Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Stumbling to glory

I fear, at times, I'm much too honest about my own walk and struggle.  In just a few weeks I will come to a day that will mark 50 years of faith for me, but I still feel like a small child stumbling over nothing, falling down and trying again.  The path to become like Christ is much longer for me than I had hoped.  I thought I would be there by now, but it seems I've only just begun.

Often, I will read catchy little phrases in Christian writing that annoy me to distraction.  Here's one-  "Turn your stumbling blocks into stepping stones."  As if!  I'm still on the ground with a bloody nose and scrapped knees and you're trying to tell me how to take those stumbling places and grow? Come on!  Catchy little slogans do nothing to help me grow, to help me walk.  I need Christ and I need him constantly!

And, to be honest, it doesn't take a stone to make me stumble.  I'm pretty good at stumbling over sand, over a crack in the sidewalk.  It's never a big thing or I would avoid it.  It's always the little things that cause my fall, my failing.....and then I grieve, beat myself up and tell God I'm sorry, I won't do it again (but I will)....and that I should be past all of this by now, but I'm not.

And, then, like a child, embarrassed by my failings, but suffering in my pains, I run back to God and am welcomed by his grace, his love and forgiveness.  I'm always embarrassed to face him, to come to him and tell him "I did it again!  I'm so sorry!!"  And he forgives, he bandages my wounds and he offers to walk with me even as I stumble along.

There is a passage of invitation in Matthew that has helped every believer I know as they have stumbled to glory and it's this one, paraphrased for my purposes, but you will recognize it,

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens...stumbling and falling as you try to follow me, and I will give you rest, I will bandage your wounds, wipe your tears. Let me live my life through you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  You need to know that as you let me live through you, you will see this life is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

I'm honestly thankful that he already knows my weakness, my frustrations and he's waiting for me to come to him, once again, to begin anew with him at my side.
Truthfully, I must tell you, that as hard as I try I find that this walk of faith is impossible.....without him.  
Each time we walk away from him and tell him, "Ok, I can do this now, I've got it!"  It's at that moment that we begin to fall again.  The Christian life is impossible without Christ,  he is (if you don't mind the visual picture) my guide for blind eyes, my crutch for broken legs, my life when all I bring to any situation is death.  Without him I can't do it, and even with him I find I still stumble at times....but that's ok, he's knows me and he loves me anyway.

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