A few of you may know that I have a medical condition. One of the symptoms is that I fall a lot. Yes, I have a motorized chair, but for me personally, I want to fight as long as I can against living in that chair. I am determined to use my leg muscles as long as God provides strength in them.
During the handful of years that the chair and I have battled each other, I’ve fallen on concrete, hardwood floors, ice, and frozen ground. Each time it hurt. But after each fall, I did a quick self-check, and when I found nothing was broken, I got up. I may have gotten up just to spite my powerchair, but the point is that I got up. In my mind, I would say, “See! My time for walking isn’t over.”
If We’re Human, We Fall
Falling is part of being human. As toddlers, we fall a lot. If we fall and haven’t hurt ourselves, we just get up and continue to see how many pots and pans we can pull out before we stand on our mothers’ last nerves. When we enter school, we take P.E. classes that often result in falling, perhaps to avoid a wild pitch or from snagging our feet while jumping hurdles during track meets. Every physical sport I can think of has at least the potential for us to fall. Of course, we fall in love, fall for a practical joke, and, for many of us, our favorite season is fall.
We Rarely Fall While Gripping Something Solid
It’s a rarity for a person to physically fall hard while gripping something substantial. We take our most brutal falls when we have nothing close by to grab hold of. Take it from an expert; we fall when we aren’t holding on. Our walk with Jesus has us walking through a world filled with slippery slopes, quicksand, muck, and mire. We may briefly slip while walking in this world, but we will fall if we stop holding on to Jesus.
When a Christian falls, he or she has had a lifetime of experience that should have taught him or her to get up. So, as Christians, why is it that if we fall, our reaction is just to stay put? “Well, I fell, so I’m no good to Jesus,” an embarrassed Christain says. And why do many Christians look at the Christian that fell and judge them harshly? Haven’t we learned from a lifetime of falling that it’s not the fall that defeats us; it’s the not getting up?
Slow is Good
“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”Psalm 86:15.
The word “slow” tells us that God is the God of another chance. We don’t become angry the first time a child makes a mistake or even the tenth time. But there is a point when a parent has had enough—God’s like that. He expects us to learn and grow.
If we fall and get up but refuse to cling to Jesus, our next fall will be much worse. But if we desire to change, the Holy Spirit will show us, Jesus will call us, and the Father will accept us, when we seek forgiveness with a contrite heart. But we will face a severe lesson if we try to find out how far away from Jesus we can get and still not fall.
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