Several weeks before Christmas, my four-year old son broke his foot. He wore a splint for a week and then a cast on his foot for another three weeks. His foot hurt badly for several days. He was extremely reluctant to put any weight at all on his foot, so we wound up carrying him a lot of the time. Winter being what it is in northern Ohio, there was a lot of snow and ice on the ground, and carrying him through that was not easy. We were all looking forward to getting the cast off and having him walk on his own again. In due time the cast was removed, and my husband and I thought everything would be all right. Our son had other ideas.
My son is a very cautious boy, and it took nearly two more weeks of coaxing, pleading, demanding, encouragement, and frustration before he would even consider using his foot again. He knew that it hurt once to put weight on his foot, and he wasn't about to risk its hurting again.
After all of that, there is a spiritual application here. So many, many times in our Christian lives we too stumble and fall, and often we get hurt. A very familiar passage states "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). It is what we do after we fall that makes all the difference to our future Christian lives. Many times our mistakes hurt, and sometimes they may seem to be permanently crippling. We may think that we have just gone too far to ever come back to God and start walking the Christian life again. Thankfully, God is far greater than any of our problems. I John 1:9 says very plainly "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." There are no limitations or exceptions put on that statement.
We often forget that there were two apostles who betrayed Jesus. We know that Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Peter, though, three times denied knowing Jesus at the mockery that was considered His trial. Judas' name has gone down through history as representing the basest kind of treachery. Peter, however, is one of the best known and best loved of all the apostles. What made the difference in how history has treated these two men? The answer can be found in their reactions when they realized they had sinned. Judas let his sin overwhelm him, his guilt driving him to suicide. Peter repented and went on to preach the gospel to the multitudes on Pentecost, introducing thousands to the church.
We should remember that God can and will help us to get back up after we have fallen. We should be encouraging each other as well, because we all have weaknesses (Galatians 6:1). Ladies, this is an area where we can do much good in the Lord's kingdom. Cards, phone calls, visits, and even a simple kind word or two can go a long way toward picking someone back up. The road to heaven isn't always a smooth one, but it can be a lot easier if we help each other as we travel down it. -29 Flora Drive, Bedford, OH 44146. Drkenney@att.net
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