He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along. Psalm 40:2
God gave me some more insight on writing about why we fall. Last week’s blog I talked more about the obstacles that keep us down. This week I want to talk about the two ways we can fall. If we understand how we fall, maybe it will be a lot easier to get back up. This really should be part 1, and last week’s part 2, but that’s fine. The two ways that we fall are either by our own device or by the circumstances around us. Things may cause a fall, or people.
Let’s talk about circumstances. Circumstances are those things that we don’t see coming at us that can take us by surprise. Either we can take what’s coming or we can wallow in self-pity. Job didn’t expect to lose everything including his family. He completely trusted in God despite God allowing Satan to do his dirty work. Serena Williams is a fine example of fighting through her circumstances and coming back the champion she is. Monday she was playing in the Australian Open, and ended up twisting her ankle. She had a moment of dealing with pain and walking and moving to keep going, but came back and won the match. She picked herself up, accepted her circumstances, and moved on. The last thing God wants us to do is to wallow in self-pity. He wants us to keep moving forward. Which brings me to the next point.
We sometimes can cause the fall or failure that can happen. It can be a financial burden of credit, it can be emotions, and even excuses can help us fail. Excuses actually help us fail before we even attempt something different in our lives. No condition is right to make the change. For me I have had to deal with some very strong emotions of losing a dog and having a loved one go through brain surgery at the end of last year. I found myself going to old patterns of sleep and eating the way I used to, which made me 449 pounds at one time. I found myself in a pit of despair and felt like I could not get back to the lifestyle I so enjoyed that helped me lose my weight. Thanks to a good friend I realized that I was focusing too much on who I was 2 years ago verses who I am today. I was trying too hard and focusing too much on being the person I describe in my book and not just being me and relaxing. I was stressing over the weight I was gaining and felt powerless to stop it. Instead of doing the new things I learned to replace food with, exercise and eating right, I just ate as I used to, stayed up late, and got up later than what I was used to over the last 4 years. I found myself in some dangerous patterns of behavior that do nothing but make me depressed. I went a whole month without getting up early to go to the gym. I picked myself up and this week have done what I have wanted to do for the last few weeks, get up early and go to the gym. I feel so much better; my eating is beginning to get back to normal. I could have stayed where I was, let’s face it, eating healthy and having a healthy lifestyle is a lot of work. However, it’s important for us to do these things to be in tip top shape God wants us to be to do His work.
Psalm 40:2 is what God did for me, but I had to make the choice of picking myself up. I know God allows us to learn these things so that we can build character in our lives. Circumstances and falls of our own design can trip us up in this life. The choice is all yours if you want to stay down, or learn to pick yourself up. It may be hard getting up as it was for Serena Williams, but she gritted through the pain, moved on, and came back a winner.
[David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.