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If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

When I was young I used to dream of being a famous athlete. I imagined myself being in position to win the big game. Sometimes it was the winning basket at the buzzer in the championship game. Sometimes it was hitting a homerun with bases loaded, two out, behind by three and a 3 ball, two strike count. Other times it was breaking free for the winning touchdown.

There were several things that kept those dreams from becoming a reality. The major one is that while I love sports of all kinds, I’m really not very athletic! So no matter how much I’d like to make any of those achievements, it just wasn’t going to happen!

Sometimes we feel that way about our walk with Jesus. We get up in the morning feeling like we can tackle any challenge before us. Then we burn the toast, remember that we forgot to buy milk and find a flat tire on our car! Things tend to go downhill from there and at the end of the day we realize that our thoughts, actions and words haven’t made us the spiritual champion we hoped we would be.

To make matters worse, it seems like people who could care less about living for Jesus seem to be prosperous, happy, successful people. We look at others and wonder what we are doing wrong and if God even notices that we are doing our best.

Psalm 37 has good news for us. Even though it seems that people who are evil are winning, they aren’t. God doesn’t look on a person’s actions. He measures us by our heart, our desires, our yearning to follow Him.

I like the way the message phrases Psalm 37:23-24, “Stalwart walks in step with GOD; his path blazed by GOD, he’s happy. If he stumbles, he’s not down for long; GOD has a grip on his hand”

These verses remind me of a small child walking on ice. No matter how hard they try to walk, they will slip and fall. But, if a loving parent is holding their hand, even if they do fall, the fall will be temporary and relatively painless. Mom or dad will lift them back to their feet. That’s what Jesus does for us. We try to live for him. We fail by the words we speak or the thoughts we think. We do things we’ve promised ourselves we’ll never do (and do them again!). Still, because of His love, forgiveness and grace, He picks us up and helps us continue on our way.

There are three promises of God in these verses. First, God delights in our attempts at living for Him. Second, we will fail at times. Third (and I like this best), He’ll help us get back on our feet!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I come to you today feeling like a complete failure. There are so many times I’ve tried to live for you. So many times I’ve tried to break the bad habits I’ve formed, said words I didn’t mean and had thoughts that are displeasing to you. Forgive me for my failures. Help me back to my feet so I can walk closely with you. Most of all, thank you for loving me so much! In Your name I pray, Amen.

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