Psalm 37: 23-24 “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. ” NIV
I have been reading “Sun Stands Still” by Steven Furtick, a pastor from Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. He came to speak to us at the Fellowship of the Woodlands, my home church. In the book, he talks about Joshua and his defeat by the people of Ai. It came directly after his spectacular battle and victory at Jericho. Joshua goes before the Lord and is groveling as best I can tell. Joshua 7:10 “The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?”. On page 132 of the Pastor Furtick’s book, he writes “He didn’t tell Joshua to beg a little more ernestly or perform an act of penance to prove he was really sorry. Instead, he told him to get up off the ground, stop crying about past defeats, and obey God completely in the present moment.” I must admit that these words came at a time when I was wallowing in self pity. I needed a good “talking to” as we say down south.
Before I learned the truth about God’s love for me and that He plays no favorites, I wallowed for many years in the concept that I was broken beyond repair. I could stand up in front of a group of people and sound like I was the most together person in the room. I felt like the whole world was a play and I was one of the leading actors. I learned how to be the most together person in the show that was my life. When you live a life trying to be something you are not, it carries with it a burden that is at times overwhelming. When you can’t bear to go before the Lord because you are sure He has no use for you, there is little room for joy in your heart. I spent a lot of time lying face down before the Lord, begging Him to show me what good I was. The problem with lying face down is that you can’t look up!! When you are lying down, you can’t make any forward progress! So when I read the Lord’s words to Joshua, they MADE PERFECT SENSE!!!
Stumbling doesn’t mean that you fall down and stay down. In the dictionary, it is defined as “to falter or hesitate; to make a slip, mistake, or blunder.” When I make the mistake of feeling self pity, I need to remember that my Adonnai is there with His hand out. Yet what does that mean really? Is it literal? Perhaps it can be. But more often than not, the hand comes in the form of an angel sent from Him. I met a woman yesterday. On any day, I would have passed her by. Not well dressed, not well spoken, a woman who had known a hard life. Yet, she looked me right in the eye and blessed me with a lesson I needed. In the rainy, bitter cold day, she was out selling handmade cakes from a basket to make money to feed her family. Walking store to store, wet and cold, she was doing what she needed to do to make ends meet. I bought her cakes (which tasted like manna from heaven) and wished her God’s blessings. She took my hand and my heart and helped me back up. I am blessed with everything I need in life and more. My God is her God and He is awesome. She would probably tell me that she was blessed by my purchase but I can tell you that she lifted me up off the ground and put me back in the present moment.
Let me always remember that my hand might be the hand that steadies someone’s feet when they hesitate. Let me allow other’s to help me when I fall. Let our hands reach out to those around us and steady those who stumble. You are God’s beloved child and you may be just the angel that someone needs when they reach out their hand.