Journal Entry Date: February 18, 1997 (Part 5 of 5)
(Note: Due to the length of this particular journal entry, I’m posting it in five parts).
“Some things God has done in the last 24+ hours:
5 ) God protected our 5-year old son tonight. He was going with me to the basement to help hammer some nails. As I was following behind him, I accidentally stepped on his untied shoelace and he fell face-first down 7 steps onto the concrete floor. He’s got a bruised hip, took some Tylenol, and went right back down to help me hammer nails.
Thank You, God, for watching over us and protecting us from any serious harm tonight!
So many things have happened in just 24 hours… and there are so many things God still has in store for us!”
Author’s Note: I spent at least a couple of years remodeling that basement… It seemed like the project would never end! I was horrified when I saw my little boy tumble down those stairs onto the concrete, and was so grateful when I saw he wasn’t seriously injured… but what does any of that have to do with My Abiding Life?
Think of it as a kind of parable, with my young son representing those who are relatively new and excited followers of Jesus, and with me representing a more mature believer (in terms of spiritual maturity, not necessarily related to age). My 5-year old son was just excited to help his daddy. He had no idea that his shoelace was untied. As the adult, I should have taken measures to avoid what happened, like tie his shoes first, or be more careful where I stepped.
When I was younger, I had a pastor be dismissive and chuckle at me condescendingly instead of giving me godly, Biblical counsel when I came forward at the end of a church service. We’ve had a deacon’s wife essentially scold us for even thinking of going into missions when we were new believers. There are other examples, but these will suffice. Both times, I walked away feeling confused, discouraged, and defeated.
How many times do we as believers dump buckets of cold water on a brother or sister in Christ? I’ve seen Christians mock their enthusiasm, be dismissive and uncaring, when all that new believer was looking for was wisdom, godly counsel, guidance, or encouragement from someone who has already been walking the path of genuine faith in Jesus Christ.
Instead, we carelessly ignore their untied shoelaces and cause them to stumble and fall… when WE are the ones who should have known better! I encourage you to read what the Apostle Paul has to say about this in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8. Here is a choice verse to ponder:
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.1 Corinthians 8:9
When we abide in Christ, we remember that it’s not about US… It’s all about Jesus and His glory and honor! We surrender our lives… We surrender our ‘rights’… We elevate the needs of others ahead of our own… We love God… We love other people.
Lord, I pray that my words and my actions would not cause anyone to stumble or fall… but instead, may everything that I say and do draw others to experience the unfailing love of Jesus Christ. Amen.