Be honest. Have you ever fallen down in public? Have you ever tripped, slid or stumbled in a less than graceful manner to the point that if you didn’t laugh with everyone around you, you would probably cry? We are all susceptible to those clumsy moments where we miss a step on the stairs or maybe even trip over a line on the floor that isn’t there.
I read a familiar passage in the Word recently, and the conversation struck me much differently than it ever has before (love when the Lord does that). It is found in the gospels when Jesus is making the disciples aware of His upcoming death and resurrection, and that they would be made to stumble because of it. Peter emphatically made it clear that, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”
We know how the story went – Peter blew it. He did exactly what the Lord had told him he would do…in painful detail. However, what is hitting me from a different angle this morning is not so much the outcome, but the thought of “what if?”
Peter answered Jesus’ prediction of his denial of Him with denial. How fitting. He was absolutely certain of his ability to stand firm where the Lord was concerned. I mean, he was Peter, right? How could he possibly fall? He was one of the three who accompanied Jesus to the special places He would take James, John and himself. He was the only one who dared to step out of the boat. He was Peter. He wasn’t capable of falling. Oh, but he was…and he did.
What if he had responded in humility to the Lord’s warning? What if he had chosen to watch and pray in the garden? Jesus had told him that his spirit was willing, but his flesh was weak. What if he had recognized that his flesh was no match for the test that he was about to face?
It was when I didn’t see myself as one who would easily stumble that I soon landed in a face-plant. The old saying is so true: But for the grace of God, there go I. Should we trust in our own ability to remain upright, it is like we are daring to walk a tightrope…in high heels.
He opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Let us watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation. Let us be careful, lest we fall in trying to help someone else out of sin. Let us recognize that apart from Jesus, there is nothing good in us.
Don't wait until you are nose-diving onto the ground before you realize that you are human. It may help you to view the stumbles of others a little differently.
Father, I need You to keep me walking without falling. You are the only One who can keep me from stumbling, so please don’t let me trust in my own ability. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.