It seems that I discover most life lessons when I’m not looking for them—when something happens out of the blue that makes me stop and think. One such lesson came today.
I was standing in the kitchen when I happened to look out our glass sliding door. Whack! A little goldfinch hit the glass hard, her feathers flying everywhere.
I rushed over to the door and saw her lying on the ground. Her head was tucked under, and both wings were awkwardly stretched out. At first I thought she was dead, but she was still breathing. “Maybe she’s just stunned,” I thought. “I’ll keep an eye on her.”
When I checked a few minutes later, she was still lying in the same sad position. But the next time I checked, her head was up. A few minutes later, one wing was back in place, and the next time I checked, the other wing was in place. The final time I looked she was gone. She’d flown off so quickly that I’d missed it.
I was happily surprised that she survived such a hard hit. And then the lesson popped into my head: I want to be like that little bird when I hit hard experiences head-on. Sure, I may be stunned. I may need to stop for a moment and catch my breath. But then I want to get up and move on.
King David did just that when he hit a crisis. His newborn baby became seriously ill. For seven days he pleaded with God to heal his child. He was so distraught that he didn’t eat, and spent his nights lying on the ground.
After a week, his child died. Since David had been so emotionally and physically stressed when his baby was sick, you’d think he would have remained on the ground. But he did just the opposite: “Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped” (2 Samuel 12:20).
He got up! Like the stunned bird, he got up. And he went to worship the One who could give him both comfort and courage. It was a choice he made, and a choice that you and I must make.
So how do you do it? How do you get up when you’ve been knocked down? You surround yourself with positive people. You find the help you need from a family member, friend, pastor, or counselor. You take care of your health by getting proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise. And most importantly you spend time with Jesus—the One who can give you both comfort and courage.
What’s your “window”? A broken family? Sudden unemployment? The death of a loved one? A wayward child? A lingering illness? Whatever it is, when you get knocked down, don’t stay there. You still have a life to live to the fullest!
—Written by Nancy Canwell