A few weeks ago, I took my usual jog around our neighborhood. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw an elderly woman riding her bike. Just a few seconds later, I heard a scream and as I looked over, I saw that the old woman had fallen off her bike onto the side of the road. Her bike, along with the items in her front basket had landed on top of her. I quickly crossed the street and as I got closer to the scene, granny was crying and visibly shaken. I told her to just lay back as I freed her from the tangle of her legs and the bike. I tried to reassure her that she was going to be okay.
A few seconds later, another lady, who I soon found out was quite bossy, had noticed the accident and pulled her car to the side of the road. She marched over and in a loud voice announced, “We’re getting you up.” As a medical professional, I thought that seemed like a bad idea. However, before I could say anything, bossy lady had granny back on her feet after one loud grunt and a big pull. All the while, there was a grown man standing a few feet away, just watching us, with no offer to help. But I guess we didn’t need his help, as granny was upright, despite a few bruises and scrapes. I’m happy to report she was just fine with no broken bones.
As I jogged home that day, I thought about what happened. I wanted the old lady to feel comforted and not overwhelmed by my presence. I hoped that despite her fall, she knew she would be okay. Bossy lady had a much different approach. I know she also wanted to help, and she made it her goal to get the old lady on her feet. The more I thought about it, I was grateful for bossy lady because she provided what was needed…a charge to get up and a push in the right direction.
When God Says, “Get Up!”
Just like bossy lady, did you know that God commanded multiple people, including some heroes of the faith, to “Get up?” In Deuteronomy 10:11 (NLT), God told Moses to, “Get up and resume the journey, and lead the people to the land I swore to give to their ancestors, so they may take possession of it.” When Joshua was distraught after losing a battle, God told him, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this” (Josh. 7:10 NLT)? God told Gideon to, “Get up! Go down into the Midianite camp, for I have given you victory over them” (Judges 7:9 NLT)! In addition, Jonah was told twice to, “Get up and go” to the city of Nineveh (Jonah 1:2; 3:2 NLT). In the New Testament, when Jesus said, “Get up” to the deceased daughter of Jairus and to a widow’s son (Mark 5:41; Luke 7:14), they came back to life!
I recently heard author Bob Goff say, “A setback doesn’t need to be a campsite.” While I was contented with granny spending some time on the asphalt, bossy lady did not let the fall become a campsite for granny.
Have you recently encountered a setback? You may be feeling knocked down physically, spiritually, emotionally, or relationally. When progress in a certain relationship or circumstance seems to be reversed, this can be very discouraging. Maybe you didn’t get the job offer, your loved one relapsed, the doctor had bad news, or the teacher called again about your child’s behavior. I know my reaction to a setback can be to give up on what I was working on or to look back and recount all the mistakes I made in that area.
When we encounter setbacks, we don’t have to allow them to overwhelm us to the point of throwing in the towel. We don’t have to live with regret or moan about what happened for months on end. I think we get to decide how long setbacks will keep us down. With God’s help, I believe we can “get up” and move forward.
We Press On
If you’re reading this today and you feel defeated in some area of your life, I know how you feel. If it seems like you’ve fallen off your bike and you don’t want to get up and try again, I get it. I want to remind you today as I remind myself that God sees us. He is not aloof or busy taking care of someone else. He is with you, and He is with me. Just as earthly parents often do when their kids fall, our Heavenly Father comforts us, stays with us, and reminds us of His love when we are hurting. At the proper time, He encourages us, as He encouraged Moses and others, to “Get up.” He helps us back onto our feet and reminds us we can keep going in His strength and with His presence.
Sometimes a word from God may be the boost we need to get up and get going again, while other times, the words may come from a brother or sister in Christ. God often provides other believers to cheer us on when we need it most. If you’ve been down a long time about a recent setback or disappointment, I want to be like the bossy lady in your life today. No more camping on the ground! Let’s get you up and back out on the road. With God’s help, we can be resilient. Together, let’s strain “forward to what lies ahead” and “press on” for God’s glory and our good (Phil. 3:13-14).