“Shake yourself from the dust and arise; be seated, O Jerusalem; loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion” (Isaiah 52:2, ESV).
There was a story about a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule tripped and fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer could not get the mule out. Sympathizing with the mule, the farmer decided it would be a better idea to call all his neighbors to help bury the mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
At first, the mule was confused as the farmer and his neighbors started throwing dirt down on him. As clods of dirt hit his back, he had to make a life-changing decision—he had to shake off the dirt and step up out of the well. And he did just that. Even though he took painful blows of dirt and fought panic, he just kept right on Shaking It Off and Stepping It Up! The mule persevered and before long he was out of the well. From this brief story we learn that what could have buried the mule actually blessed him—all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.
The Apostle Paul also knew how to shake things off. On his way to Rome, he was shipwrecked on an island. As he was gathering firewood, a viper attached itself to his arm. At that very moment, he had a choice to make: He could have allowed that viper to have its way, or he could shake it off. What did he do? The Bible says he just “shook off the creature” (Acts 28:5, ESV). He didn’t allow his current situation and adversity to derail him from God’s plan.
I don’t know what kind of viper is attacking you today or what kind of well you’ve fallen into, but you can’t give up and you can’t allow them to have their way. You might say: “But you don’t know what I’ve gone through in my life, or what I’ve done, or how badly I’ve failed God.” You’re probably right, I don’t know. But I do know one thing: There is no place too deep that God can’t save you; there’s no poison so dangerous that God can’t cure you.
You have a choice. You can either hold onto things that are dragging you down and sucking the life out of you, or you can Step It Up and Shake It Off. You can leave those things in the past where they belong.
You can dwell on your failures and mistakes, or you can receive and accept God’s forgiveness and love and be willing to Shake It Off and Step It Up.
You can stay asleep while your destiny is passing you by, or you can dig deep down inside for courage and boldness and be willing to Shake It Off and Step It Up.
You can stay in the pit of the well, or you can fight against the blows of dirt and move toward your future.
Paul said it best, “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Philippians 3:13, NKJV).
Don’t ever underestimate the power of God in your life, and don’t ever be unwilling to shake some things off. I pray that you will find the courage to evaluate your life and identify those vipers and those deep wells that are not allowing you to move forward. This is a moment of change.
Do not procrastinate, get it done, Shake It Off and Step It Up!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I come before Your holy presence to ask that You help me shake some things off so that I can be free from anything that You don’t want for my life. I know that Your Son Jesus can set me free, and whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Stir me up inside so that I can step out of some situations that are not pleasing to You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!