getting back up

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Remember when you were little and you would fall off of your bike or trip while you were playing and get a scratch on your knee? You would start crying and your mom would come wipe your knee, put a bandaid on it, kiss it and everything would be okay.  It was so easy, like even if your knee still hurt you knew it was going to be okay and you just got up and kept playing. I wish every time we got hurt it was as easy to pick ourselves back up and keep playing the game, but sometimes the hurt we experience is real and it isn't so easy to get back up again and keep moving on like nothing has happened.

Sometimes we are hurt when we have done nothing wrong. Sometimes we are hurt by the people we expect would never hurt us. Sometimes pain and hardships are inflicted upon on us by others' decisions and all we can do is endure the consequences. 

I'm not trying to be dramatic, I'm just saying that hurt is real and it happens and sometimes it hits us so hard that it knocks us off our feet and the process of getting back up again seems more painful than just staying on the floor. 

But here's the deal: we have a choice to make when we are lying on the floor. We can either stay there, in our hurt, in weakness and let the pain overcome us, or we can try to get up on our own even though it is really hard and is a lonely and painful process, or we can realize that we do not have the strength to get back up on our own in that moment and we can ask for help. 

Recently there have been times where I have been on that floor and I have thought, "Honestly it just isn't worth it to get back up because it hurts so bad and everything is going to be different once I get up again." There have also been times where I have tried to get up off of the floor in my own strength, in pain and have realized the hard way that I don't have it in me to do it alone. But what I have learned is that the best decision in those times where you just feel like you cannot endure what has been thrown at you is to seek help from our Almighty God that has the strength to lift us back onto our feet and to help us move to a different place. 

I know all of this metaphorical talk may seem confusing, but my point is that no matter what has happened in your life, no matter what feelings you are battling, no matter what pain has been inflicted on you recently, God is still for you and God is still good. 

It may seem like your whole world has turned upside down. It may feel like the people you thought would always be there for you aren't anymore. It may be hard to figure out logistically what you need to do because of the situation you have been placed in, but through it all you need to know that you do not have to accomplish anything on your own. And more than that, you can't do anything in your own strength. 

We live in a broken world and because of that, unfortunately sin has a destructive nature and influence on us. That means that throughout our lifetime we are going to be hurt by people that we love and we are going to hurt people that love us. But, no matter what happens to us or what we must deal with, it is important for us to continually seek truth and ask the Lord to fill us with the self control, strength, and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to help us navigate the waters of healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation. 

As hard as it may be, as Christians we are called to live a life that glorifies the Lord, even when we are on the receiving end of hurt and pain. That might seem difficult or unfair, but we must remember that we are not the distributers of justice in this world. It is not our job, no matter how bad we may want it, to bring about revenge or justification for ourselves when we are hurt by others. Even in the most difficult circumstances, we are called to live a life above reproach. 

I am not writing this because I am able to do this perfectly by any means. Recently, I have been going through something that has been overwhelming, exhausting, painful, sad, lonely and all other kinds of emotions and I probably have not handled the situation in the best way all of time, and for that I ask the Lord to have grace with me and forgive me. However, even though it is so so hard, I have genuinely tried to take my struggles to the Lord, to ask Him to give me strength, wisdom, and discernment on how to deal with the situations at hand and for Him to pick me back up off the floor and heal my broken heart. 

It isn't easy and it definitely is a long process because forgiveness, along with reconciliation, does not just happen overnight and it looks different for every situation. But, what I do know is that I am a sinner and broken just like anyone else and I am capable and have definitely inflicted hurt on others whether I have meant to or not, so in being mindful of that and knowing that my faith is based off of the fact that Christ has forgiven me when I did not deserve to be forgiven, I am choosing to not be ruled by anger or bitterness. Because God has shown me great grace in His love for me, I am choosing to cultivate grace for others. And even if it takes a long time, I am committing myself to moving in a direction that is honoring to the Lord and submitting myself to the authority of the Bible, believing that if I cannot accomplish this in my own strength, my loving Father will give me the capacity to forgive, let go, and move towards reconciliation in a way that is healthy and glorifying to His name. 

I am choosing to believe that the Lord will honor and bless those that seek His will. I believe wholeheartedly that our God is a God of justice and that even if I do not receive the justification I desire in this lifetime, the Lord is teaching me and cultivating a yearning in me for an eternity where He will bring forth His justice and the world will no longer be a place of hurt, selfishness or heartbreak.

Friends, I ask that if you are struggling with getting up off of the floor you have been knocked onto, that you would consider the words of Psalm 37 and find peace knowing that our God is a good Father and provides everything to those that chase after Him even in the most difficult of seasons.

Psalm 37:

1  Don’t worry about the wicked
    or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away.
    Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
    Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you your heart’s desires.

5 Commit everything you do to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
    and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

7 Be still in the presence of the Lord,
    and wait patiently for him to act.