Rise

Alyssa Miller, photographer.  Some rights reserved
I had had it!  I was done being mom.  I didn't want to be the one that was the grown up anymore.  I was tired of saying the same thing over and over and over again, of feeling like no one was listening.  I lost it - and rather than respond as I would want to be responded to when my 7 year old came up to ask a question that I had just answered.  Yes, the 18 month old was screaming at the top of her lungs at the same time, and yes, my teenager had his headphones on so he was completely oblivious to everything as I tried to balance the phone on my shoulder as I pulled dinner out of the oven.  And yes, I was exhausted.  But that doesn't excuse the tone or volume that I chose to use when I responded to my daughter, and I knew that I had crushed her when her normally cheerful face fell and the tears began to form in her eyes.  In that moment I knew that I had failed.

We all have moments like this.  Yours may have occurred with a co-worker who just doesn't seem to have the same work ethic you do.  Or it may have been with your spouse who can't seem to get their dirty clothes IN the laundry hamper.  Or the neighbor that insists on turning the music up too loud, again.  Face it, we live in a world that is full of people that don't always recognize how their actions affect others.    A world that doesn't stop because we are having a bad day. And we make the wrong choice....

It isn't something unique to us.  Jesus was facing the most difficult, and agonizing time of His life.  He knew it was coming and sought His Father's counsel.  Like us, He didn't want to face the hardship alone so He asked his friends to go with Him, to pray with Him.  They went, they sat near Him, they began praying....and as the night went on and their bodies got tired, they made a choice - they went to sleep.  Not just once, but three times!  And it was a direct, face to face Jesus request!  I can only imagine how they felt when they recognized how disappointed Jesus was at the way they had let Him down. 

If they were anything like me they felt like failures.  After all, it isn't that hard to (fill in the blank), and I messed it up.....again.  And yet, the Bible doesn't say that Jesus condemned them.  Instead, He recognized that, "the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak". (Matthew 26:41)  I have to say that I am ever so thankful that God looks at our heart rather than our outward appearances (including our actions sometimes).  Now, don't get me wrong.  I am not saying that there isn't a need to make the effort to do what is right.  Quite the contrary, as there are numerous verses that tell us to make every effort to choose what is right. (Psalm 1:1, Ephesians 5:11, Ephesians 4:26 to name a few)

But when we mess up, what do we do?  Jesus says, "Rise, let us be going".  (Matthew 26:46)  Don't wallow in what has been done wrong.  Go to the person you have wronged and ask forgiveness.  (Matthew 5:23)  Talk to God about it and ask His forgiveness. (1 John 1:9)  And then rise, and leave it behind.  Once we have confessed, God doesn't see the sin any more. (Psalm 103:12) 

You still have to deal with the consequences here though.  Don't think that a confession of wrong doing makes everything better.  I will never be able to remove the pain I inflicted when I chose to react out of frustration rather than love with my daughter.  But I can show her that we all make mistakes.  I can show her how to handle them in a Godly manner.  And I can show her how to move past them. 

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