By: Jill Whitlow

“I say to you, RISE, pick up your bed and go home.” –Luke 5:24

Have you ever had one of those years that you were happy to say goodbye to? 2015 was that year for me. It was 365 days full of stress, humility, transition, goodbyes, leaps of faith and just plain hard work. Needless to say, I love the fresh perspective that new years bring, and I was happy to get started on 2016; ready to rise up above the challenges and walk in a new strength.

To kick off the year, our church participated in a 30 day reading challenge through the books of Luke and Acts.  A few days into the challenge, I was reading the passage in Luke 5 about the men who carry the paralytic to Jesus for healing. As the crowds pushed back against them, their determination didn’t wane. They knew that healing would come if they could just reach Jesus, even if it meant taking drastic measures. Oh the joy they must have felt to witness the once broken man receive forgiveness and rise up and walk.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of the people in my life who have “carried me” through tough times, especially this past year. One difficult week in particular. I received a call from a dear friend who wanted to make sure I was okay. She had been awakened at 2 am with an urgency to pray for me, having no idea the challenges that I had been facing that week. I’m so thankful for women like this who are a part of my “rising” story during such a tough year.

What a beautiful reminder this is that God doesn’t want us to do life alone. When the task is great, the workload overwhelming, the depression crushing, the diagnosis scary, the mountain insurmountable; when our faith is weak and getting to Jesus seems impossible–we need people in our lives with faith and determination, standing in the gap, fighting beside us, carrying us to Jesus.

Who was it that recently helped YOU through a rough patch or sticky situation? Today, take a time out to write or call and tell them how grateful you are for them in your life.



Jill WhitlowJill Whitlow is married to Charlie, who pastors an incredible church in Ashburn, VA called The Community Church.  She loves chasing around their four kids, and in her spare time she enjoys jogging, sipping Starbucks Chai Tea Lattes, and going to the movies (just to eat the popcorn)!


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