooting pain pulsating from my hand through my entire body. What should I do? I could already feel a hot trickle running down my legs; I knew I was bleeding heavily. I could not assess my injuries in the darkness and I did not dare to turn on my headlamp. I knew seeing my injuries wouldn’t help. But the intense pain made my condition quite apparent to me. Suddenly, I was overcome with anger. Why was I on this stupid leg in the darkness? This was not the terrain I was promised and this was certainly not safe! I should be home in bed; this was the dumbest thing I had ever done, what was I thinking?