Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rise Up

Last night in prayer I read Psalm 139. Well, I only made it to the second verse: Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up.

Thou knowest when I sit down.

The words “sit down” stood out to me. I (oddly enough) pictured my Aunt’s dog Rachel. She is a severely overweight golden retriever. She loves walks, but an odd thing happens midway through. She just sits down. You can’t make her budge. You can call, you can tug on the lead, you can excitedly try and coax her back up. And she just sits. You are left with only a few options, none of which are ideal:
  • Patiently sit with her until she is ready to resume the walk;
  • Attempt to drag her home. This requires great perseverance and strength, inch by inch making the way home;
  • Send someone back to the house to get a delicious something-or-other to entice her onward;
  • Pick her up and carry her. This is perhaps the most laborious of the options. She is quite heavy, remember?

And so in thinking of Rachel’s mid-walk plop-downs, I began to think about just how often I “sit down” on my walk with God.

We will be traveling along nicely, walking hand in hand, making some good strides and covering plenty of ground . . . and then I’ll sit.

Why do I (and perhaps you) do this? Why do I plop down mid-journey?

  • I get scared of where we are headed. A journey with Christ always leads to the Cross.
  • I am not sure of which way to go. We can be quite blind to the signs and promptings.
  • I want to go my own way. “All we like sheep have gone astray;we have turned every one to his own way.” Isaiah 53:6
  • I begin to doubt the One who is guiding me. Does he really have a plan for my welfare with a future full of hope? Jeremiah 29:11
  • I am tired from the journey and my baggage is heavy. And I forget what he said in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
  • I hurt. And I forget that “by his wounds we are healed” 1 Peter 2:24!
  • I would rather stay right where I am, enjoying the current view. Much like the apostles would have preferred to stay on that mountain. Matthew 17

For many different reasons, like my Aunt’s dog, I plop down where I am. And what does the Lord do? Does he abandon me and go on his merry way? Does he throw his hands up in frustration or regret he ever committed to walk with me?

No. He patiently sits with me until I’m ready to resume the walk. Sometimes he persistently drags me, inch by inch until we make it home. He always feeds me with His very life and entices me onward with grace and mercy. And sometimes, in his great might, he gently picks me up and carries me.

We are only in the second week of Lent. Have you sat down?

Take a moment to ask the Lord to strengthen you in the journey. Let him sit with you, guide you, drag you, entice you, and carry you. Remember you are not walking alone. Remember you are walking for a great purpose. Remember you are journeying not just to the Cross, but to the Resurrection.

Last night I prayed, “Lord, I want to walk with you!”

If you find that you have sat down, ask for the grace to rise up. And walk.

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