One of my guiding principles in writing monthly articles is to be totally honest and simple in my explanation of the lessons I learn in my walk with God. Gimmicks are not my style.
For at least an hour a day I take my 2 dogs out, either to the river or forest on long walks, or just round the neighborhood on short walks. So, as is my custom I was walking Lenny in my own street, on the pavement and my foot caught against an uneven obstacle and I fell flat on my face.
I was holding the dog lead and instead of my hands taking the impact, I landed on my mouth and split open my lip. Blood dripped all over my shirt and I needed emergency treatment at the hospital. A sweet intern sowed me together again. Did those injections hurt!
I told the hospital staff that since the age of 5, I had not had hospital treatment. No, I took no medication. No, I wasn’t suffering from any allergies. Yes, I’m in excellent health.
So the big question was in this my second fall in 3 months, why did it happen? Doesn’t Psalm 91 say that His angels will “bear me up in case I dash my foot against a stone,” (v.12)?
Where were my angels, why did I fall?
It has taken some heart searching to find out, and what I’m writing today may only be a part of the answer. But when things happen to us that are unpleasant and hard to face, we need answers, so I hope what I’m about to write will help you.
One of the great heroes of faith is Apostle Paul, who had suffered extensive hardships of being robbed, imprisoned, beatings with rods and lashes, and countless perils (2 Cor. 11:23-27). He was often hungry and cold with insufficient clothing and nearly drowned in a shipwreck, (Acts 27).
This man on one occasion was stoned and thought to be dead at Lystra, (Acts 14:19). But after prayer for him from the other disciples, he got up and went on to Derbe to preach the same Gospel of grace.
He knew how to endure hardness. In writing to his spiritual son Timothy, he could write with authority: “Take (with me) your share of the hardship and suffering you are called upon to endure as a good first class soldier of Jesus Christ,” (2 Tim. 2:3 Amp.).
Saul of Tarsus became the Apostle Paul, a giant of faith and a major writer of the New Testament. He grew into this status through suffering as Ananias had prophesied to him (Acts 9:16).
Think also with me about Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob who was despised by his brothers for his dreams (Gen. 37: 3-11). They threw him into a pit and sold him into slavery in Egypt (Gen. 37:19-36). Then as a slave in Pharaoh’s house he was wrongly accused and thrown into prison (Gen. 39). But the Lord was with Joseph and he had favor with the guards and prospered (Gen. 39: 21-23).
Here again was God fashioning Joseph’s character. In Psalm 105 we discover that God sent Joseph ahead of the Jews. “His feet was hurt with fetters, he was laid in chains of iron and his soul entered into the iron,” (Ps. 105:18 Amp.). So a daddy’s boy became a man with a soul as strong as iron. He was transformed into God’s deliverer.
My small fall has helped me to face fear, especially the fear of needles and surgery in general. I’m determined to learn how to endure hardness so I can be trusted with greater authority in ministry. All of us have fears and demons of the past to face, but He has a way of getting us to face them, so our testimony will then help many others.