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?
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