Brooke Norton – Student Life Group Pastor
Christmas is over! There are hundreds of little tasks to do including taking down the Christmas tree, putting away the lights, and organizing your gifts. Worst of all, you have to start thinking about the New Year.
Tis’ the season of trying to get back in shape again. Maybe you have a goal to be more confident in your workplace. Perhaps you want to carve out time in your schedule to spend with the people that mean the most to you. The start of a New Year just confirms that you should have accomplished more in the previous year. Am I right?! You reminisce about the days in which you had all the energy in the world. You daydream about how you used to finish your to-do lists. You used to dream big! So what happened?!
I am reminded of a story from Matthew 5 in which Jesus meets this guy named Jairus whose daughter was dying. He implored Jesus to come with him to heal his daughter. And Jesus went with him. Let’s pick up in verse 38…
38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement.
I am so moved by this story. Jesus says to the little girl, “Talitha cumi” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” When all hope was gone, Jesus restored this little girl’s humanity.
When I was just the age of 5, I sang confidently at the top of my stairs in my childhood house. When I was just 9, my best friend and I invited our families over as they watched us perform a concert with beanie babies. I grew up in the church. I know this is not everyone’s experience but I am so grateful for the role of the church in my life. When I was just 16, I already knew that I was designed for ministry! Jesus called me and I followed. But then I grew into adulthood. I forgot that Jesus was on my side. I became busy. I had bills to pay. And then apathy set in. This is the worst place to be.
Friends, I say this just as much to myself today but Jesus calls to us, “Arise.” Jesus chooses not to leave people in the conditions in which he finds them. And he has the power to alter that condition. Whatever condition you find yourself in at the end of this year, Jesus is in the business of restoration!
For 15 seconds, I want you to stop reading this and close your eyes. Picture what it was like to be a little girl or a little boy. As a child, when were you the most confident? When were you ready to take on the world as you saw it?!
Remember when we took risks? Remember when we didn’t compare ourselves to others as much as we do now? Remember what it was like to fully be confident in who God created us to be?
As we come out of the Christmas season and we start a new year, I want to encourage you to put yourself in the shoes of that same little girl or little boy. When you sit down to make your resolutions, remember that Jesus gives us hope even when it seems like all is lost. Jesus is calling us to get up! To arise! To be confident! To dream big! And to attain the unreachable! God’s got you, friends!Click here for the photo credit on this post