Payback Time!

As a young teenager, Saturday nights from 10:30pm to midnight meant professional wrestling on TV.  Midsouth Wrestling to be specific.  Think Junkyard Dog… Hacksaw Jim Duggan… The Missing Link… Andre The Giant… Jimmy “The Super Fly” Snuka… Ted Dibiase… The Von Erichs… The Midnight Express… The Rock-N-Roll Express… The Fabulous Freebirds.  Yes, I still remember.  It was almost a religious experience for me.

The rest of the family would have already gone to bed… resting up for a Sunday full of church.  And I would be laying on the shag carpet in front of the small TV with the volume turned down low so as not to wake anyone.  Sometimes my mom would stay up a little later than the others reading a book.  She would come to tell me good night before she went to sleep and find me there, completely caught up in the frenzy of a grudge match… or a cage match… or a title bout.

Mom would try to tel me that it was all fake… all a set-up, but I wouldn’t believe her because there was real sweat and real blood.  Granted, it was no UFC (which I’ve never really watched), but I knew in my junior high mind that it was real.

I can remember one of the story lines that seemed to play out time and again… It would be a match between a “good guy” and a “bad guy.”  The good guy would be winning until the bad guy cheated… like pulling brass knuckles from his tights, or jumping off the top rope, or grabbing a chair from the audience and slamming it over the head of the unsuspecting good guy. The tide would turn in that moment and now the bad guy had the advantage.

But all of the sudden, one of the good guy’s other good guy friends would come racing out of the locker room “where he had seen the whole thing unfold on the closed circuit TV,” and this friend would come sliding into the ring to rescue his friend. And it would be payback time!

The friend would take it to the bad guy using any method necessary to let the bad guy know he had messed up… that he had messed with the wrong guy… because that good guy had friends who weren’t going to stand by and let that abuse go unpunished.

Now don’t be ridiculous… I am completely aware now that it was all fake, that all the plots were written out, that those pro wrestlers knew how to make it look like they were beating the living daylights out of each other without really doing any harm.  It was all a show.

But real life is no fake. It’s no made up show.  There are times when bad people really do mistreat good people.  Truth be told, there are even times when good people slip up and mistreat other good people.

And sometimes it looks like the person who did wrong is getting away with it.  It looks like they are going to win the day.

But there are plenty of places in Scripture which point out to us that, if we will keep a right attitude… a right heart… a right spirit, then we have a Friend who is watching it all unfold.  He will rescue us. And when He does, it will be payback time.  In fact, Zechariah 9 says that God will repay His people double for each trouble which has been inflicted upon them.

Now I can’t guarantee that you’re going to get paid back during this lifetime, although you might.  But God is keeping detailed records… one of the Psalms even says He collects every tear you ever cry in a bottle… and He will make sure that eventually payback time comes.  He will restore to you more than you ever had taken away.

So, today… if you’ve been beat down, determine to keep a right attitude and know that payback time is coming if you’ll just leave it to God!

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