Sunday, February 03, 2008

Just like riding a bike

He lost his balance.

While I was driving home from church, I saw him. He looked like a teenager- no longer a boy, yet not mature enough to be a man. A little gangly and awkward, he was riding his bike. He crossed my path just ahead of me, then I saw him again when I turned to go home.

That's when he fell. Somehow, he steered his bike just off the road and into a groove where his wheels were caught and the jolt of it all sent him soaring. He landed on a bed of pine straw among some newly planted landscaping.

I slowed down and rolled down my window, "Are you Okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," he said in a teenager's voice, his cheeks red with embarrassment. Then he brushed himself off, got back on his bike, and continued to ride.

He did look fine. He suffered more from the embarrassment than from the fall itself.

I thought to myself, as I neared home, "That's how we are as believers."

Sometimes we are going along our walk and for some reason, we fall. We don't fall from grace. Grace is a gift eternal. No, we fall in our walk as Christians, not still babes in Christ, but not yet mature.

Maybe we've offended another, or maybe we find it hard to forgive the one who has offended us. Or we have fallen short in other ways- in our prayer life, our thought life, our devotional time with God. Or maybe all of these have happened along the way and we feel that we have failed.

The wonderful part is that we can brush ourselves off and get back on. Sometimes the pain of embarrassment as we have failed as a believer can be worse than the "fall" itself. Knowing that fellow Christians have seen us stumble, we often drop our heads in shame and pull away from our brothers and sisters in Christ.

But, do you know what? Our sister or brother in Christ is there to help us up, to brush us off and to hold our hand along the way. If she offers her help in love, there really is no need for us to be embarrassed.

God is there to help us back up, too. In fact, He is first to arrive on the scene. Once we have accepted Jesus, God has promised to guide us into maturity in Christ and we must persevere-

"Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:4-5

God's Word also tells us that just as He promises to save us through the blood of Jesus Christ, He promises not to give up on us, leading and guiding us along the way, no matter how many times we lose our balance. We must keep on keeping on, keeping our focus on Jesus, the One who suffered so that we may live with Him in Heaven.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3

You can do it, fellow believer. You can make it to the finish line. Keep your eyes on The One who has already won the race.


Jeanne robinson said...

Wow! You ought to be a writer. you are so good. Your blog sounds just like me. I fail everyday, and I never looked at it they way God has showed you. I am telling you I am so glad God has put us togather. It feels so good to have such wonderful Christian ladies to care for each other. What would we do without our Lord and Savior and our friends. Thanks for all you do. You are such an inspiration to me. God Bless jeanne

Grafted Branch said...

"But, do you know what? Our sister or brother in Christ is there to help us up, to brush us off and to hold our hand along the way. If she offers her help in love, there really is no need for us to be embarrassed."

My favorite line of your wonderful exhortation. A real-life friend and I were just today talking along the same true Sisters forgive and come along side and love us.

Jennifer Owens said...

My initial reaction to seeing the boy falling- I would have probably laughed rather than pulled over to make sure he's ok. I'm kind of mean like that I spose. And I'm fairly easily amused, even at the expense of others, which sounds kind of ugly, but I'm being transparent here. But, I would consider myself a professional faller - a grace hog so-to-speak. My embarassment over my sin (because usually it's the same thing I fall into again and again) always leads me to shame and wanting to pull away from those that love me - afraid that I'll be laughed at or mocked because I just can't get it right. Thankfully Jesus has never laughed at me, even in my embarassment and my head hanging in shame, there's always grace and love as a result of my fall. And because of that, I've always been able to get back up again, shake the dust off, and keep on running. Man, our Savior is just awesome. (o:

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

The last three lines mean a lot to me. Thanks.

Roxanne said...

Excellent, excellent post, Melanie.

Misslisslee said...

What a wonderful word. Too often, we're gawking and criticizing, and not offering help as God commanded. Thanks for sharing.