I’m running late today.
Actually, I don’t feel like running at all. But I do have a good excuse. I’ll explain, but first, I want to share this verse of Scripture.
“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”1 Corinthians 10:12, ESV
Anyone can fall.
Everyone doesn’t have to fall.
Some error in thinking that those who fall were never really standing. Perhaps, they presume, they only thought they were standing. Nonetheless, I’ll leave that ongoing theological quandary alone and get on with my point.
I experienced a physical fall less than 36 hours ago. I was standing on the side of scaffolding when one of the most embarrassing slips of my life occurred. This fall had nothing to do with my feet. I mistakenly missed my next handhold.
It was quite surreal. For a few hours, I was in shock. From about 12 feet high, I fell backward. As I was falling, I could sense that I had nothing to grab or no one to stop my quick descent.
Gravity was merciless. I was subject to its law, even though I did not want to be. God was merciful. I was subject to His loving kindness, even though I did not deserve it.
Surely, goodness and mercy follow me. And I’m certain that the angel assigned to me had to act quickly because God’s not finished with me yet.
Two rows of high-quality padded church chairs absorbed the fall of my helpless body. They caught me and their shape now tell that story. Had they not been there, I suspect a totally different outcome would be explained by my family.
Four of our good chairs are no longer usable. They are broken. All four of my limbs are still usable. They are not broken.
Perhaps you have fallen before and can understand. The fall itself did not hurt me. It was the landing. I am bruised, but not broken.
Thank God, two other men were with me at the scene of the accident. In shock, they weren’t sure how to proceed. I insisted that they help me get up because I could feel myself about to faint. After standing upright and struggling to refill my lungs with air, I insisted they pray for me.
Obvious questions came my way for the remainder of the day. “Why did you fall?” Gravity. Gravity insisted. “How did you fall?” Down. I fell down.
You see, no one ever plans to fall. There is some amount of overconfidence that precedes a fall. But that too is quite obvious.
That person who has spiritually fallen also needs help. They are definitely bruised and possibly broken beyond what they think is repairable.
The spiritual first responders are not there to judge the cause of the fall. The Holy Spirit will take care of that convincing. The first responders have the merciful duty to help you stand again. The triage ministry of prayer must be lovingly applied for healing to begin.
There is a need for ongoing care for the fallen. The next few weeks contain critical stages of development. Keep a check on the fallen and encourage them that they can stand by the grace of God.
You should also consider yourself, in all humility.
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”Galatians 6:1-2, ESV