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Get up, you're all done here

I like the song, "Rise", as sung by Danny Gokey. Why? The words speak to me because they speak of the brokenness inside each of us - the wounds that still remind us all so often of the fear we have faced, the shame we have endured, and the rejection that seems to come on the heels of wrong actions. He goes on to tell us we all know it is time to get up - to rise up from our fear, shame, and rejection - but we are paralyzed, stuck in place, no idea of how to rise above these things. Does that speak to anyone else other than me? As the song continues, we are reminded that we hear a clear voice calling us to rise - even when we see no way out, when life is too hard to handle. Rise - the heart once so hardened by life's tragic choices is made new once again - beating, coming back to life, all because of the call of our Creator.

You can be sure of this: The Kingdom of Christ and of God will never belong to anyone who is impure or greedy, for a greedy person is really an idol worshiper—he loves and worships the good things of this life more than God. Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible wrath of God is upon all those who do them. Don’t even associate with such people. For though once your heart was full of darkness, now it is full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! Because of this light within you, you should do only what is good and right and true. Learn as you go along what pleases the Lord. (Ephesians 5:5-10 TLB)

Rise - what a powerful word. Jesus spoke it to the ones with withered limbs, but he also speaks it to those of us with withered hearts. Jesus spoke it to the one who never walked at all, but he also speaks it to those of us who have taken so many missteps in life it would have been better for us to never have known how to walk at all. Rise - above the mess, out of the mire, into light. This walking thing isn't all that easy and it will be riddled with falls, bunged emotions, and hurtful memories. Yet, those things don't have to define us today. We can rise - heart renewed, light penetrating areas where only darkness has been felt, and emotions set right.

Rise - it is a call, not a passive request. It is a word similar to the command to charge the gates of a stronghold. Rise - take on what stands in your way of victory. Rise - put down the burden that drags you back down into the mire and be free of that place of bondage. Rise - take his lead and begin to 'do again' the work you were prepared to do. Words of 'command', not a passive request - words spoken deep into our weary and burdened hearts - commanding us to let light shine forth. How do we begin to rise from where we are? We take the first step! Jesus could pull us up, holding us there, but it is as we place ourselves into his arms that we are held!

Learn as you go along what pleases the Lord - this is what happens after we take the first step 'out' of our fear, away from our shame, leaving behind those things that have caused us to feel rejected and unloved. We 'learn as we go' - we don't learn as we 'stay'. We must walk into freedom to understand it! We cannot stay where we are and expect to ever 'feel' any differently! We must 'rise' and move - learning as we go. It is a new year - what a better time to begin to live again. To embrace the command to 'rise' is to embrace newness and freedom. Just sayin!

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