One of my favorite quotes is:
“A saint is just a sinner that keeps getting back up and keeps running after God.”
It’s amazing, that no matter how hard I try, I can still lose my footing, fall, and be in need of getting back up and dusting off again. So when I woke up the other morning with this song in my heart-spirit, I couldn't help but feel God’s encouragement.
There’s a peace I’ve come to know
though my heart and flesh may fail.
There’s an anchor for my soul.
I can say, ‘It is well.'
I will rise, when He calls my name.
No more sorrow, no more pain.
I will rise on eagle’s wings;
before my God, fall on my knees.
I will rise!
I will rise!
(Chris Tomlin - I Will Rise - see video below)
This has been a reality for me many times in the past. There are times when my heart has failed and my flesh got the better of me. I tried not to get angry. Tried not to feel sorry for myself. Yet, my flesh succumbed. And I fell into worry, and fear, and frustration.
Instead of simply trusting that my life is in God's hands. Instead of remembering that He's good, and He'll take care of me, no matter what happens.
But Jesus, who came to earth to live among us, has overcome and the grave. I don't have to suffer with being overwhelmed. Even in this busy, hectic season.
Victory is won and He has risen from the dead. And I will rise…
Jesus came to live the human experience. He's not ignorant of the dilemmas we face here on earth. He came to walk among us and he still walks with us in spirt.
He faced the cross.
Before he did that, he fell on his knees before God. Then he rose when it came time to do what God asked of him. He did it because he understood his Father’s love for him. Jesus knew that no matter what lay before him, God was good and the temporary discomfort would end. After, he would rise on eagle’s wings, no more sorrow, and no more pain.
We will rise too.
To rise, we first must fall on our knees.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary. They will walk and not faint.”
I’ve never been asked to lay my life down for the sake of God. I’ve never had to endure torture, hardship, or any of the things many Christian’s have faced as they follow Jesus’ example. My life is pretty ordinary and easy. Mundane. So why is it so hard to trust in the one who says:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Why in the face of adversity, do I allow myself to fall apart when I have such a strong advocate in my corner? He stands behind me like a big brother ready to take down any fool who dares to pick on me.
What am I so afraid of?
I really don’t know.
Perhaps amidst the storms my eyes are riveted by the waves and not by the One calling for me to “Come on. Let’s go.” If only I'd learn to fix my eyes on him first. To go to him when life gets difficult and confusing. To seek his counsel on what to do next, and if I don't hear, then to simply trust that because I love him, he will protect me, work everything out for me.
Help me to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. He, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Let me consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that I will not grow weary and lose heart. When you call my name, may I rise up to meet you, Lord. Amen.
Jackie Castle is an author, artist and dreamer. She lives in Texas with her husband, two grown children and her dog, Banjo. She looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary in everything she experiences.