Arise

Over the last few years there has been one message that has rung in my ears like church bells echoing on a Sunday morning across the city.

Get up. Arise.

Like get up out of bed? Off the couch?

photo of woman in gray tank top while sitting on bed
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Yes..and no. If sitting on the comfy leather couch has been your posture since – well you can’t remember when – then yes it’s time to get up and at least go for a walk. What I’m talking about is more spiritual than physical but can be both. 

I’ve been laying low spiritually for some time which I don’t think is a sin. There are seasons for everything and sometimes an Off season is exactly what the doctor ordered.

This was different. I felt like a dog who’d been kicked one too many times and was staying in the corner, licking his wounds. Then I stayed there in defeat, in disbelief and in doubt. 

I believe God allowed me to sit there. He knew I needed to rest physically, emotionally and spiritually. He knew I needed time to wrestle through a few things – and accept that I might not get any answers. 

But the longer I ruminated, the more the fear, the hate, and the resentment took hold and instead of working through my issues, I quit. I isolated myself because I didn’t really trust anyone anymore. I’m not lying when I say I’ve been practicing social distancing for many years now. Way before the edict came to stay six feet apart, I would cross the road to avoid contact with other pedestrians. I’m not kidding.

I was done – with everything and everyone. If I didn’t engage then I couldn’t be hurt. If I didn’t try – I couldn’t fail. So I stayed down because it was far easier than standing and fighting.

Ironically I’d read a novel about five years ago that had this epic scene where the heroine was down for the count but she was the only one who could save her kingdom. As she lay on the ground, the people who cared for her came to her in a sort of dream, calling her to get up and fight. That scene has stayed with me all these years. I researched similar callings in the bible because as I’d read this novel by Sarah J. Maas, I knew God was using it to speak to me.

It would be great to say I obeyed and got up. But this is real life and it’s been a challenge because it’s so much easier to stay down. Satan is purposeful about making it that way.  He’s thrown every excuse at me to justify why I don’t have to arise.

But the call of God is louder than Satan’s. Over the last few months and now as we shelter in place, His call is like those church bells – ringing across the miles from heaven to earth. 

It’s time to get up.

What does God want me to learn in all this? What does he want the church to learn? What does he want communities to learn? The world? The planet? 

I don’t know but if I stay sitting in that corner in defeat then I’ll never find out. Its time to get off the couch, out of the corner, and show up. 

I don’t know what getting up means for you because it’s different for all of us. Our stories are unique and God deals with each of us in an individual way.

Some of you are already up and at it so keep going! Bravo!

For some of us it might mean using this time to reconnect with our spouse, our kids or other friends and family. Those relationships are worth fighting for.

It might mean reconnecting with God or investigating who he is. Establishing a real friendship with Him – He created us for a relationship with Him first and foremost.

Maybe it’s joining some of the awesome services on Sundays or getting outside if you can at this time and soak in His creation. Capture nature’s beauty with our cameras instead of selfies.

It might mean letting your soul breathe after a busy season. Which seems contrary but you can’t get up if you’re burned out. 

Perhaps it means getting on your knees and praying for this world, for our health care workers, our government, the sick, and the church. All these people have families that stand behind them so pray for them too.

This time is a gift and God is calling us to use it – however that looks in your life.

It’s spring which I don’t think is a coincidence. Spring represents a time of renewal and rebirth. It’s a great time to arise.

Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the LORD rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the LORD rises and appears over you.  Isaiah 60:1-2

6 thoughts on “Arise

  1. Yes, so resonated…I checked out of life, stopped trying, isolated myself,stopped dreaming…to avoid more hurt, more failure…living with too much ‘hope deferred’…but I also have to believe what God has promised, that there is a plan, that I am not alone, don’t give up, put your armour back on, keep walking…so hope can return and renew…

      1. Actually that was what has stopped me/ taken the wind out of my sails. Two years ago I had to stop working as a massage therapist due to back issues and I hoped the music would fill in the spaces, but it is such a highly competitive space I had wanted to play festivals/folk venues/ to just be heard, but ran into closed doors, found people I thought were friends weren’t, encountered ageism, sexism, being not pretty enough and wondering what was I to do with any of it, and this experience where you become yesterday’s news very quickly. I did a show last Sept., booked the hall, invited friends and felt it a swan song…after that I basically walked away, stopped engaging on social media, stopped trying to find places to play, stopped writing, stopped playing, stopped going out unless I had to…existence but not life…I was already doing this quarantine thing, retreated into the cave. However, in this, I have always held on to my God, and have sensed He’s still holding on to me, as I try to find purpose and meaning. I have found my writing had been a conduit for God’s messages, although lately the muse has been in absentia…when I wrote Promised Land, it was more to tell myself to keep going…I guess I just need to listen! Thank you for your posts. I enjoy reading them. Also, are you able to mail your book in these times? I could e-transfer.

      2. Wow I’m so sorry to hear that Martha. And sad. I pray that you will find God’s purpose for your music and you. I loved it when you led for Round the Table and saw a lot of growth over the years. In answer to your question I can mail a book but Nicole D has copies and she said she could leave one on your porch. Would that be okay? And yes you can e-transfer to jenwillcock9@gmail.com

      3. Thanks for this. Today, I’ve had a mental image of God being my secret dwelling place wherever I am. So “Arise”, tells me to be ready for wherever He leads me, and He will surround me. I want to put that word somewhere where I will see it.

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