Thursday, November 06, 2014



The LORD upholds all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.  (Psalm 145:14)

Surely, most of us have seen the TV commercials of an elderly person sprawled on the floor, crying, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”  What they need is a button they can push on the device around their neck, so someone can come to their rescue. 

Spiritually, we may feel that way.  We often are afflicted by sin, but there are times when we can fall in an extreme manner—to the point of despairing as to whether God could ever forgive us, and stand us up again.  So, when we stumble into sin, and take a fall, we need to push the button of repentance and in our broken state, feeling as abject failures, the Lord will hear our cry and come to our aid.  Have you fallen, and you can’t get up?

Make no mistake, you didn’t have to fall.  You can’t blame God.  Jude rejoices, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (v.24).  He has promised that no temptation is greater than the grace He gives to overcome, and that a way of escape is always provided (see 1 Cor.10:13).  But, what if we ran into the arms of the seductive sin, rather than away from it as David did?    Have you fallen, and think you can’t get up?

Our fall will be painful, but it will not be fatal, if we are children of God.  It would have been better to have never fallen, of course.  It is worse to wallow in self-pity and despair of life because we have stumbled into sin.  I do not minimize the pain.  The fact is that the bruises and brokenness were avoidable.  We could have walked straight and steady in God’s ways.  Instead, we are in the Devil’s ditch, off the road of righteousness—we have fallen and feel as though we cannot get up and get going again.  The wreckage of our wickedness seems total.  Do we not know that the pain serves a purpose, and a permanent scar and persistent limp can be perpetual reminders of the high cost of low-living, and that the amazing grace of God saves wretches? 

Lessons carved so deeply into our soul are not forgotten, and serve as a warning to others as well.  Do you remember that Jacob spent most of a lifetime seeking to scheme his way to the top—a self-willed man who sought to make it without God?  He was at last broken by God as he fought against the Lord’s will.  The Lord put his hip out of joint and Jacob would never be the same.  Until his dying day, he would walk with a limp.  But, he was crippled to be crowned, and broken to be blessed.  That was a horrible night of despair that brought the dawn of a new day of hope.  He had fallen and confessed he couldn’t get up—and then God raised him up.  Read about it in Genesis 32:22-32.

God will respond to your 911 call to Heaven.  He hears and comes to heal.  We may wander outside of His will, but we never outside of His watch.  We can be bent low, burdened with sorrow over our sin, and the Savior comes and stoops down to raise us.  He consoles us as He says, “This is why I came to earth and died the death I suffered, so you can be forgiven and restored.”  I think of the story of the Good Samaritan that Jesus told as a portrait of the kind of love we should have for the fallen.  Jesus always practiced what He preached—and that perfectly so.  In fact, the religious leaders scornfully called Him, “a Samaritan” and yes—a Good Samaritan He was!  I have experienced Him coming to me while I was bleeding on the side of the road.  Do you need Him today?  Cry out, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”  At least, you can’t on your own—and that is a humbling thing to admit.  God promises grace to the humble!

The demonic vultures of despair are circling over you, waiting to pick your bones clean.  “But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.”  (Ps.3:3)  The Savior shield us and shoos them away.  He has another purpose—and that is to exchange our groans for glory!  Jesus cradles our head in His strong arm, bathes away the dirt and blood of our fall, pours in the wine of His grace to cleanse the wound, and adds the oil of His Spirit to soothe the pain.  He intends for that head to someday wear a crown!  With His support we can get up and get on down the road of recovery.

I wish we would never fall.  It always brings some measure of pain.  Peter denied the Lord.  What a deep gash that put in his soul, wringing out an ocean of bitter tears!  But, later Jesus would come to him and lift him up.  He would be restored to usefulness.  You can be too!

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