Wednesday, October 26, 2022

"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. 

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing." 

Psalm 37:23-26 (NIV)

I allowed myself to fall annually during the years I was training for marathons. Falling was not my favorite thing about distance running. It was sometimes inevitable, part of the deal if I may say so. 

My steps were not firm the times I fell. I remember being in the middle of a pack of runners and falling. I heard a sympathetic voice say "we all fell before. Get up. Keep going" and she extended her hand to get me up. 

I felt more than camaraderie. I felt understood.

David writes about God making our steps firm when we delight in him. My delighting these days comes from burying my nose in the Bible. I tune my ears to the words of life. My steps become firm because I learn what pleases Him. I choose to do what I read. 

In our humanity, we stumble. God will not let us fall for He upholds us with his hand. 

The word "he fell" in Christianity has been connected to the sins we dislike the most. We all have a list of big ones no one should ever do. Instead of going to the list, I prefer to think of "fall" in context with doing the opposite of delighting in the Lord. 

I recently spent some time entertaining my fears and anxieties. I spent time focusing on the things that cause me pain and uncertainty. While there is nothing wrong with this human behavior, the continuity of it caused me not to experience delight in the Lord. 

When I focus on my fear, I miss my chance to focus on the only One who can cast away my fears with His perfect love. I see my next behavior as a dance. I take a break from entertaining my fears and experiencing anxiety. I go back to delighting in the Lord. 

I call this a dance because I go back and forth. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that I perfectly delight every day of my life. I stumble quite a bit. I'm glad God's hand is always extended to me. 

On a recent morning, I woke up with a heavy heart. I did all I knew to do. I prayed before getting up. I got dressed for CrossFit. I made coffee. I can't remember praying a second time on my knees. I was overwhelmed. I opened my Bible. My eyeballs stopped at "I have never seen the righteous forsaken." 

Somehow, my fears melted away. It was pretty close to the experience of having a new heart. It's amazing how much room fear occupies in the heart. When it leaves, life becomes new. It was easier to breathe. 

I had been concerned about that very thing. God sent me the answer. 

He does not forsake the righteous. He sees me. He cares. He will take care of it.

I invite you to follow the path that leads to God's unchanging hands. They are ever extended towards you. 

Yes, you may stumble. Your feet may get a little off balance. He won't let you fall. I invite you to do whatever it takes to delight yourself in the Lord. Not because you want something back from Him. We delight because there is no better way to live. I bring ashes, He gives beauty. I bring wobbly feet, He makes them firm. He is faithful. It is His nature to care for His children.

He is solid like that. I want to depend on Him. 

How about you?

Prayer: Lord, I bring you a heart overwhelmed with fear. I need your peace. I bring you ashes. I need your beauty. Make my feet firm so I can walk towards Your will. You alone are the lifter of my head. In You I trust. Thank you for not forsaking me. I delight myself in You alone. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.