Sunday, July 21 2024 - 6:37 AM
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Falling and Failing

When I was young, I remember falling off a pony, later a horse, several sleds, and some skies. I also fell out of a canoe. Yet I was able to get up, slightly bruised, and carry on. As one ages, there are more memories of falling and failing.

I have spent the last several weeks feeling very broken and vulnerable. I’m waiting for certain parts of my body to heal. And after that, I must learn how to balance being cautious while still enjoying life, since I know how easy it is to fall.

With that expressed, it dawns on me how much that describes those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Creator/Savior/Redeemer. It’s a snapshot of the struggles of the Christian life.  On a fairly regular basis, we fall and get hurt. Parts of us get broken and we aren’t sure if we will ever feel whole again. How easy it is to fall, to sin, to make mistakes that result in damages. Or to become the victim of another fallen person. And the falls may seem exponential after many years.

During pain and suffering, whether physical or mental, how many times have I felt abandoned? In John 14 Jesus promised his followers that he would give them a Counselor to be with them forever. He would not leave them orphans. The Holy Spirit is our gift to reside within us, to help guide, instruct and comfort.

Today I was reading Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”(NIV). Earlier in the same book, chapter 1, the apostle Paul writes about the power that is within us. “His incomparably great power for us who believe,” verse 19. In 2 Timothy 1:7 we are reminded, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

His Sustaining Strength

If I forget my gift— if I don’t stay attached to Jesus Christ through prayer, contemplation, study, fellowship, and service— then I am truly vulnerable to fall. The Holy Spirit is better than any crutch, walker or cane. He/she is my inner strength to love, knowing that I have a purpose. And when I fall or fail—and I will—I must return to the source of my power.

In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul refers to a physical affliction that troubled him for life. He begged the Lord to take away his problem, “But he [Jesus] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (verse 9). Paul learned to accept his condition and said that he “delighted” in weaknesses, “For when I am weak, then I am strong”(verse 10). This is a repeating and sustaining strength that is beyond physical therapy or medications.

How truly amazing that my God not only came to this earth as one of us, but he also is in, and with, every one of those who trust him. Power within for every step of the way.

Questions for personal journaling or for group discussion:

  1. What has been broken in your body or life, and have you seen God use that experience for good?
  2. What images come to you when you see the word “power?” Can you become a powerful person?

Karen Spruill writes from Florida.

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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