It was the night of February 11th, 1990 – a boxer by the name of Buster Douglas stood across the ring from the legendary Mike Tyson. Most oddsmakers in Vegas wouldn’t even accept bets – assuming that Tyson would win; the lone parlor that did had the odds at 42-1. Tyson’s trainers, assuming that the fight would be over in one or two rounds, did not even bring an endswell to reduce potential swelling suffered in long boxing matches. Yet, ten rounds later… Mike Tyson lay on the ground, Buster Douglas over him. The upset was complete. Buster Douglas was the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion.
The story of Buster Douglas is just short of a miracle. Mike Tyson agreed to fight him was as a tune up fight before taking on Evander Holyfield. Buster Douglas’ mother was so excited for the fight, that much to Buster’s chagrin, she told everyone that she could that her son was going to win the fight. Twenty-three days before the fight, Buster Douglas’s mother passed away. With new zeal (and a promise to his mother that he would beat Mike Tyson), Buster Douglas fought Mike Tyson the best he could, and was the first fighter to last more than a few rounds against the heavy-hitting champion. In the eight round, Douglas was knocked down, but methodically got back on his feet. Then, in the ninth round Douglas began to land a few more strings of punches. His confidence increasing, he went for the knockout in the 10th round, and he got it.
Buster Douglas’s story is an all-around great story – the David and Goliath of our day. Unlike David, Buster Douglas had to take the long route to victory. Unlike his predecessors, Buster Douglas made it past the first three rounds with Mike Tyson. He outlasted. What no other boxer had lived long enough to find out, was that after five rounds – Mike Tyson runs out of gas.
How many situations are we faced with every day that are just like Buster Douglas’ fight? How often does our fight with life, or the enemy, seem insurmountable? God will give you the strength and ability to keep going, to outlast, and to overcome the odds. Sometimes, all it takes is for us to simply keep going and not quit, no matter how bad the present circumstances might be. Keep going. Keep fighting. When the 10th round comes, it will be your time to shine.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. – James 1:12
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4