Falling to Pieces

Last week, as Jason and I were lying in bed, we heard a loud bang. It sounded like something had fallen. Jason went out and investigated but came back saying that everything looked as it should. With shrugs, we settled in for the evening, and to be honest, by morning, I had forgotten about it. . . until I walked into the living room.

One of the first things I noticed was a big empty space on the wall where a picture had previously hung. "So that's what fell," I said, followed by, "How did he miss that?" It was glaringly obvious to me, but somehow, he just didn't notice. Anyway, I went over to the floor where the picture lay. I picked it up and was relieved to find that the glass had not broken nor did the frame seem to be injured. Upon further examination, I discovered that the adhesive hook was still in good shape but it had come away from the wall, paint and all. I placed a stronger hook in the same place and rehung the picture.

Only a day later, the picture fell again, pulling with it another layer of paint (you have no idea how many layers of paint are on my walls). I decided that adhesive hooks were not going to work so I set the picture aside until I could get some picture hangers from the store. Before I had a chance to accomplish this, the picture on the other side of my living room wall fell. I don't know if it was the heat or the wind, but I didn't even attempt to rehang that one. "I'll just get hangers for them both," I determined.

The blessed day finally arrived when I obtained the hangers and was able to rehang the pictures. (Actually, Jason had to do it because I'm not very good with tools and stuff.) As he picked up the first picture (the one that had fallen twice), I made the comment, "I'm just glad it didn't break." It was at that very moment Jason noticed something on the glass. He scratched at it with his fingernail, and when that didn't work, he applied a little more pressure. A resounding crack filled the air. I gasped at the sound, and then burst into laughter. Evidently, the picture had a very small chip in it, and when he applied pressure to it, it cracked and spiderwebbed over the entire picture. I'm still looking to find a replacement for the glass.

I thought of my life and the many times I've gone about my day in my own strength. Time after time, I would fall to the ground, but still I would not get the message. Finally, in order to bring me back to Him, God would apply a little pressure to my life, and my world seemed to crack. What I didn't realize is that when I walk in my own strength, each fall was chipping away at me. I didn't noticed the damage until the pressure was applied. It was then I realized how frail and weak I truly am.

On the flip side, when I walk in God's strength, I still fall. But each fall is a lesson, a reminder. When I fall in God's strength, He is there to pick me up, dust me off, and set my face in the right direction. Because I'm walking in His strength, I'm able to hear His direction. That doesn't mean I always understand it, but I can hear and obey. Instead of weakening me, each fall strengthens me.

It's so easy as we go about our daily missions to act in our own strengths. Many times we do it without even realizing we've walked away from God. Let's make an effort today to make sure we're walking in His strength and not our own. Our strength is limited. His is limitless. Which one makes more sense?