If they fall, it isn’t fatal, for the Lord holds them with his hand. – Psalm 37:24 (TLB)
Stumbling, tripping, slipping or falling over or on something is not a pleasant experience. It sometimes can be very embarrassing as we try to cover up a partial stumble or fall. At other times, it can be very painful especially if we fall all the way down.
A stumble sometimes occurs when we are not paying attention. We don’t see the hazard as we are too busy concentrating on other things that cause us to not look where we are going. As we trip over, we quickly regain our focus and prevent the fall. Later we realise how foolish we were for not seeing the hazard in the first place.
Even though we have stumbles and falls that affect us both emotionally and physically, we can also have stumbles and falls that affect us spiritually. Our spiritual stumbles and falls happen we lose sight of God and we slip back into old habits and/or give into temptation. The hurt we receive and the hurt we cause God to feel can be just as great or greater as any physical stumble or fall.
A spiritual stumble or fall can happen at any time and at any place. If we stumble or fall in public, we sometimes try to cover it up and pretend to be all right before quickly moving away. It is the same with our spiritual stumbles and falls, whether they are in public or in private. We don’t want anybody to know as we quickly brush it aside, pretending it didn’t happen.
Unlike a physical stumble or fall, we do remember our spiritual ones. If not address they can manifest and the effects of the fall will stay with us longer resulting in damage to our soul. In time as we continue to stumble and fall, we learn to cover up our shame more and more until it no longer feels shameful. It is then we have our greatest fall of all.
Usually, when we do fall, it isn’t fatal. His hand reaches out to us and we grab hold of it, enabling us to rise up off the ground. The Lord then gives us the ability to dust ourselves off before moving forward again. A fatal fall occurs when we lose sight of God and his hand that is reaching out to us.
When we do have a fatal fall, the good news is that all is not lost. God will wait for us and his hand will still be there every time we stumble and fall, ready to catch us the instant we call out his name. He will be that light shining in the darkness so that we can see the hazards that lie in front of us. All we have is to re-focus our attention and keep our eyes on the path He shows us.
Stumbles and falls are not pleasant things. As long as we keep reaching out for the Lord, we can rest in the knowledge that He will always be there waiting to catch us when we do stumble or fall.
*Originally published on Inspirational Christian Blogs – August 2016