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Falling Headlong

Our steps are made firm by the Lord, when he delights in our way; though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand (Psalm 37:23-24 NRSV).

I don’t really like heights. I don’t really like standing at the precipice or edge of high places. It scares me. Don’t misunderstand. I am not scared or terrified of heights. I will visit canyons and hike mountain tops and enjoy it. I fear falling. If I am standing in a glass enclosure looking out, I feel safer. If I am secured by a safety harness on the edge of a height, I feel more comfortable. Even though I don’t like heights, I can trust the enclosure or safety harness to keep me from falling headlong to my death.

How do you feel during these times? Sometimes, I feel like I am on the edge of cliff. I am looking over and feel like I am going to fall, and I can’t see the bottom. I am not sure how we all got to this cliff side, and I am not sure knowing would help. So, here we are. Is there anything or anyone than keep us from falling headlong? I take comfort in the words of this Psalm, that “we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand.” We all face an uncertain future, but God is holding us. Even if we stumble, it does not mean it will result in our doom. God is making our steps firm.

These verses disguise a condition, though. Our steps are made firm as we walk in a way that pleases God. If we refuse the hand that God is extending, the fall can hurt and hurt bad. If we refuse the safety harness God is giving us, there could be great danger and pain ahead. Nevertheless, let’s take comfort that the Lord holds us by the hand, so that we don’t fall headlong. If we need to turn around take God’s hand, now is the time.