Stumble lately… or just feel that you fell down?
Isn’t it amazing how you can be going full steam ahead, strong in your step, confident and next thing find yourself flat on your face. You were looking like a dream, feeling good about yourself, strutting your stuff and next thing the stuffing is out of you.
It is so humiliating to stumble! Nothing empties your bucket of pride like a good stumble! Any strength you thought you had is splashed out and you grope around trying to find your dignity! Hidden away in James is a special verse:
We all stumble in many ways. James 3:2
There is this delightful story of bears playing Ring-a-Rosie together, and the rhyme is so true: All fall down. No-one is immune. Nobody is perfect. All of us will stumble sooner or later.
Jesus said to the disciples in Luke 17:1 that “things that cause people to stumble are bound to come” either physically, emotionally, mentally or with our tongue. Yes, the latter is probably the one we stumble with the most, which is why this verse is so neatly hidden in James 3, a chapter on the tongue. But we all stumble, even great teachers, famous people and us ordinary folk.
Ever notice what happens when we stumble. First thing we do is look around to see who saw us fall and then wish we could be invisible, or wipe that incident out of history. But it is comforting to know that everybody stumbles and that everybody has occasions where they fall down.
But notice the behaviour of a person that stumbles, they normally get back up as soon as possible, dust themselves off and carry on regardless. Translated for me this means: Get out of the pool of self pity, brush off with the forgiveness and empowerment of God and move on!
Psalm 37:23-24 If the Lord, delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
The Lord is like the people who watch others stumble: their first response is sympathy and compassion for the one who stumbled and they usually rush forward to help the stumbler back on their feet. God knows that we stumble, but this verse promises that His right hand is holding us so that we do not fall and come to destruction.
We all stumble in many ways, but God desires to see us get up again and keep moving. He picks us up, dusts us off and sends us off again with a “Go for it!” smack on the bum.
Perhaps a relationship was going well and then you said the wrong thing. Perhaps you have been going about the business of life so well and then suddenly you are so tired, your tongue is hanging out. Perhaps you made a mistake and now wonder what you were thinking. Perhaps your relationship with the Lord was getting better and better and now suddenly it feels like He is far away. Perhaps your family was running strong and now suddenly the wolf is amongst the chickens. Perhaps you don’t have petrol for life.
If you find that you have stumbled, get up again, dust off in the Presence of God and carry on regardless.
Father thank you that You are always right beside me, like a doting parent watching a toddler, ready to catch me when I am falling. Thank you that You understand what I am made of and expect me to have moments when I stumble. Help me to come into your Presence and sit there until You have dusted me off and sent me out there again, knowing your love and support is right there with me.
Follow this delightful story of bears playing ring a rosie together. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/23/bear-cubs-ring-around-the-rosie_n_4326379.html
Struck Down But Not Destroyed
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