Have you tripped over a tree root, slipped on a wet rock, fallen off a tall ladder or misjudged the street curb? I have—and I’m usually not a clumsy guy.
I’ve also landed flat on my face on the hard asphalt, collided with a stone wall and hit my head on the bottom of the pool—more times than I can remember.
It’s embarrassing when you fall in front of people—because they see everything. Some laugh and tease you. Others gawk and point at you. No matter their response, it’s humiliating.
When I was a boy, I pedaled my tricycle into a big wooden toy box, flipped over the handlebars and landed inside—right in front of everybody on the back patio. In grade school, I fell off the steps of a stagecoach at Knott’s Berry Farm—right in front of a long line of waiting people.
In college, I lost control of a big Kawasaki and slid across wet pavement—right in front of my buddies. As a young husband, I crashed my ten-speed on Pacific Coast Highway and took a big nose-dive onto the blacktop—right in front of rush hour traffic.
Everybody stumbles. We trip, slip and fall down. We make mistakes, do foolish stuff and mess things up. Sometimes, we deliberately do what we know is wrong. We disobey and rebel against God and his teachings.
Maybe you blew it yesterday. Yelled at your wife. Sassed your mother. Criticized your pastor. Hurt your friend. Bad-mouthed your boss. Gossiped about your neighbor. Kicked your dog.
The Bible tells the stories of Godly men and women who blew it—and knew it. They zigged when they should’ve zagged. They went left when they should’ve gone right. They went south when they should’ve gone north. They wandered and strayed from God.
Like them, we stumble—and face the awful consequences of our sin. But thankfully, after we repent and confess our sin, God lavishes his amazing grace on us, and forgives and restores us. The Bible says, “…though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again” (Proverbs 24:16).
That’s not a blank check or a green light for us to say and do what we know is sinful and wrong. Instead, it’s a sure guarantee of God’s restoring grace and transforming power.
Know this, if what we say and do doesn’t square with the Scriptures, we’re off in the weeds—and God doesn’t want us to stay there. That’s why God opens his arms, cups his mouth and calls out: “Son, get back on track! Daughter, get right with me!”
God wants us to change our course—and make a 180-turn back to him. He invites us to run to his side, take his hand and walk with him. He longs to forgive, cleanse and restore us.
Always remember, our forgiving Father patiently waits for us to repent and reach out to him. He’s ready to pick us up and dust us off—and eager to extend grace and forgiveness!