It’s a classic scene. The hero, the underdog, who’s been training and fighting and struggling for the entire movie is laid out by the villain. He’s on his face struggling to breathe. He’s not thinking about getting back into the fight, he’s worried about making sure his lungs work and how badly that rib is broken. His one eye is starting to swell shut and his legs feel like jello.
He’s not thinking about getting back up for the fight until something shifts.
He sees the girl.
He recalls his pride.
He remembers why he stepped into that ring in the first place.
It is no longer a question of how he is doing and how much strength he has left. In our hero’s mind, failure is not an option. There is too much at stake to lose. Losing the fight means losing everything.
So he does stand back up against all odds. His opponent, barely bloodied is shocked into laughter and tells the hero to just lay down. Enough. The fight is over and he can’t possibly win.
But the hero takes his stance. The fight continues and inexplicably, against all odds, the hero emerges victorious.
This is a typical Hollywood scene. Any guy movie, whether it’s a kung fu movie or Die Hard 17: I’m Not Dead Yet, we love to see a hero as the underdog struggling to get back to his feet for that final fight sequence. And I’m convinced that we love it so much because it speaks to us on a very basic level. We all have struggles that we sometimes fail to overcome. There are days when I feel like I’ve been knocked down one time too many and it’s just easier to lay there and call it quits.
“Why keep on fighting?” the villain asks me. “I’ll knock you down again, and again and again. Don’t get up.”
And I say to myself, “Stand. Stand therefore. Take your stand with truth like a belt around your waist.” (Eph 6:13-14)
“Stay down and save yourself the pain.” The villain taunts me.
“So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 cor 12:10)
“It would all end if you just stayed down.”
“You will be hated by everyone because of My name. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered” (Matt 10:22)
“You’ll never win. You aren’t strong enough.”
“I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13)
And I get up again and get back into the fight and face down the smiling face of my enemy.