Rising to the Occasion

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The real occasion is life on earth, life that is difficult and full of heartbreak. Life that is a constant reminder of need. Life that is a constant reminder of death. Shattered dreams all over the place. Rising to the occasion is an act of tremendous love and courage, sometimes against all the odds…

Like any special occasion, planning is required. Special protocols, special attire, and special energy are required. At this writing, I am excitedly anticipating the birth of my 4th granddaughter in December. I am also hosting a baby shower for my daughter-in-law/second time mother-to-be Margaret. This is indeed a special occasion wrapped in hope, including the hope that her due date doesn’t lean too close to the shower date. 🙂

If every occasion could be like a baby shower, it would be easy to rise to the occasion. But instead, most occasions come unexpectedly and are adverse. These invite us to do something to exhibit our faith, knowing that God has allowed them. Rising is jumping over them properly. Psalm 18:29 says, “With Your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” (BTW, I’m not a baseball fan, but I appreciate the courage and skill it takes to overcome gigantic barriers on the road to victory.)

Today, America has elected a new president. No matter what the outcome brings out in us, rising to the occasion means giving God the opportunity to manifest the life of Jesus Christ in the responses of His people as poured out wine and broken bread – to nourish others. I can’t help but recall Philippians 1:27-29: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ… stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved – and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him.” Rising is delivering worthy conduct.

The special protocol is love. The special attire is kindness. And the special energy comes from unity in the Body of Christ by God’s Holy Spirit.

After many months of loving the wisdom of Psalm 37, I can honestly say that rising to the occasion is refusing to fret. Psalm 37:37 says “…there is a future for the man of peace.” Let life happen. It will happen whether we let it or not. Let the wine spilling begin. Let the bread breaking continue. With love and kindness and unity in faith, let us rise to every occasion to nourish others.