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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stumbling

Stumbling


In order to win their souls "[God] relies on the troughs even more than the peaks;...He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles."
C.S.Lewis "The Screwtape Letters"

I dislike the troughs of life, don't you? The times of fervent prayer, of desire to do God's will no matter what, the zeal for early morning devotions eventually give way to dryness and valleys and spiritual emptiness. Even in the midst of mountaintop experiences there lives the faint knowledge that they can't last, mustn't last, if we are to learn and grow. How else would we share our radiance?

I have had times in my life, more in my thirties than my twenties, when I have felt God has let go of my hand. I flounder about, wobble a bit and fall over.

"Why did you let go?" I shout, "I need you!"

"I'm here," He says quietly from behind me, "but you must take a step on your own."

Again, I reach out and try to balance myself within the storms life throws at me, and again I stumble, disappointing myself; I'm certain God must be disappointed too. I look back to see his reaction, and He is smiling gently, forgivingly, as I push myself back up. I get strength from that smile. I know I'll fall yet again, but this time it doesn't feel quite so hopeless...

Zachary, our one-year-old, is learning to walk. He took his first tentative steps a month ago but still preferred to crawl or be carried. It took him a couple of weeks to decide to practice a bit more and this week has really caught on. A couple of days ago he spent twenty minutes taking steps around the room from me to the table, to the couch, to the window, to the chair and back to me. Each time he fell (which was quite often), instead of getting up where he was, he would put his head down, cry out in frustration, and crawl back to me before starting again.

I'm the place he wants to start from. He needs to have me at his back to begin, I thought as he crawled to me for the fifth time. To be that safe place for him showed me how God feels about my stumbles and mistakes.

He wants to be the origin of our every journey.

Yet how often do I start somewhere else? How often do I, the memory of a recent sin fresh in my mind, dust myself off and get back up without checking to see if He's at my back? For Zachary, it is second nature to begin at his source of confidence- me. Oh, how I want to see God as that source for me, not just in theory but in practice!

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence.
Psalm 71:5


Do you have sins you fall into on a regular basis? Do you have trouble believing God can forgive them yet again?

Are you frustrated by the times when it feels like God has let go of you? How have you grown in those times?



Christine can be found daily at her personal blog:

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8 Comments:

Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

Awesome post! I know in those times when I have fallen and feel to weak to find my way up, He's always been there to stretch out His hand. It's in those times that His strength is felt so strongly. We all love the mountain tops but it's in those pits that the strength and glory of God are felt with such intensity. No matter where we are on the mountain let's remember to rejoice in the Lord always!
Blessings,
Kim

June 25, 2008 at 4:40 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Really good post, thanks.

June 25, 2008 at 5:16 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Hi, I am in my fifties and even though I have a wonderful family and friends around me, there are many things that only God can see me through. I enjoyed reading your post. I like the part about your son learning to walk! Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

June 25, 2008 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

I loved this word! And more than that, I needed it today.
Thank you Christine for a sensitive, solid word.

June 25, 2008 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Cindy Swanson said...

Wonderful post, Christine. I know people may get tired of the way everything seems to remind me of a song, but your post did! It's "Stay Strong" by the Newsboys. The words are really wonderful and encouraging, but it does speak of those "down" times when we need to stay strong. You can hear it and see a video that goes along with it here:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZbnKW1gHRzE

June 25, 2008 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger Sue Cramer said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement!
Sue

June 26, 2008 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger a woman found said...

I was just writing about those times myself this morning. I'm in 'em ...stumbling around, feeling like I'm in a free fall...God is teaching me to walk by faith but I think I must be like a stubborn child that just lays there and throws a fit because He's not picking me up! Oh Lord, forgive me! I will get up and walk...make that stumble...and I'll keep going and trust you!

Thanks Christine!
Sheila

(now I'm off to check out your blog!)

June 26, 2008 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Buffy said...

Very inspiring, thanks

June 28, 2008 at 6:26 AM  

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