I wish I could think of a better title for this, as it was used in a similar offering on Facebook, but it’s honestly the best title for this concept. A (very) little research reveals that the phrase originated in WW2, when men were cleaning up remaining enemy pockets after a stronghold had been conquered. Going into a house or room meant his ammo was pointed ahead, but it left the soldier’s back unprotected.
Unless his comrade “had his back”.
But sometimes, the comrade isn’t there. Or is out of ammo himself. Or we simply don’t wait for “back up”.
Then we tend to end up (yeah, forgive me) “flat on our backs.” (Couldn’t resist.)
This poor guy had basically given up. All was lost. His future looked pretty bleak, and short. His head was pulled inside, his legs had stopped flailing. Hope was taking a hike.
That is, until his buddy comes along. After a few nudges, you’ll notice the little guy’s head pops back out and his legs begin pumping away! Maybe there will be a happy ending after all.
We all have times (and if you don’t, you probably know people who do) when we just want to, or have, given up all hope. The spiritual rug has been snatched out from under us, and whether it’s our fault or not, we still end up with our world upside down and us flat on our backs. Helpless.
If anyone had the opportunity to feel this way, I would cast my vote for Paul. Shipwrecked, slandered, whipped, imprisoned, abandoned by former colleagues, and on top of all that, hearing about how some of his earlier work was being sorely abused and buffeted, and suffering loss. Thankfully, he had someone, several in fact, that had his back so that he could keep looking and pressing forward instead of always looking over his shoulder:
“Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.”
It’s unfortunate, and so very dangerous, when we think we’ll go it alone. I’m a bit of an introvert, but I know I need people, and more importantly, I know (now) that people need me. They need what I have been entrusted with by God. They need me to “nudge them” when they’ve given up. They need me to have their backs. It’s the way God designed us to be. All of us.
So….who has yours?
Philemon 1:7 New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved