Guest Post! Brittany lives in Brownsboro, Alabama with her husband, Jonathan, and their mischievous wiener dog, Luci. She is a coffee and music enthusiast, but enjoys her time with good friends and family the most. Brittany is on a spiritual and personal growth journey to live life with purpose, discover the vast goodness of God, and find joy amidst life’s craziness. She is passionate about living in freedom and helping others find it.
“Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.” Luke 8:41-42 (NIV)
Have you ever experienced a season in your life where your circumstances left you feeling spiritually lifeless, and emotionally (or physically) knocked down? Sometimes our circumstances leave us in a state of hopelessness, and it becomes very difficult to get up and face our troubles with the perseverance God calls us to. When I look at this story of Jairus, he must’ve been absolutely devastated over losing his beloved daughter. His life in this moment was in total disarray, as his friends and family were mourning his daughter’s death, and people were urging him to give up. But he didn’t—and God honored his faith. Oh what I would give to have a faith like Jairus! But oftentimes, when I should be fixing my eyes on Jesus, I fix my eyes on my problems instead.
“Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.’ When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. ‘Stop wailing,’ Jesus said. ‘She is not dead but asleep.’ They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, ‘My child, get up!’ Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up.” Luke 8:51-55 (NIV)
Last year, as the hours drew to a close on my New Year’s Eve of 2015, I was in the midst of losing my pregnancy. By New Year’s Day my worst nightmare had come true and I was left looking into a new year with only sadness and disappointment. It was a miserable start to a brand new year and like the people who had given up on Jairus’ daughter, I had given up on any hope of a prosperous future in 2016. It would be a year stained with sadness and loss, and I was struggling to keep my eyes focused on Jesus.
Thankfully our Redeemer always has a plan for us, even in the midst of our brokenness.
One particular morning that followed my loss, I woke up with intense body aches everywhere. It felt like a bad case of the flu, but I chalked it up as being just a physical manifestation of my heartache. I continued to lay in bed grief-stricken and spirit-broken, and I wondered if I’d get up at all that day. But as I lay there in anguish, I realized I really didn’t care either way.
And then I heard a voice.
It was that still, small voice we often hear about and it was commanding very plainly, “Get up.”
At first I ignored it. I mean, I knew what I had heard. But who was I kidding?? I couldn’t get up! I was devastated, my heart shattered into a million pieces. And if the emotional pain wasn’t enough, now I was in physical pain too. No way was I getting up out of that bed.
Then I heard the voice calling again, saying, “Get up.”
Despite my unwillingness, I decided to obey and I got up. Immediately, I began to feel physically better. All those body aches that were provoking my misery in bed that morning started going away. And in a matter of minutes my physical pain had completely dissipated. I knew right then that it could only be God; there was no other explanation. And every day forward I got up, and God brought His strength, grace and mercy – just as He always does.
“Don’t be afraid, just believe, and she will be healed.” In the midst of his tragedy, Jairus did not give up. When everything around him looked finished, a done deal, all hope lost, he still believed that Jesus could heal his daughter. And Jesus, being the amazing God he is, tells him, “Don’t be afraid,” and gives assurance of healing through Jairus’ faith. You see, despite whatever season we are in, God still has a plan for us. And he calls his children to rise up in the midst of our circumstances, so that He can activate his higher purpose through us.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
No matter what you may face in this season or the next, God doesn’t want you to stay down. He wants you to have faith and believe in Him, so that your healing can come. As he shows us in the story of Jairus’ daughter, we have to get back up after we’ve been knocked down in order for our spirit to return, so that we can take our stand against the devil face-to-face from a position of victory.
I ponder back on how the devil’s intent was to keep me in that bed, suffering in sorrow for as long as possible. But God had a plan to use my circumstances for His purposes. We cannot remain in our suffering, because when we do, we are ineffective for the kingdom. So when God calls to you, “My child, get up,” take hold of His hand. Because even though you cannot see it, God is beginning a new work inside of you in fulfillment of his divine plan.
As a dear friend said recently, “It’s human to go to a place of brokenness…but you can’t stay there.” She’s right. You have to keep getting back up no matter what the enemy throws at you. Because as long as you stay down, you are no threat to him. But when you get up – oh how he trembles!
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:1-4 (NIV)
Father, thank you for relentlessly calling out for us to “Get up!” on days where the events of life are just too much to bear. Thank you that we can depend on your strength when our own fails. And thank you that your plan is at work even when all we can see is chaos. Help us to remember that what is intended for harm, you turn around for your good.
All God’s best,