• Jason Wade


14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth.15 You will be his witness to all people of what you have seenand heard.16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’ Acts 22:14-16

Have you ever been so antsy that you could not stand it? Have you ever lived in such a way of expectation that you just feel ready to start the day? Well what about the other side. Have you ever felt as if you needed a good kick in the hind side to get yourself going? I know that there have been days that I have felt both ways. Days that I could not wait to get up and get going and other days that I wish that I could just sink into my small space and hope that no one finds me. But I love the way that God works things out in our lives. When we are in the midst of the times that we are excited, God plants people in our lives that may need encouragement. We may be the ones that are needed to help spur others on in such a way that causes them to experience God's joy. On other days, they are people that God puts in our lives to spur us on. I continue to see this reciprocal effect because just as we can encourage some, there are days the we may need to be encouraged as well. God knows exactly what and when we need to speak or hear those words that will help to transform the world.

And yes I do believe that we have been called to experience both. I believe that God has allowed us to live in community and find ways to celebrate life together as it was meant to be lived. That does not mean that every day is going be bright and amazing, but that each day will continue to provide for us opportunities to grow and see how God is able to guide us along the way. There are days that satan continues to try and win and take away the

blessings that God has laid out for us, but that is when God interjects and someone stops by or steps in and allows us to truly see God's plan all along. I know when I look back on my journey, that there many people that I missed while they were the person God placed in my life to encourage me along the way. People that were praying over me and investing into my life, and I just really did not recognize the blessing that it was. But now that I am older, I have to take into account the same opportunities that I have in this world. Some of the people that we come into contact with may never realize the time and efforts that have been applied to help them walk a stronger path for God. It may be years down the road when you get a note, text or phone call and they are able to clearly see that just for that moment God had you in their lives as one to help them get up and take the next step. We are not in it for the accolades, but to provide people with foundations to build on in hopes of them receiving an eternal salvation with Christ.

Today, we are able to see a little bit of Paul's story. Paul is sharing about his journey and the fact that during the time that he was blinded by God, he honestly did not know what the next steps were going to be for him. He began to doubt and question, but then God showed up through the life of Ananias. He spoke as God commanded him to do and Paul, then Saul, received back his sight. From that moment on, Paul was able to begin a missionary journey that still to this day transforms life. Paul began pouring into others through his writings and encouraging them as he was encouraged through Barnabas and so many others. It is just so awesome to recognize that there were even moments where someone had to come to the greatest missional apostle that we know and tell him to get up. Ananias simply told him... Get up.. What are you waiting for? Go and be baptized, wash your sins away and let's get moving. Time is a wasting and we need to make sure that we have everything we need to move forward. What a testimony and a challenge to us all as we read Paul's words. It had to be a moment that continued to give him chills. The moment when God stepped into his story and was ready for him to move and provide inspiration for so many. I just wish I could have been a fly on the wall on that day and just so that I could recognize the transformation from doubt and discouragement to joy and healing. What an enormous change that had to be for Paul and for the world.

So now I just want to be an encourager for you today. My day actually started off pretty bad. As soon as me and the girls got into the car... flat tire. But I know that everything happens for a reason and when had another mode of transportation and every one got to where they needed to get to on time. But I just want to let you know that those are the moments that we

all need to get off of the bench and say put me in coach. We need to remember to encourage others in their times of frustration and stress. We may need to pause and step back as we take the time needed to see God reveal His plan. None of us know what tomorrow is going to bring, but we do know that we are not alone in this journey. We have been given relationships that will help us to endure the journey and be one who spurs us on to fulfill God's plan. Please make note that it is ok to have a day where we sit back and take a breath, but not a continuous lifestyle. God has given us the opportunity to change the world each and every day, and I pray that we can take hold of those moments. I pray that we are able to recognize it when we need someone to give us a good kick in the pants to get us out of our funk. The world needs to hear your story in the same way that Paul told his. Just because we are Christians, it does not mean that we are not going to have days where we struggle and days where we doubt. It means that we have a community of people who are willing to pray us through this and encourage us in the battles. Pour in...Pour Out. What are you waiting for? Get Up... Get off the bench and get into the game today.

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