“For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.” Proverbs 24:16 NKJV
It seems like a simple question, right? “Why do we fall?”
Throughout history, so many people have answered that question in many different ways. Probably the most common and cliche response that most of us can think of is, “so that we can get back up.”
Recently, I’ve had a fall out of sorts. Some things happened and it seems as if I’m left to deal with the mess I’ve made. You see, things happen to us when we fall.
I vaguely remember the very first time I ever scraped my knee as a kid:
I was running on concrete like any normal child has done at least once in their life. Next thing you know, I lost my footing on some gravel and fell into what I thought was my demise. The momentum my body had been carrying bounced me off of the pavement and into the grass on the side of the road. When I looked, my knee had a pretty bad scrape. It had a bit of gravel and dirt in it, but it was also greenish from the grass I slid about a foot through. To be honest, it hurt a lot. I remember crying as my mom began to tend to the wound. All I could think to myself was, “man I’m never doing that again.”
Of course, I’ve definitely fallen since then, but that first bad fall will always be the one I look back on. That story is kind of awesome, because now that it’s stuck in my memory forever, it makes more sense to me now that I’ve grown up than it did when I was a kid.
Three things happened when I fell that are pretty important:
1) I got hurt.
2) I got dirty.
3) I cleaned it all up.
I’m pretty sure you might know where I’m going with this by now. Any time we fall in life, we are going to get hurt: sometimes physically, sometimes spiritually.
In the spiritual realm, we find ourselves, from time to time, running with reckless abandonment as if we’re children. Unfortunately, when we’re not careful though, we slip on sin, and that sin causes us to fall. The gravel on the road represents sin, and quite frankly, it is never where we expect it to be. It doesn’t decide to trip us up when it’s “convenient”. But nonetheless, it is there. And so we fall into the mud and realize we are a mess. Sometimes sin in our lives reveals to us just how dirty we are spiritually . . .
We forgot to pray that one morning,
or decided to read our Bibles another day.
We forgot to cleanse ourselves by the Blood of the Lamb, and it has resulted in an accumulation of filth to cling to us like an unpleasant aroma. We would have never seen it if we never tripped on the sin we should have spotted from miles away. At that point we have two choices.
We can wallow in the filth and feel pity for ourselves.
We can get up, brush ourselves off, and begin the process of cleaning ourselves up.
Sometimes, the cleansing process takes place in solitude, but most of the time, we have someone there to help us out — to point out our flawed lifestyle choices. It takes both time and intentional effort, but we needed the spiritual cleaning anyways, right?
The truth is: we were a mess long before we fell. I stand back and look …
at the mess that I have made
at all the sin that has clung on to me;
at the very people I could’ve gotten dirty just by coming in contact with.
And somehow, I thank God that I fell, because if it wasn’t for that fall, I never would have had enough self-awareness to realize that I needed to clean myself up, to turn to my God, and to seek Him in the midst of the muddy mire… all in hopes that He may pull me out of it.
A righteous man will fall, but what counts him as righteous is the fact that HE GETS BACK UP!
If you ever find yourself on the ground, just remember to get back up. We are made better because of it; God is glorified in it; and HIS GRACE gives us the opportunity to clean ourselves up, get back out there, and not fall for the same things all over again.
You have to believe that YOU ARE a world changer; that in your weakness, He is made strong, and that you CAN get back up. Don’t let some little mess make you forget that.
Don’t allow a bump in the road derail you.