March 4, 2019
So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:12,13 NRSV)
She had me in stitches
Half way up the staircase I made the turn for the second rise when I remembered I had forgotten something. Turning back to go down my foot caught air and I belly-surfed down the stairs. A sudden and complete stop at the bottom smashed my glasses into my eyebrow and a bit of a gash was created. The gentle doc at the clinic installed 13 stitches and I was almost as good as new.
The fall was sudden, unexpected and somewhat scary for a brief moment. Our vacation plans for the day were changed and I felt like an idiot. At many other points in my life I have found air where I thought solid ground existed – it was usually some sort of arrogance that gave me false confidence that led to destructive behaviour.
The news is full of political, spiritual and business organizations being embarrassed by sexual, judicial, moral and financial abuse behind a façade of moral probity. We have to be careful not to judge too quickly. It is people like us who go along with standing on air, not principle, that leads to collectively falling down the stairs of moral failure.
We face tests all the time that need to be engaged with the power of the one who keeps us in his Fatherly gaze, who lived his life among us and now guides us by the Spirit.
A Prayer for Today
Help me, Lord, to remember the blessed life that was once lived out on this common earth, under these ordinary skies. May I take this memory into each task and duty of today.
Help me to remember –
His eagerness to help others, rather than be helped;
Hi sympathy with suffering of every kind;
His bravery in the face of his own suffering;
His gentleness toward others, so that when he was abused he did not retaliate;
His steadiness of purpose in keeping his appointed task;
His serenity of spirit;
His complete reliance upon you, his Father in heaven.
(A Diary of Private Prayer John Baillie. Scribner)