“The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.” Psalms 37:23-24 NASB
When trials pile up, one on top of the other, even the most dedicated Christian will often stumble. This is a part of growing spiritually, even as a young child just learning to walk occasionally trips and falls.
This morning, as I was reading today’s Scripture passage in Confident Trust: Believing God’s Plan Is Best, this month’s Bible reading plan by Rachel Wojo, God used the above verses to give me a clear picture of His love for His children. Our loving heavenly Father doesn’t always take us on the straight and level path, the one with no obstacles to overcome, because if He did that we would continually remain immature. He works in our lives through the difficult seasons of life to help us grow up spiritually. But He’s also well aware that the very weaknesses in our lives that He’s working to change may cause us to stumble and even fall along the way.
As I read these verses this morning, a picture came to my mind of a father and son, walking together down a rocky path. The son was running ahead of his father, not watching where he was walking, and stumbled over a rock on the path. Plop! The young boy was on the ground. But within seconds his father was at his side, picking up his son, wiping off the dirt and drying his tears.
This is the way of a loving father – of our loving Heavenly Father. Though he allows us the freedom to run ahead and often doesn’t remove the obstacles in our path that may cause us to stumble, He is watchful and quick to come to our side when we stumble and fall.
Psalm 37:23 says our steps are established by the Lord. The Hebrew word translated established means fixed, securely determined and directed. The root word connotes being firmly established, firmly anchored and held firm, as a roof which is “firmly established” on pillars.
Yes, God has a plan for our lives, and if we have chosen to commit our lives to the Lord, trust Him, and walk the path He has laid before us, this passage says He delights in our way. But this doesn’t mean we will never stumble and fall. But be encouraged that even if you stumble, the Lord is at your side. He loves you and will help you up, wipe you off and dry your tears, and then hold you by his hand as you continue down the path He has set before you.