One of my favorite football stories is about famed Crimson Tide coach Bear Bryant. He was sending out young coaches to recruit for Alabama. “You know the guy who gets knocked down and then gets back up?” he asked. “Sure coach – that’s the guy we want, right?” “No,” Bryant says, “we don’t want him.”
“You know the guy who gets knocked down, gets up, gets knocked down again and still gets up?” “He’s the guy we want, huh coach?” “No, we don’t want him either.”
“The guy that gets knocked down three times and still gets up?” Bryant asked. “He must be the guy!” the assistant coaches said. “Nope. Don’t want him either.”
“Well coach, who do we want?” Bryant answered: “We want the guy knocking everybody down!”
Read this short account in the ministry of Paul: “Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.” (Acts 14:19-20, NIV)
Almost killed…he got up and went back at it! And if you keep reading, within months Paul has led “large numbers” to the Lord, strengthened and overseen several churches and, in chapter 15, will lead the church through one of the most significant decisions it will make in its formative years. He had every reason to, but I’m so glad Paul didn’t quit!
I’ve decided my little problems aren’t all that bad. Paul told Barnabas afterward: “…We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22, NIV). It’s true, but I guess that term “hardship” is somewhat relative. My hardships aren’t nearly as hard.
So if something’s knocked you back on your heels this week, by faith get up, put your trust in God, and get back after it! You be the guy Bear Bryant would recruit!