The steps of a GOOD MAN ARE ORDERED BY THE LORD…Psa. 37:23
Maybe you’ve never taken a fall, slipped on the ice or missed a step, but I did, just last week. Not only was it a blow to my ego, but it plain hurt. And really I’m a sissy when it comes to pain. “Ordered steps,” what a great promise! “…none of his steps shall slide.” (vs. 31) Even a better one, right? Then why did I slip? As I lay on the floor I really was wondering if I was “good” or not.
I had just lectured my Grandsons on the need for safety around the boat dock and now it was Pop’s who was having to explain why he wasn’t more careful. The seven year old had a little compassion, but the four year old thought it was funny. He was laughing … I was not.
He thought the entire ordeal was a staged comedy routine just to make him laugh. Over the next several days he would get down on the floor where I was stuck and rehearse then entire scene over and over again. Every time he told the story of how I fell between the boat and the dock he would laugh hysterically. I’m so glad I entertain him.
“Pops, your hands were in the air and you were boncing off the dock and then the boat. You went under the water. Your hat got all wet. Grandma was yelling at you. It was so funny. Could you that again, we need a picture.” He was sure this was one of my stunts!
The challenge with having taken a fall is not just the few days immediately after the event, but the residual, lingering limitations that continue to annoy me. I bend over and can’t straighten up or I get so uncomfortable in the night that I find myself wondering through the house trying to get comfortable again. And forget doing anything of substance because if you lift anything you know you’ll be sitting for another two hours of glorious boredom.
Well just pray and ask God to heal you. I did, and Zeke was still giggling in the corner. In fact he would pray with me and then say, “Pappa you were so funny.”
“The steps of a good man are ordered…” As I lay there on the floor I began to hear the voice of the Lord. “You’ve been awfully busy of late. You’ve been wounded and yet you kept going. You’ve been hurt, and you haven’t taken time to let My healing be completed in your soul. Be still and let me renew your soul and body.”
I don’t think He made me slip, but I do believe that when we slip He is there to take what was meant for evil and accomplish a greater good than we could have ever imagined. Even our slips are seed for His purpose. Over the last week as the pain in my body subsided I could sense the Spirit doing a deeper work within.
In the midst of Zeke’s laughter I begin to hear a chorus of laughter. The psalmist wrote, “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh…” (Psalms 2:4) The Lord laughs at the attempts of the enemy. “He knows that “no weapon formed against us shall prosper.” (Is. 54) I wonder if Zeke could hear the laughter of heaven? “A merry heart does good like a medicine…” (Pr. 17:22) Maybe Zeke’s laughter was the best prayer of all.
In this limited state I began to feel the warmth of His Love soothe over those places of wounded-ness. Words that were spoken, feelings that were pushed aside. Here on the floor I could feel Him stoop down into my condition and comfort those areas in my life that I had not taken the time to bring to Him.
His whispers made me smile. His breathe was refreshing on my heart. I could sense the heaviness of the last months lift from my shoulders. Maybe that step was ordered. Maybe, just maybe …. He was there in my mis-step. He joined me on the floor. He worked in me on things that I didn’t even know were there. Funny … uh?
Maybe Zeke’s (the four year old) laughter was the appropriate response. Thanks Buddy!
Have you seen God work in or through you in spite of your “slips?”