I don’t even remember getting onto my wheelchair lift. All I know is that David said he heard a big boom and came rushing to the living room. There I lay – unconscious for a short while, then disoriented – having back-flipped, maybe even somersaulted to our hickory hardwood floor fourteen inches below.
Falling has not been uncommon in my life with a physical disability. Falling with no warning was actually the reason I stopped walking on artificial limbs after fifty years.
Then there was the morning long ago when an unexpected fall shook my faith. I had read and claimed Psalm 91:11-12 that morning in my daily devotions. Lord, I rejoice that Your angels steady me on my artificial limbs so I won’t stumble. That was the morning one of our three daughters parked her bike at the front door so that when I backed down the three steps as was my custom I STUMBLED.
I must confess that tumble landed a chink in my armor of faith. God, I thought You said Your angels would keep me from falling? Where were they?
A chink in my armor of faith? Is that Christian? I believe it is. And I believe that God takes full responsibility for eliminating our chinks with His day after day and year after year presence. He invites us to give our doubts and our danders to Him since He is big enough to resolve them. Meanwhile He encourages us to admit them to ourselves and others as He heals us with His peaceful presence often most evident to us on those days when we land flat on our backs.
Two decades later – it wasn’t a bike that took me down, just some distraction or overconfidence on a lift that takes me up and down dozens of times a day. Having twenty more years of experiencing Immanuel – God with us – under my belt I am comforted knowing that He was with me. Jesus was that You I spotted stretched out beside me on the hardwood?
What about you, dear friend? Do you have chinks in your armor of faith? Have you trusted God for safety for yourself or a loved one to only have calamity strike? Was a foxhole prayer followed by seeming silence from heaven?
God’s ways are not our ways; actually His ways prove better than ours. And for those who choose, His presence is 24/7 in the highs and lows. Shepherd, I need You now! puts Him smack dab in the middle of all that touches us. Then just knowing He’s there cushions the inevitable blows of this life.
On the brink of 2012 I pass on to you one of my favorite faith-strengtheners – Ruth Harms Calkin’s paraphrase of Romans 8:38-39:
God, I may fall flat on my face; I may fail until I feel old and beaten and done in. Yet Your Love for me is changeless. All the music may go out of my life, my private world may shatter to dust. Even so, You will hold me in the palm of Your Steady Hand. No turn in the affairs of my fractured life can baffle You.
Satan with all His braggadocio cannot distract You. Nothing can separate me from Your Measureless Love- pain can’t, disappointment can’t, anguish can’t. Yesterday, today, tomorrow can’t. The loss of my dearest love can’t. Death can’t. Life can’t. Riots, war, insanity, un-identity, hunger, neurosis, disease – none of these things nor all of them heaped together can budge the fact that I am dearly loved, completely forgiven, forever free through Jesus Christ Your Beloved Son.