On the Mat

In boxing, when a boxer gets knocked down, sometimes they say that he got knocked down to the mat. It’s not a good position to be on the mat. The boxer is down there all by himself trying to pull himself back together and get up off the mat in order to stay in the fight.

In life, it can feel like we’re in a boxing match. You might not get knocked down to the mat physically but you do find yourself on the mat mentally, emotionally, financially, and sometimes even spiritually. So what do you do when this happens? How do you pull yourself together and get yourself up off the mat?

You probably have read this story but just have never really looked at it in this light before. The story is of the cripple man whose friends brought him to Jesus recorded by Mark in the second chapter of his gospel. I believe there are two things that we can pull from this story that will help us whenever we find ourselves down on the mat again.

1) In order to get up off the mat, you can’t do life alone.

Whenever I read this story before, I always thought that there was only four friends that brought their cripple friend to Jesus. But that is not what Mark writes. “Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.” (Mark 2:3 NIV) The man was being carried by four friends but there were other friends making a way for the man to get to Jesus. This shows that there are two types of friends in your life when you find yourself down on the mat. There are friends that are going to carry you to where you need to go and there are friends who are going to prepare the way for you. Friends that will make their way through the crowds, and when they can’t, get up on the roof and make a hole in it in order to get you to where you need to be. Friends that when you don’t have the strength to get up on your feet will say “Jump on my back and enjoy the ride.” Friends that won’t give up on you even when you have given up on yourself. Friends that won’t throw in the towel even when you’re down on the mat and it looks as if there is no way you can get back up.

So let me ask you, do you have those type of friends in your life or are you on the mat alone? Or better yet, are you one of those friends to others when they find themselves down on the mat?

2) In order to get up off the mat, you need to fall at the feet of Jesus.

You need friends in your life that will carry you and make the way for you, but only Jesus can pick you up off the mat. Your friends can get you to His feet, but only Jesus will get you to your feet. Look at what Mark writes “So he said to the man, I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home. He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, We have never seen anything like this!” Jesus will give you peace in the middle of the storm. Jesus will give you hope in the middle of despair. Jesus will give you strength in the middle of your weakness. Jesus will give you joy in the middle of your mourning. When you find yourself down on the mat, Jesus will pick you up. And when He does the thing that was carrying you, you’ll have the strength to carry it.

So when you find yourself on the mat physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and even spiritually are you falling at the feet of Jesus? Are you asking Him to pick you up? Have you asked Him to give you the strength to get back up on your feet today?

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