It was one of those nights, where we had already been up a lot. I think Ben must have been going through a growth spurt or maybe he just wanted to spend some quality time with his parents throughout the night. I heard his rustling in the midst of the fog of slumber, and I thought to myself I can’t get up. I can’t make my body move to get out of bed. It’s just not going to happen. I can’t get up.
I fought hard trying to bring myself to full consciousness and finally put one foot on the floor, shuffling the ten to twelve steps to Ben’s room. As I looked down into the crib, he offered me a big, gummy grin, and I thought to myself Well, that was worth getting up for.
There are a lot of reasons we find ourselves in this kind of moment telling ourselves I just can’t get up. Maybe like me, you find yourself in a time when you are just physically worn out. Maybe you find yourself in that position of not being able to get up because you are sick. Maybe it’s because you are so overwhelmed with grief or sadness or pain or hopelessness.
In Acts 9:36-43, Tabitha finds herself in that situation because she has died. The people who are grieving her loss and the loss of the great charity she offered people in need, sent word to Peter to ask him to come without delay.
I don’t know about you, but having been a minister for two and half years, I know this kind of call. It’s the kind of call, you know you can’t ignore, but you wish could wait until you finished your cup of coffee or until you had a chance to shower. It’s the kind of call that you wonder, “Does it really have to be without delay?”
We don’t know whether Peter was thinking these things, but we do know that he got up. When he got up, he found himself by the bedside of a woman who had passed away asking her to do the very thing he had just done: “Get up, Tabitha.”
And Tabitha got up.
We wonder why we don’t see the type of miracles we read about in Acts today. We wonder why God doesn’t work in the same miraculous ways God did in the book of Acts. Maybe it’s because we are, more often than not, more like the disciples in Mark who simply cannot see and cannot hear what Jesus is trying to tell us than we are like the disciples in Acts.
Do we believe God can still perform miracles or are we afraid to ask? Are we afraid of what people would say or think if we told them that we did believe in miracles? If God is still working miraculously in the world and we are not experiencing it, why?
Perhaps it’s because we don’t get up when we hear the call to go without delay. Perhaps it’s because we depend too much on our own ability rather than creative God working in and through us. Perhaps it’s because we are worried about what people will say or think about us. Whatever it is that’s stopping us from getting up is causing us to miss out on how God is transforming the world.
If we did get up, we, like Peter, would bear witness to miraculous things.
Surely, that’s worth getting up to experience.