Saturday, March 31, 2012

Call Don't Fall

Those of you who know me well know about Hilde – our 92-year old family friend who is like a grandma/great aunt to me (she really is family, I’ve known her all my life). Well, Hilde has been in and out of the hospital and various rehabs for the past few months with a number of health problems. It certainly hasn’t been for her going through this – especially undergoing anesthesia for the first time in her entire life! But God has been faithful (as He always is) and she is hanging in there. Thank you to all who have been praying... Please continue to do so.

Over the course of Hilde’s time in hospitals, rehabs, and nursing homes these couple of months, I noticed there are many signs posted on the walls that say “Call Don’t Fall.” Why? Because there is a greater risk of falling in unfamiliar territory, particularly for elderly patients. In order to decrease the amount of patient accidents, these signs are posted in the rooms, visible from each bed. Though I’m sure this has helped eliminate many falls, the reality is that some people are just going to do what they want. It’s too humbling to acknowledge the inability to do something anymore individually...

I look at the sign and think to myself – press a little button to call a nurse for help or get hurt worse? Simple. I mean who in their right minds wants to get worse? Let’s not forget they’re already in the hospital for some sort of ailment. Wouldn’t most choose the short time it takes to wait for the nurse versus the amount of time it would take recovering from a bad fall? Seems like a no-brainer but there are always those who want to do it on their own and suffer the consequences.

One day at the hospital, I saw the Call Don’t Fall sign and it really stuck out to me. Not because of the physical implications but because of its spiritual reality. (In fact, I took this picture a few weeks ago so I wouldn’t forget the thought). Call Don’t Fall. How many times do we neglect that message in our Christian walk? We’re told so many times in Scripture to call on the name of the Lord yet choose to ignore that ‘sign’ we see posted so many places in our lives and wind up falling. How many times have you and I stood up thinking “I got this,” meanwhile we were supposed to sit down, press our call button for assistance and wait for God to show us what to do or where to go.

"Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." - 1 Corinthians 10:12-13

We know the Lord is near to all who call on Him in truth yet we listen to the lies of the enemy and get prideful, harden our hearts and fall straight into calamity. Hind sight is always brilliant. I look back and see there were plenty of times I was wounded but could’ve avoided emotional ICU if I would’ve just called on the Lord and sat still. Even now, serving the Lord for almost 14 years, I still make that mistake. Everyone struggles with something. My greatest struggle is in the mind. You would think that by now, I’d recognize the signs and cry out to God to avoid the psychological quicksand – that dark place that I can get sucked into. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. When it's no, I get sucked in too deep and it's only then when I recognize the need to cry out to God. It’s like the patient who fell out of bed instead of pressing the call button. Like the nurse coming to assist, God shows up, but there may be a fracture that could have been avoided. God is so good and He heals our spiritual fractures. But let's not forget, the signs are there for a reason. We could have gone without the additional injury. I am thankful for the times I chose to follow God’s instructions by calling out to Him and waiting for His assistance (in His timing). The simple choice that led me from a funk to freedom.

“Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.” - Psalm 118:5

 Those were the moments I recognized who I am in Christ and the authority given to me Him. Walking in the Spirit, not the flesh. Taking my thoughts captive. Remembering the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in me. No matter what, the victory is ours. Why is that so easily forgotten though? Especially knowing the battle has already been won. Why? Because we fall back – into the flesh. Pride. Fear. We look away from the instructions and signs – posted right in front of us. The sign that says “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:14-15). We have a Dad in heaven who we can cry out to, who’s saying to us in our time of need, “I got this.”

AKA ... Call, don't fall.

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