(Thanks to Fred C. for inspiration on this one.)
"Get Up, and Get Up Now!"
I've had a couple of falls on wet sidewalks during our walks in the past few months. The first took me down quite hard, splayed my left leg in an unsightly direction, and bounced my head on the hard concrete below (so far, the homeowner on whose sidewalk I fell has not filed a lawsuit for the destruction caused by my hard noggin!). I thought I might be significantly injured in the first prone moments. After arising to test things, however, I was fine, with nothing more than a sore knee for a few days. I went down again the other day, but this time with less force and less concern that I might be injured. I'm grateful for the Lord's safekeeping, and that neither spill kept me from the walks that Frances and I greatly enjoy.
"The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down" (Psalm 145:14).
The first fall intrigues me until this day. Again, I lay a bit dazed, and most concerned that I might have seriously injured my left knee (that joint already having undergone the surgical knife due to a high school basketball injury). My thought and motivation, however, directed me to get up as quickly as possible (I also had the same response after the lesser fall). I wanted to know the extent of any damage. Thankfully, the force of the fall did not correlate with the extent of any injury. I was a bit surprised, but thrilled to know. Moreover, I have no doubt our Heavenly Father graciously preserved me from ongoing consequences of the fall.
All this causes me to think of falling in other ways. Sometimes our spiritual enemies are allowed by God to knock us down. This happens in countless ways as the world, the devil, and the flesh seek to discourage our walk with the Lord. When we realize we are under such attack, we must arise as quickly as possible, remembering the Scriptural promises that assure us we can stand up to continue our walk with God in peace, assurance, and "the power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20). On other occasions, we cast ourselves down, as it were, distrusting and disobeying our Lord, and lying along the path of righteousness in full knowledge that we have sinned. In such times, we must yet again arise as quickly as possible. We do God, ourselves, and others no favors by wallowing in self pity when we yield to our flesh. An honest, repentant heart is surely in order, and restitution toward people if any human being is hurt by our fall. However, "Get up, and get up now!" would be the sound of the Holy Spirit's voice if we could audibly hear Him. The atoning work and ongoing Heavenly intercession of the Lord Jesus makes possible our quick restoration from times of failure, enabling us to walk with our Heavenly Father so that we avoid other pitfalls along the way (Hebrews 7:25).
"Get up, and get up now!" The Spirit of God convicts rather than coddles when we fall. He also encourages us by directing our attention to the Word of God's affirmation of the saving work of Christ from enemies, and from our own indiscretions. I arose as quickly as possible to discover the consequences of my physical falls. We must arise even more quickly when spiritual stumbles occur, discovering the power of the Lord Jesus to redeem, and the enabling of the Holy Spirit to restore us to a walk of faith and faithfulness.
"I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found."
Weekly Memory Verse
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.