Do you need to rise again?
Posted by sharon on Mar 30, 2018
I was baptized for the second time at age 22 in New Jersey. For my first baptism, I was about 9 years old with my mother at the church I had attended for most of my life in Indiana. I remember approaching a baptismal pool in the church basement. I wore a simple garment of white sheets, while deacons with deep voices sang, "Going to the water..." and "Take me to the water." I felt a little scared at the time. I didn't understand that being dunked in the water was symbolic of Jesus's burial, nor that rising from that water represented His resurrection.
Understanding came much later, after I'd graduated college and gotten a job in New Jersey, hundreds of miles away from home and the security of family. I was depressed about a recent breakup in college and wondering if I'd ever find love again. I was lonely and unsure of my future. It was there, away from family and friends, that the God I had heard about while growing up seemed to be my only hope. I found a church not far from work. I soaked in God's Word. I wanted to be baptized again. And I wanted to feel it this time. As the pastor guided me underwater, it was truly a spiritual rebirth. I reflected on what it meant to depend on God, to understand that He was the only One who would be with me always, no matter my location or station in life.
Now, as I think about the Resurrection (Easter), I'm believing that resurrection is not a one-time event, at least not for us. It did not end with my emergence from the baptismal pool in New Jersey. Throughout life's valleys, I can look to God's power as my strength to overcome and rise again. He rose, not just so that we could believe He conquered death, but so that we might have the power to rise, as well. We rise from despair, from pits of sin, disgrace, shame, and life disappointments.
Are you in a pit and hoping for a change? Know that God is with you wherever you are. "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there" (Psalm 139:7-8). Know that if you keep your focus on Christ, you can be victorious over any situation, just as He was victorious over death one morning long ago when He rose for you, and for me.