I was walking—quickly—through the busy Cincinnati airport. Then it happened. You know, how sometimes the sole of your shoe catches on carpet? Yep. Next thing I knew, I was sprawled face down on said carpet, with my purse contents strewn widely.
Was I hurt? It took a moment to determine that only my dignity was seriously injured. A few offered to help me up, but most kept rushing on. I, being of some experience in such situations, stood up, wobbled a little, picked up my things, and moved on with a sure air.
If only it were so easy in the relationships and responsibilities of our lives. The reality is, sometimes we fall. Perhaps a little stumble, but we catch ourselves before damage is done. Occasionally a serious tumble, resulting in pain and injury. Hopefully only rarely a full-out disaster, bringing failure and humiliation.
All of us have fallen, or failed, in different ways. A test in school, an athletic endeavor, a romantic relationship—all part of growing up and learning to move past those small defeats. But perhaps, in “real life,” the falls have been more significant, more threatening , even disastrous: in your work, financially, in a marriage, with a child, when you took a risk….
No surprise to our Father. You see, He sees. He sees our weakness, our faults, our vulnerability. And He has made provision. He is ready to catch us when we fall: “Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the LORD holds his hand.” (Psalm 37:24)
Though we fall—and we surely will from time to time—it doesn’t have to overwhelm us. Failure doesn’t mean there is no hope, no future. God has an amazing ability to take mistakes, even seemingly disastrous ones, and bring redemption and restoration, to forge good and beauty in us and in our circumstances. He is there with us in the midst of it all—holding our hands.
I love this rendering from an old translation by Rotherham: “Though he fall, he shall not be hurled headlong, for the Lord is holding his hand.”
So next time you find yourself falling, reach out and grab the Hand that is there—the hand of Jesus!
c Judy Douglass 2010