I was five years old when Bambi hit the theaters (for the fifth time . . . I’ll let you do the math). I don’t even remember what scene hit me too much as a young girl, but my father had to take me out of the theater because “my tummy hurt”!
Years later we had Bambi on VHS, and my kids watched it often. They never had to leave the room! Such tough cookies they were . . .
A lot of people quote Bambi’s bunny friend, Thumper, who says, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
The quote I used all the time on my kids in the mornings came from Bambi’s father: “Get Up! You must get up!”
And of course I would try to say it in a royal kingly kind of way, but being a mom it came out a bit differently.
Well, wouldn’t you know, today is National Get Up Day! This day was first observed in 2017 by U.S. Figure Skating, so naturally it applies to that sport. It recognizes the perseverance needed to keep getting back up after falling, no matter how many times the slippery ice takes you out.
I’ve started reading through the “Chasing Truth” Bible reading plan for the second time. We’re now into Exodus, reading about Moses and the plagues God let loose on Egypt.
Moses had a few “Get up!” moments in his life. He was no spring chicken when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He was 80 years old (Exodus 7:7)! He’d had enough time to know who he was and what his strengths and weaknesses were.
When God spoke to him from the burning bush, he was just a shepherd. That was his first excuse for not going before Pharaoh. Why on earth would Pharaoh listen to a shepherd??
What was God’s answer to this? “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12 NLT).
Moses’ second excuse was that he didn’t even know God’s name. Why would anyone listen to him if he didn’t even know who sent him?
God answered his question.
“God also said to Moses, ‘Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.
This is my eternal name,
my name to remember for all generations.
Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, “Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, ‘I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you'” (Exodus 3:15-16).
His third excuse rests on the Israelites. Moses expects the people to doubt his words, so God gives Moses three signs to prove to the people that God really did send him (Exodus 4:1-9). But even that wasn’t enough.
His fourth and final excuse is based in his knowledge of himself. “But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled” (Exodus 4:10).
And at this point I can hear God’s line from the movie, “Prince of Egypt”: “Who made man’s mouth??”
Even after this, Moses still tries to get out of doing what he has been called to do! But God has the last word, and Moses submits.
God provides his brother, Aaron to be his spokesman, and he goes to Egypt. There he comes up against resistance. Pharaoh makes things harder on the Hebrew slaves, and they blame Moses. They don’t even want to hear what he has to say anymore! Moses cries out to God, and God sends him again to Pharaoh.
What is Moses’ response this time? He falls back on the excuse of his own weakness. “But LORD!” Moses objected. “My own people won’t listen to me anymore. How can I expect Pharaoh to listen? I’m such a clumsy speaker!” (Exodus 6:12).
Moses felt that he had failed. Did God release him from his task? Nope! God wasn’t having any of it. Moses was God’s man for the job, and He demanded obedience, regardless of how Moses saw himself and his weaknesses.
In the end, Moses spent the next 40 years leading the people out of Egypt and around the wilderness. He learned through experience to stand and speak in the authority of God.
Get Up, Friend!
Today is the first day of February. Many of us spent the beginning of the year setting goals for our walk with God, because we felt God calling us higher and deeper into his presence.
How are you coming along with those goals? Have you fallen short? Don’t worry, we all fall short!! But I have a few words of encouragement for you.
- Your station in life can never refute God’s call on your life. God used a shepherd to speak to a king! “Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
- God has given us His Spirit, who is with us always and who empowers us to obey: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
- We have the Word of God, which opens our eyes and hearts to just Who this God of ours is. We don’t have to wonder about his character, his attributes, or even his name–we just need to read it and let it work His Truths in our hearts and lives! “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12).
- The responses of others to our obedience to God is not on us. When we stand before his throne, His judgment is not going to hinge on what Mrs. Jones says or thinks about us. May we hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
God knows your weaknesses and your fears. He knows what trips you up, and what makes your knees knock together. But in spite of any shortcomings you have, He still wants to use you to build up His Kingdom here on earth.
Have you fallen short of what God has called you to? Don’t let it stop you. Today is a great GET UP DAY, Friend!