I was walking, rushing briskly, through the linoleum whitewashed hallway to catch a ride with my mom after serving the youth for Wednesday night bible study. As I was about to walk out the hallway, a cute, little girl, in a tiny dressy white sweater, with neat braids and caramel skin, skipped alongside her sisters and her mother down the hallway. But her shiny, suede shoes did not grip too well with the floor, and she fell belly first on the floor. The fall knocked the wind out of her, and she laid there in shock. Everyone walking in the hallway began to surround her, and ask: “Are you okay, are you okay…are you alright sweetie….?” I reached for her, along with many others, to lift her up.
Her mother pulled her up gently to her feet. Her older sister comforted her.
She nodded slowly, still in shock, at her fall. She walked slowly with her mother as everyone went on their merry way to their cars.
But I, looked right at her, and said, before the threat of further embarrassment hit her: “It’s okay, everyone falls sometimes…I even fall sometimes.” And walked away.
I almost forgot about this moment, when God brought it to my attention again.
It can be discouraging, quite devastating…actually depressing when we fall as followers of Jesus Christ.
It can even shock us.
How did I get here?
One minute I was walking with Christ, doing what it takes, walking in faith and love, and now….here I am…lower than low.
How did end up at the bottom?
How did I get here?
Will I ever get out of this?
It could be an addiction.
A deadly secret revealed.
A financial catastrophe.
A family betrayal.
A debilitating disease…
Whatever it may be, it may have caused your faith to dwindle. And here you are, lying flat on your belly, looking up, wondering how in the world did you get there?
And if it was something you caused: how did I let myself fall? God, warned me… God tried to protect me…why did I not listen? Why did I get in the way of God’s best for me?
God, why did I do that? Why? Why?
Before shame begins to overtake you, before satan can whisper lies in your ears:
God still loves you. God will still save you.
If you let God in so He can correct you.
If you let Him humble you, and redirect you–
If you let God in to transform you, and heal you.
God will lift you up, high above the mess, high above the mistakes and bring you back to where you should be.
When we fall, God lifts us up.
God uses each and every one of us, to lift each other up.
We are a family, His Body, The Body of Christ, that is. And we are to lift each other up, whether in prayer, or through words of encouragement so that we can continue spreading the kingdom of God.
We are, as believers and disciples of Christ Jesus, are to encourage, surround, protect, defend, lift up those who are weak, feeble, and weary among us (1 Thess 5:14).
We are to bear each others burdens (Gal. 6:4).
I recall a moment recorded in Acts 14.
The outspoken unapologetic apostle, is stoned and left for dead by a group of dissenting Jews from the city of Iconium and Antioch.
I know that Paul had many low moments.
Soul crushing experiences as a believer and as an apostle–but these people, whom he preached with such conviction and supposed success,
Now, had turned on him and almost murdered him.
This must have been painful.
But something beautiful happened.
God did not leave Paul there.
A group of disciples surround Paul, sprawled on the ground–black, blue, and bruised.
Fallen, broken in more ways than one.
The disciples stand quietly for a moment around him, not leaving his side.
But Paul is still lying on the ground.
In more ways than one.
But the disciples of the Lord would not leave him. They keep standing there, waiting, willing him to get back up–to not die, declare His Glory.
Will I ever get back up from this?
Paul raises slowly from the ground and goes right back into the same city that stoned him to preach the gospel and spread The Lord’s Kingdom.
It is almost as if the silent support of the believers surrounding him that day, reminded Paul he was not alone, neither was he going to finish this alone….and to keep on going. It gave Paul the strength to complete the mission Jesus Christ gave Him.
He will send people, disciples, dedicated to The Lord, to you–to stand and surround you. Their testimony silently penetrating your broken heart, awakening it to their pain, failures, struggles, which are now non-consequential, because there they stand– conquering it all. Their silent testimony. invigorates your bones to rise, and keep going.
For a just man,
A just woman of God,
Get back up again.
May He help us rise above the pain of our weaknesses.
In His Name,