Charge up. Rise up!
How is it going, my friend?
When people ask me that question, I must confess I pause for a moment before I respond. To be honest, I don’t think there is a word in the dictionary that adequately describes the emotions that hammer my heart and mind as I am confronted with daily challenges and concerns. COVID-19 has intensified situations beyond anything we could have ever imagined. The restrictions and predictions can put fear in the bravest heart. Indescribable stress has been placed on work situations, ministry opportunities and families. Story after story of despair, loss and uncertainty seem to fill my social media feed. There have been moments when I have been overcome by this deep-down feeling of sadness.
One of the positives of lockdown has been lacing up my walking shoes and hit the streets of London. Sometimes I pray, sometimes I listen to music or sometimes I just allow God to speak in the quietness. God is so very aware of the deepest needs of our hearts and in moments of weakness, when we are blinded and distracted by the darkness, God comes with his mighty presence and power.
On a recent walk, God drew my attention to two phrases to teach me about my deep need for renewed hope, spiritual re-focus, intentional availability and outrageous courage. The first phrase that captured my attention were the words ‘Charge Up!’
My eyes were drawn to these words on a sign in front of two unusual pillars. As I looked closer, I discovered that these pillars were charging stations for electric cars attached. Two cars charging up in order to continue on the next leg of their journey! The first thing that came into my mind was this: ‘Wow, God, wouldn’t it be great to have charging stations for us humans! Why didn’t you think of that?! Then when we feel run down, or out of steam, we could just plug ourselves in and before we know it, we are charged and as good as new!’
God’s response to me was something like this: ‘Rosalie, where have you been? That’s what I do best! When you chose to connect to me and not to the world, you charge up!’
He whispered the familiar words of Isaiah 40 in my ear: ‘God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energises those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts.’
If I am going to face all of life’s difficulties, I need to be more deliberate about getting spiritually refreshed, renewed and revitalised. I recognised that I needed to get a better grip on discipling myself to recharge. But God wasn’t finished with me yet! He knew I needed another injection of Holy Spirit empowerment in order to get back on track! And he planted another reminder right in front of my eyes. I had walked by one of the local gyms many times, but I never paid any attention to its window art! The words lit up: Rise Up!
Often in my ministry, I have challenged women and girls to rise up and be who God has called them to be. I felt that this time God was asking me to rise up! With God’s strength and power, there is nothing I cannot do. As my eyes went back to the window art, I noticed that, underneath the words ‘Rise Up’, were the words, 'No matter what shape you are in you need to come out of lockdown fighting!'
I have not been able to shake these words from my heart! Just as our physical state needs to be good, we need to be spiritually in shape. I know that I am not the only one who has struggled with faith, mission, devotion, and purpose this year. Our world is dealing with trauma. So is our Church and its people. But my recent encounter with God has given me a fighting spirit to ‘charge up’ and ‘rise up’ like never before! It has strengthened my calling, my covenant and my commitment.
I carry these words with me as I move forward deeper into the unknown ahead: No matter what shape I am in when I come out of lockdown, I want to come out fighting…
- For the empowerment of women.
- For social justice.
- For those who have no voice.
- For opportunities to preach the gospel of transformation, hope and freedom.
- For women and girls to have seats at the tables where they can have influence and make decisions.
I want to come out of lockdown fighting as a courageous leader who is unafraid of healthy change, an advocate, and a role model for this generation and the ‘next’ generation!
Would you join me in the fight for the right? This battle belongs to the Lord! I pray these words over myself and all of you today: ‘Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous and strong… Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.’
Thank you for who you are in Jesus. God bless you all.WM Resources, Real Talk