Today I read Psalm 37, one of my favorites.
"The steps of a man are established (or ordered) by the Lord. And He delights in his way. When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand." Ps. 37: 23-24
Many times we focus on verse 23 as we walk through this life. It's comforting to know that your steps are being laid out before you by the Lord. I have a friend who prays everyday "Lord, order my steps today" and by faith believes that He does! If we follow the ordered steps of the Lord, we will reach our intended and ordained destination. But verse 24 kind of breaks up our journey in a way we often don't want to think about. It says "when he falls". Not "if he falls", but "when" he falls.
When I was a little girl, my Daddy used to take me on walks. Sometimes we would walk the quaint streets of the little town where he grew up. Other times we would walk on the rocky shore of the Antietam creek so we could watch the carp frolicking in the waters below. If we were home, we would walk the "big hill" that was part of the circular road that encompassed our neighborhood. I used to love these walks because I could hold my Dad's hand the whole time. His hand always felt so big and strong. I knew that if I tripped over the uneven sidewalk, slipped on the damp rocks or stumbled on the big hill, my Dad's strong hand would pull me up just in the nick of time and I would not be hurt. Occasionally I would stub a toe or scrape a knee, but I was never seriously injured on our little adventures. If my scrapes made it uncomfortable to walk or I just got tired, my Dad would put me on his shoulders and carry me the rest of the way. I would just lean over with my arms and hug his neck. Not once did we ever fail to make it home.
I guess the thing we really don't like about verse 24 is that it confronts us with our humanity. "When" we fall because we are fallible, vulnerable, imperfect beings. As much as we live and grow in Christ, the fact remains that we are human and we fail from time to time. We stumble along the way. And from what this verse says, it happens even when we are walking in the steps ordered of the Lord. But the promise remains that WHEN we do, His strong hand will be holding onto ours and will catch us before we fall headlong and really hurt ourselves. Whether the result of our fall is a stubbed toe, a scraped knee or a broken heart, we will not be destroyed. God will hold onto us and keep us on that path that He has ordained for us to walk. And if the injury is so painful we feel we can't go on, He will pick us up and carry us until we can or until we reach our destination.
Today, walk through your day with the sense of our big God holding your small hand. Know that if you stumble or if you fall, God will hold onto you and you will not be "hurled headlong". His hand holding yours will guide you back onto the path and keep you there. And even if you feel that you can't go on, He will carry you if He has to and you will reach your intended goal. And while He carries you, be sure to reach down with your arms and give his neck a hug.