When A Christian Falls

by Pastor Scott Godinez
There is a phrase commonly spoken by motorcyclists. I first heard it from a seasoned rider about 80 years old. He said to me with a wry smile, as old men often do, “Scott, there’s only two types of motorcycle riders out there, the ones who have gone down, and the ones who are going down.”

His words resonated with me. 

Fortunately for me, I am not a motorcycle rider, I am a bicycle rider! 

Nonetheless, his words still apply, because today—I fell off my bike. 

It was such an unexpected fall, I had already ridden several miles, climbed 1000 vertical feet of hills and raced back down them on wheels as wide as your big toe—yet I didn’t fall. In fact, it was about 100 feet from my car, I was on a median preparing to turn into the parking lot and it happened. A bee or some large flying devil-bug nailed me in the throat and startled me so much that I lost my balance, and before I knew it my wheels slipped out beneath me and I was sideways, sliding across the pavement.

Besides a few minor scrapes on my bike and some scrapes on my skin it seems I’ll survive to ride again. I was more mentally shaken up than anything else. I haven’t fallen off my bike for several years. In that time I have ridden to the top of Mount Evans, Lookout Mountain in Golden, and all over Denver. 

But today, it was nothing more than a small bug knocking me off balance, and it sent me to the pavement. 

How similar it is for our lives as well! I think we could easily adapt my friends’ words: “There’s only two types of people, the ones who have faced adversity, and the ones who are going to face adversity.” 

What I want to draw your attention to is the difference between when a person falls, and when a Christian falls. 

What I want to draw your attention to is the difference between when a person falls, and when a Christian falls. 

One of my favorite quotes is from the late pastor, Adrian Rogers, allow me to paraphrase, the best way to really know someone isn’t to look at their actions, but to look at their reactions. Most of our actions are planned, most of our days are routine and when everything is going according to plan it’s easy to appear strong and confident. 

When something unexpected comes up, when the car doesn’t start, the house doesn’t sell, the phone doesn’t ring, how do you react? 

I love Psalm 112, when the author is speaking about the characteristics of the one who fears God, 

“They will have no fear of bad news;

Their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”

“What you fear the most reveals, where you trust God the least.”

-Craig Groeschel 

The antidote to a worrying heart is submission and trust in the Lord. When a Christian is facing any hardship, we must never allow worry or fear to steal our joy in the goodness of God! 

We are not people without a hope. We are not people who need worry that our hope is in vain! Psalm 25:3 makes it clear that “no one who hopes in [God] will ever be put to shame”. 

Instead of wallowing in our worry, instead of fuming in our frustration, God calls his people to place their hope in him. While the first two may initially feel more comforting, it is only when we wait on God can we experience the fullness of his work in our lives. 

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

Lamentations 3:25

Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

James 5:11

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

– Isaiah 40:31

There is easy pleasure to feed the momentary desire to act out of our worry or our frustration, but God has called us to endure, to persevere, to humbly submit to his sovereign authority and wait for him. 

In fact, the word “wait” and its variations appears nearly 250 times throughout scripture. God is not flippantly calling us to wait, he is fully utilizing your perseverance in his plan. 

God is not flippantly calling us to wait, he is fully utilizing your perseverance in his plan. 

Our ability to wait on God is directly proportional to the degree we trust God. For this reason the Christian is distinct from the world in our trials, because we do not endure our suffering aimlessly. We persevere with purpose. 

So how do we handle the season of waiting? How do we react to living in the storm? What if it lasts a week? A month? A year or more? 

For me, after I fell off my bike this morning, I went home, took a shower, and decided to ride my bike to work.

The pain of the fall will linger a bit longer. The wounds on my arm and legs will be obvious for a bit longer. I may even limp for a day or two. But none of these things will dictate or derail God’s calling in my life and the unshakeable truth that I am deeply loved by him.

Did you know that? Just in case you need to be reminded today, God deeply loves YOU!

Like the apostle Peter, when we fall, when the weight of the waves distracts us and we begin to sink, Jesus is not only present, but he’s also holding out his hand. Take it. Peter didn’t look to the boat or anything else to save him. He knew there is only one who is able to save. 

We might fall, we might sink, even up to our necks on some days, but our Lord Jesus will never leave or forsake you.  

Today, Live the Gospel, remember that Jesus is our savior today, tomorrow and forever. We need only to reach out, and trust in him. 

Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.- William Wilberforce


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