Slipping and falling is a VERY big deal! It’s the accident with the highest odds of dying, and traumatic brain injury. What could any of this POSSIBLY have to do with faith?
I’ll try to make that connection in a moment, but first, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — the top spot on the internet for coffee with a cleric. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend! Join our email list to get a free copy of my book COUNT TO ONE, get Mornings with Bishop Robert sent directly to your inbox each morning, and lots of other great benefits. Click the link in the description.
I was entering a building during Hurricane Ian. The rain was falling, the floor was wet and slick. As I stepped off a mat and onto wet tile I almost became a living illustration of Simon and Garfunkel’s classic song “Slip Slidin’ Away.”
Today’s verse comes from the Book of Psalms. WHEN I SAID, “MY FOOT IS SLIPPING!” YOUR LOVING KINDNESS, LORD, HELD ME UP.
“The nearer your destination, the more you’re slip sliding away.” Like the three people Paul Simon wrote about, it’s all too easy to take our eyes off the things that are most important, to lose sight of the destination to which we are called. But the odds get worse when we are under attack from an enemy determined to keep us from our destination.
Simon highlights a man afraid that the pain of the relationship will consume him, a woman battling depression due to unrealized goals and a child abandoned by his father. And the song STILL made number five on the charts! Add in the schemes and attacks that the psalmist faced – wicked evildoers pouring out their arrogant words as they seek to crush God’s people and oppress them, vicious folk who slay widow and foreigner, who murder the fatherless – and the situation seems to be hopeless.
The darkest of times can make people feel as though God doesn’t see. In their darkness they fear that He will take no notice. Depression can make you feel alone, even abandoned. You almost grasp your goal, but “the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip sliding away.” And then you wonder where God has gone to?
But don’t forget in the darkness the lessons you learned in the light.
Does He who fashioned the ear not hear? Does He who formed the eye not see? Does He who teaches mankind lack wisdom? Of course not! The God who was powerful enough to do all these things and more hasn’t suddenly walked away. He will never forsake His people. It is in our times of deepest need that we see the Lord step in. WHEN I SAID, “MY FOOT IS SLIPPING!” YOUR LOVING KINDNESS, LORD, HELD ME UP. When we come to the point of realizing that we don’t have the power within us to overcome all the obstacles and armies we face, that’s when we understand the truth. That’s when we say, “Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.”
Then His unfailing love steps in and changes everything. He reveals His purpose. He delivers His strength. He becomes our fortress and provides the protection we need. And we find that the very strength He develops in us as we battle is the strength we need to accomplish the goals He has set before us and become the people He has created us to be.
Paul Simon was close! He understood that “God only knows” and that “God makes His plan.” But he was mistaken when he thought that the information was unavailable to mortal man. Because God leads, guides and direct. Yes, God reveals. And then God changes.
And we, when we are holding on in faith, find ourselves in a metamorphosis we could never have conceived. Though we may think our cocoon is our grave, we who thought we were dying find ourselves emerging — totally transformed. The circumstances we thought were binding us were the very things God was using to strengthen us and prepare us for what lies ahead.
Just when the caterpillar thought its life was over, it began to fly.