When walking feels like falling, we have a safe place to land. Join Claudia for some encouragement from Psalm 94 in this week’s Firmly Rooted Friday.

When Walking Feels Like Falling

In 2013 I was diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia in both of my hips. I know it’s a mouth full. Even after the doctor explained it to me, I had to google it. Then came the other shoe falling, I would need both of my hips replaced. I had been on a serious campaign to keep all of my original parts and up until that moment, I had been doing pretty good. I still have my wisdom teeth, tonsils, and woman parts. No easy task in this day and age. A hip replacement surgery involves a hammer, saw, drill, screwdriver, and a titanium hip and femur. 

The day after surgery they had me up, walking (somewhat, I kept passing out from low blood pressure) and climbing stairs. It’s kinda hard to wimp out and cry like a little girl when you are surrounded by our Nation’s brave warriors struggling with missing limbs. Psalm 94:17 was a complete comfort to my soul. 

“If the Lord had not been my help,

my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.”

Psalm 94:17 ESV

Something about being helpless brings us to the right perspective in regards to salvation.

We can not save ourselves, we will always need help, always. But we get a God who is not only willing but is more than able to help in big and profound ways. We need only to ask. Psalm 94 is like a dance between what we need and what God will provide. And there is no missed step in this dance; it is perfection. 

I was in rehab for six months. I cried a lot. It was hard and brutal. The PT (physical torturer) was relentless. He pushed me hard every session. In my first session he took my cane! He declared that I didn’t need it anymore. Seriously? I think he took it because he was afraid I would use it for more than walking! Not sure if you know this but ice blankets are the bomb-diggity! They were my reward after each session. Never knew I would come to love ice that wasn’t surrounded by coffee but I did. 

The staggering part of rehab is that you are daily, moment by moment, aware of how you are failing at walking. I wanted them to ask me to do something I knew I could do, like sit in a chair and not fall out. They never asked me to do that. It was always something that I couldn’t do well and it hurt, a lot. I didn’t feel like I was winning at all. I felt like I was failing. These were all the things I thought, they were not actually real.

I was absolutely winning with every step I took. 

The excitement I had when I was able to walk backward and not trip over my own two feet was like Christmas morning! I was winning even though I didn’t feel like I was. Weeks after my rehab I walked a marathon over the course of six weeks. That doesn’t sound nearly as challenging as running a marathon in three hours but for me it was like a huge mountain. It took me all summer to accomplish this goal. I did it, but it was not without much effort and commitment. Sometimes I stumbled, and I even fell a couple of times. But I got up and kept walking. 

The Lord gave me this verse and it became my battle cry. 

“When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.”

Psalm 94:18 (ESV) 

The purpose of God’s Word is to always point us back to him and what he has promised. The Psalms are so full of the desires of God for his people. I often overlook that part. The summer of 2014 taught me to not take the promises of God for granted. To depend on them and to know the difference between what is feeling and what is truth, even when walking feels like falling. I felt like I was losing, but the truth was, I was winning. Look around the crevices of your life. Are you winning? Are you seeing things clearly through the window of God’s Word? If not? Why not? And what are you willing to change? 

After I walked the marathon, I felt pretty confident so I decided to join water aerobics. Go ahead and get that giggle out. It was not my finest moment. I am pretty sure I scared the instructor to death. I kept losing my balance and going under. It was so incredibly awkward and I felt like someone had beat me with sticks by the evening. I kept going back, two to three days a week. Who does that? I do. I have no shame. 

Did I mention I was the youngest person in the class? Try being outdone by someone in their 80’s, again it was so not my finest moment. A few weeks into the class I was finally getting the hang of it, then we switched to water Zumba. And I do not want to even talk about it. Let’s just say that somewhere there is a group of little old ladies still laughing about the time they watched the young‘n do water Zumba.  

Our walks with God are no different.

We finally feel like we get our arms wrapped around the things of God and our life throws us water Zumba! 

“But the Lord has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.”

Psalm 94:22 ESV

Jesus to the rescue, he’s got that covered!

When life overwhelms and brings us to our knees, we have a safe place of strength that will protect us. When walking feels like falling, our safety is a promise from God, our good Father. He will provide exactly what we need exactly when we need it.  Unfortunately, I tend to learn this truth the hard way. I am made of flesh and I just forget how faithful our God is. I am sure you do, as well. Reading through the Psalms has rekindled that fire of truth, God is for me. 

When I am hiding in a cave from the shame of sin, God is for me and he makes me not ashamed. When I am slipping again, he is right there to hold me up. And when I am truly afraid, he is my safe place. Our daily walk with Christ is not about perfection; it’s about abiding richly in the arms of a loving God. 

<>< Claudia

For more encouragement from the Psalms read Claudia’s recent posts, The Power of Living Unashamed and 3 Promises in Psalm 18.