Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down! by Ellen Jacobs

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me. (Micah 7:7,8)

This is one of my favorite passages, I come back to it time and again. As a pastor’s wife, I wanted to be perfect, to never make mistakes. When we are in ministry, people are often surprised when we fall. They are disappointed in us and so are we. I needed this reminder that it is part of life to fall, and that God will help me back up. I imagine that in verse 7 I am the one who has fallen…fallen into worry, into criticism, or any of the other common sins I trip over. I am down and can’t see my way up. So I “watch expectantly for the Lord, I wait for the God of my salvation, and I know that my God will hear me.” He heard the “thud” of my fall in the first place.

This is why I love verse 8.  It doesn’t say “if” I fall, it says “though” I fall. I will always fall…that is part of my nature as a human. It is freeing to expect to stumble, instead of being surprised and shocked by it!

God knows our nature and yet He says that we will rise and that He will be our light.

I think of falling down into a dark place where it is hard to see. In my mind’s eye, I see Jesus with a lamp, holding it up and peering into the dark, a look of concern in His eyes. He is looking for me. He holds the lamp up higher to see me and to show me the way.

Lots of my wrongs feel like falling. When we fall, first we slip or stumble a little, then we lose our footing and then there is the actual moment of catching air and crashing to the ground. My mistakes and foibles often take this same form…first I slip a little, then I feel insecure as I sense my loss of balance and then I begin to catch air and “thud”. I have crashed into gossip, or doubt, or insecurity.

But that is not the end. That is when we can say with Micah, “Do not rejoice over me, my enemy. Though I fall, I will rise.” We have this promise, that God will hear us, that he will be a light for us. And though it is inevitable that we fall, His light will guide us to rise, to go forward, to try again.

It encourages me when I remember not to be surprised by every tumble I take. God is not surprised. And no matter how many times we trip and fall, He is there to shed light, to help us find a surer path next time.

Can you relate, and how?