When I was 3 years old, I put on my first pair of pale pink ballet slippers. At the ripe old age of 23, I decided to hang up my pointe shoes and retire from the stage. Thus, ballet is a huge part of my life. In fact, I made my poor father sit through ten straight years of Nutcracker performances. (sorry dad!)
I will always remember the first time I was asked for an autograph. I remember the adrenaline rush from hearing the applause of the audience as I danced the steps my heart had grown to love. Their support sustained me through bleeding toes and sprained muscles.
Though my dancing days are long gone, life has continued on. Jesus Christ is my Savior, and the longer I walk with Him, the more I desire His applause alone.
I no longer need the applause of hundreds, I just long to hear His.
In 2 Corinthians 4:7 the Apostle Paul called himself a fragile jar of clay. He continued with:
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
~ 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NIV
Paul kept pain in perspective
Paul’s ministry was to preach Jesus Christ as Lord (2 Corinthians 4:5). Scripture teaches that Paul endured alot of emotional and physical pain while doing so. He was beaten, imprisoned, survived riots, and went without sleep or food for days (2 Corinthians 6:3-5). Yet he didn’t let these detour him.
Paul got back up again.
Life is messy
I do not think it is a coincidence that the Holy Spirit brings these verses to my mind whenever I go through a season of pain, rejection, or change. The last couple of weeks have been messy. My heart was crushed and my emotions were afflicted. I allowed myself to be consumed with frustration over details and plans that fell apart. Physical exhaustion crushed my joy and peace. The more I held onto the pain, the more I worshipped it.
Please understand that I am not saying we should stuff or ignore pain and always dance around with a smile on our face. Jesus felt and experienced pain. But He was not consumed or confused by it.
Jesus Christ was literally crushed…
but He also got back up on the third day…
Do you hear His applause?
If you and I are followers or disciples of Jesus Christ we are to emulate Him. Though we will experience pain in this life, we can get back up again. There is a time to grieve and to work through and to heal…but we must get back up.
This week I am “getting up” again. The Holy Spirit has renewed my heart and mind. It is time for me to move on. Will you join me? Perhaps you have been hurting, crushed, or perplexed for a while now. Let me encourage you to
Your audience of One awaits…do you hear His applause?
Be encouraged today my friend. You may be struck down, but you are not destroyed. Our God will sustain us (Isaiah 41:10). Pain and hardships are not to be worshipped or given control. Jesus Christ is to be worshipped and given control. Which one are you bowing down to today? The pain or Jesus?
“We loose our way,
We get back up again
It’s never too late to get back up again,
One day you will shine again,
You may be knocked down,
but not out forever…”
~Lyrics from “Get Back Up” by TOBYMAC