In Missouri, we are currently experiencing some of the highest pollen counts ever recorded, and for three weeks, my allergy symptoms have been magnified, leaving me congested, drowsy and even a little dizzy. I felt knocked out for the count. Prior to experiencing these symptoms, I had established a solid workout routine that I had been faithful to for months and this pollen attack completely derailed me off-track for Three. Whole. Weeks.
This morning, I had a choice to make: to stay down, or to get back up, forge ahead, and begin again. Lacing up my tennis shoes, I gave myself a little pep talk. I couldn’t change the past three weeks, but I could make new choices today to move forward. After my workout was completed, I felt a sense of accomplishment that I didn’t let a small setback of three weeks turn into three months—or three years—like I had been prone to in the past.
So often in life we can allow bumps in the road to deflate our tires—and our hope—preventing us from moving forward on the path and plans God has designed for our life. But I have come to realize that there is power in the act of simply getting back up. In fact, the get-up is a more powerful force than the thing that knocked you down in the first place. It takes much more strength and determination to stand back up and forge ahead when life has knocked you down than it took for the enemy to put you there.
This applies to all setbacks in life, not just health. This became real to me after the death of my father. I had to pick up the pieces out of the pit of grief and disappointment and carry on—with the guidance of my Heavenly Father of course; but I had a choice to take that first step, rising on one knee and then the other, to pick myself up and dust off the residue of what I just experienced. I knew I couldn’t stay down in my grief and move ahead with the purposes and plans God had for me at the same time. I had to get up. I had to try. I had to seek healing from the inside, otherwise my life would remain stagnant, diminishing my life into a snapshot of my darkest hour, frozen in time from which I could never recover.
I didn’t want that to be the end of my story nor my identity. Through the act of the first getting up and walking with God daily, He turned my brokenness into a beautiful tapestry I never dreamed possible. I look back at the experiences I’ve had since taking that first step and am filled with gratitude that I didn’t stay knocked down.
Some of you may be starting your “Day 1” once again. Whether it be regarding your health, getting sober, pursuing vocational goals, or repenting of a sin you’ve struggled with for some time—whatever it may be, recognize the power and strength you are exhibiting in this moment by simply showing up. By rising once again and not allowing a setback to diminish your faith in yourself, but more importantly, your faith in Jesus and the life, purposes and plans He has called you to.
I am reminded of the story in John 5 of Jesus and the lame man outside the pool of Bethesda. The lame man only saw his limitations and what he lacked in his situation. He couldn’t walk, nor did he have any friends to carry him into the healing waters, and he was quick to recount this information to others. But when he encountered Jesus, Jesus called the man to defy the odds and lay all limitations aside by commanding him, “Take up your bed and walk.” The crippled man had a choice in that moment. To stay stuck in disbelief, rehearsing limitations, or to defy the odds and what he saw with his eyes and try to get up.
His faith to arise brought his healing through Jesus that day. What if your first step of faith is the very step that brings the breakthrough you’ve waited so long for?
Today I encourage you to simply get up. You may not gain much ground initially, but at least you are no longer on ground-level. Don’t let disappointments, failures, setbacks and shame keep you bound and in a pit of despair. Just get up. You don’t know what could be awaiting you on the other side of that simple act of faith.