“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 (ESV)
We all go through the fire. If we are living, walking, practicing Christians, those crazy darts and arrows are aimed at us continually. If we listen closely we can even hear the “swish, swish” as they whiz by our heads. The fact is, we know we are constantly under attack. Yet, there is a Refuge.
When I talk with other brothers and sisters in Christ, I often hear stories of their struggles in this life. Some arise through no fault of their own, while others are caused by unwise choices, and sometimes by caving in to the demands of others. Whatever the cause, these times are difficult, and can be damaging not only to finances, homes, relationships, but to our faith as well.
I say our faith, because mine is involved at this particular time, too. My family is experiencing some difficulties, and we have attempted to do the usual things people do, such as trying to fix it ourselves. But no matter how hard we try, we either lack wisdom, or we don’t hear what God is telling us. We need to admit our mistakes, and then look for the answers from God, and God’s people.
After much prayer, discussion and thought, my family has come to the conclusion that there is nothing else we can do. Is that a bad thing? Of course not. Sometimes it is caving into God that brings us peace. We realize He is our only resource, and the only one we really need. He will lead us and guide us and advise us and help us. But we have to come to the point where He can do His best work, and that is when we have fallen.
We have all heard the old saying, “You can’t get back up until you have fallen all the way down.” I’ve heard it a million times if I’ve heard it once. But this time, with this particular difficulty, I am not only seeing that I have fallen, but I have fallen close. This thought came into my mind this past Sunday, as I was listening to wisdom, grace, and love from the pulpit. It appeared in my mind like a shiny, big shout. But it brought realization, understanding, and humility to a soul who has been fighting demons and darkness instead of putting on the armor that God has so wonderfully designed. Fall close. There is so much meaning in those words.
We can fall at any time. When we do, where we fall is of utmost importance. I have chosen, this time, to fall close–close to the God who lifts my head, who holds my hand, who reassures me that I have worth to Him, no matter what wrong I have done, or what trial I may be suffering. If I choose to fall close, I make myself available for His rescue. And rescue me He shall, because He has promised to do just that. I now see falling in a different light.
We often fall and land with anger, and we miss that God is still right there, waiting to catch us. If we are disappointed in Him, and blame Him because He hasn’t corrected our wrongs for us, we don’t see the love in His eyes as He reaches out for the rescue. We don’t hear His sweet whispers of hope, and the plans He has for our future. We don’t feel the warmth of His arms holding us close, keeping us safe. We only see what we want to see–that all that has happened to us is not fair, not our fault, and our God could have “done something”.
God has already done it. And because we can choose to fall away, or to fall close, our outcomes may be very different indeed. Since we have chosen to fall close, we are seeing a renewing of our spirits, hope for the future, and trust in the only One who is worthy of receiving it.
“The LORD is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you.” 2 Chronicles 15:2 (NIV)
How have you chosen to fall–close or away? If you could change it, would you?