Rise to the Occasion and Do What Terrifies You

John 12:26Rise and follow seem to go together like macaroni and cheese. But sometimes, I feel like it would be easier to just sit on the ground—paralyzed and holding out my alms cup waiting for grace to trickle in.

But when Jesus heals us—whether it’s from addictions, sorrow, grief, illness, depression, mental illness, ennui, anger or attitude—he also asks us to follow.

And following often seems harder than rising. If I follow Jesus, I can no longer sit.

If I follow Jesus I can no longer sit. Click To TweetI must learn to do—because that’s what Jesus did. He took on injustice and called it by name. He called children to him and blessed them. He hung out with sinners and tax collectors and people who didn’t grow up in his socio-economic bracket.

He acted. And that’s where I struggle. I’d rather read about injustice in my Facebook newsfeed than do something about it (although I am learning to speak out). I’d rather donate a little money here and there to solve a big problem, than to sit down next to someone in their messy problem and show them empathy.

I can’t use the fact that I’m an introvert as an excuse. So tomorrow, I’m stepping way outside my comfort zone and we’re taking two teenage boys camping and mountain biking with us to Moab. They’re boys that have gone on many of our rides this school year, and they need a little TLC.

We raised two girls. All I know about boys is that they eat a lot. I hope I have enough food to feed them. I worry about what we’ll talk about during the long drive there.

The situation terrifies me. But I know that I worry too much and that with God leading, I can rise to the occasion and he’ll show me what to do and give me words to speak.

How about you? Have you ever followed Jesus with fear and trembling into an unknown experience?

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Love this friend! it is time to rise and I will pray for you as you take this brave step. God is calling me to rise too and I know many brave steps will follow. Good luck, enjoy and boys are very easy to talk to. 🙂
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Five Minute Friday ~ RiseMy Profile

  • Anita- I struggle with sitting and watching when I should be doing, too. It’s much easier to hide behind my keyboard, situation, personality, etc… but I love these words: “I must learn to do—because that’s what Jesus did. ” You inspire me to rise and follow more. Thanks so much for this. This is one for some journal reflection, for sure. Love you!
    karen brown recently posted…RiseMy Profile

  • Bravo! You’re a lady with a big heart!

    I’m pretty far outside my comfort zone most days, now. Hurts too much to sleep, and when I do doze…the dreams are terrible, all the more because they return to terrible things that really happened.

    But that’s life, you know? It’s just what IS, and facing it…not that I have a choice…is somehow liberating.

    Does that make sense?

    Here from FMF.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 8 – Rise Again? (Five Minute Friday)My Profile

  • Tara

    Anita, he will indeed help you rise to the occasion. He knows what you need. And I have a feeling this trip will bless these two boys in more ways than you can imagine.

  • Anita, go you! I admire you stepping way outside your comfort zone to invite these two boys into your life. I bet the weekend will hold lots of surprises. As they feel safe and open up, God may give you some amazing opportunities to speak life to them. How exciting!

    I hope you’ll share the outcome. 🙂

    I’ve followed Jesus into unknown experiences. They haven’t gone the way I expected. But they’ve almost always turned out better than I imagined. 🙂
    Jeanne Takenaka recently posted…Rise: When Tides RiseMy Profile

  • Wow, Anita! You have certainly RISEN to the occasion. I’m lifting a prayer now for your day tomorrow. I can totally relate. It’s so much easier to sit than to rise and do. I need courage to rise to the challenge of the next two weeks: last weeks of home school, organizing a retreat for 100 women next weekend, and preparing my son’s graduation party weekend after next. I’d better rise and follow Him too! Get moving!
    Betsy de Cruz recently posted…God Can Turn The Worst Day AroundMy Profile

  • Oh, sister, you are brave! And a great encouragement to all of us in this FMF community. The do part is such a challenge as is balancing the whole Mary/Martha thing. The first thing to do is start. You are going to have a blast. Hope to read a bit about it in the future 😉
    Debby recently posted…Five-Minute Friday {rise}My Profile

  • Anita, you’ll be fine, you’ll love it, they’ll love it….what a wonderful *opportunity* for you all….and, yes, do take food, lots of food….whatever you’re thinking of taking, double it! (Mine’s only 9 and, I’m sure, would, eat us out of house and home if he could!)……will be thinking of you….am wishing you all the best. Go you! What an amazing thing to be doing!

  • Hey Anita … your title says it all.


    Now … to keep on stepping out of my comfort zone into what is, for me, pretty much unknown. But known to Him. And that’s good enough for me!

    Weekend joys, friend!
    Linda@Creekside recently posted…You Are Absolutely Unique . . . & the monthly blog coaching giveawayMy Profile

  • Those scary situations are just that… scary! I’m so thankful for His grace and strength that walks with us through each step! Thank you, Anita, for this encouragement! Happy Friday to you and yours! 🙂
    Rachel Quigley recently posted…Have you ever had a morning like this?My Profile

  • You know what, Anita? I think you are going to RISE & SHINE to the occasion. Hope you blog about the experience next week and of course, PHOTOS???? xo Have fun and enjoy it.
    Susan Shipe recently posted…five minute friday: riseMy Profile

  • Anita, you are awesome. What a great example, to those boys and to us, as you step out of your comfort zone and do as Jesus bids. What a wonderful picture of His compassion and love. Thanks for sharing! I hope the trip is great!
    Marie recently posted…Sex and the Christian FamilyMy Profile

  • Amy

    That is awesome that you are jumping out of your comfort zone w/the boys! The time (and food) you share w/them will say more than your words ever could.

    Feel like this journey to discover healing and freedom has been a jaunt into the unknown…terrifying at times to let go, but worth it as I rediscover all that God is!

  • How wonderful that taking the boys out to love on them. You will all be blessed! I’ll be praying that God blesses your time together.

  • Love it, Anita! It’s so important to take that Spirit-led action in our lives. Prayers for a blessed trip!
    Jenni DeWitt recently posted…I Still Can’t Believe ItMy Profile

  • Thank you, Anita…for your post and even better, for taking action in your own community. Your decision to not sit idly by, frustrated with all that is going terribly wrong, challenges me also to take action in my community!

    Blessings of victorious living on your journey with Jesus,
    Lisa Brittain recently posted…Five Minute Friday::RiseMy Profile

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