Psalm 119:9-12 – How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. (NIV)
A short time ago I went outside for my almost daily walk for exercise purposes, and found that the temperature had dropped considerably and about two centimetres of snow had fallen overnight. The drop in the temperature froze what had been left of earlier rain, and the snow successfully covered these frozen slippery patches. I discovered this in the most menial manner. I slipped. Oh! Thereafter I began to look for places where others out walking earlier had left their telltale slide marks in the snow. I thought I was pretty clever, until I slid where no-one previously had. Oops! I continued on my way with less confidence and more care. Still, I found hidden patches of ice and at one point was unable to stop my slide until I was on one knee. Whoa! I sort of laughed at myself, slightly embarrassed at the spectacle I must have made, had anyone been watching. On this occasion I was fortunate that I did not fall and hurt myself (ow!) or require assistance to get up.
Later, I started to think about how that daily walk was typical of my walk through life with Christ. Like my commitment to an (almost) daily exercise programme, I made a commitment to our Saviour. Like my series of adventures with the ice that day, my Christian life has been full of slips (oh!), slides (oops!) near falls (whoa!), and tumbles (ow!). Some of them would have gone unnoticed by most observers. Others were temporary glitches that would be embarrassing if observed by others, and, of course, there were times that, without someone else's help, I would have been left lying by the side of the road. Some of those slips I made in life came early and caught me unawares. As I matured as a Christian and as a person, I saw where others had slipped up and I was able to avoid those areas. I thought I was being careful with my life, but unfortunately I didn't know where all the traps are that Satan has set for me. I know that God has seen all of my "slips" large and small. I know that the times I fell hard, it was His help that put me back on my feet and headed me on the proper trail. I know, too, that in the future I will continue to slip and slide, tumble and fall, but I know that each time Christ's love will be there to catch and comfort me. All I need do is reach out to Him.
Prayer: O Lord, our God and Saviour, help us on our walk through life with You. Keep us from slipping and falling into the ways of the world. Guide us through the areas where we have weaknesses and are prone to slip away from You. Lift us up, and strengthen us, so we may stride confidently on the paths You have chosen for us. Amen.