Sometimes we need to be told to get up off our rears, clean up our messes and take a step in a new direction. Jesus told people to “get up” all the time. For instance, He said these words to a paralyzed man (Matt. 9:6), a dead 12-year-old girl (Mark 5:41), a boy in a coffin (Luke 7:14), and a man who had been crippled for 38 years (John 5:8), just to name a few. How in the world were these people supposed to “get up”?
It’s a good question for those of us who get stuck on our mats from time to time. Like the man in John 5, I can get paralyzed by circumstances and lie around hoping for someone to come along who will lift me up into a place of healing. It can be a long wait. If I’m not careful, I can begin to get comfortable on my mat.
I’ve been there the past two weeks. Partly from the recent death of my dad, partly from reliving the loss of my mom (I was 13 when she died of cancer), partly because I’ve had a miserable head cold, and partly because it’s April and it’s snowing. But this morning I heard a voice say, “Get up” and it didn’t matter if I felt paralyzed, crippled or even dead, there was enough power in the words themselves to get me on my feet and moving.
It helps knowing that the man who spoke to the cripple (and to me) is the same One who got Himself up out of the tomb. As Keith Green wrote,
“Jesus rose from the dead.
Come on, get out of your bed.”
“…so that you may know his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead.” Ephesians 1:19-20