How do we rise after we fall into sin? What do we do after spiritual adultery has left us broken, guilty, and distant from God?
As you may be able to tell from these questions, this blog is about self reflection. It's about how we, as "Christians," rise to glory and often fall short of it. Romans 3:23 give us a view into the all to familiar fate of a Christian walking in faith, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." It boldly states that no matter what we do we may be a bit behind when it comes to our walk with God. After all we are all sinners.
As we take a deeper look into why the constant absence of perfected christianity often misses us we have to realize that this topic itself is one for personal reflection. In my ability to try and be as transparent as possible I have to reflect back on the day my mother passed away.
It was sudden, surprising, and heart breaking on New Year's Day in 2017. Around 6 p.m. I got a call from the medical examiner who informed me of my mother's passing. I have to be honest, anything he said after the words "deceased" and "car wreck" I ignored. My heart was racing and I was emotional. I didn’t directly blame God until after it was all over and I had the time to really sit and think. It was then that I began my downward spiral. Depression hit and I began to hate everyone. It was a whirl wind of pain.
My Rise was the day I got baptized months before her death. My Fall was the moment I let my doubts and questions intertwine with the reasoning of a man whose heart had taken a turn for the worst. I neglected my duties as a husband and a son. Although my mother was gone, I knew I wasn’t making her proud here on earth. I was gone. Where was God amidst all this suffering? How can we find hope when we are drowning?
We have to see suffering as a source of compassion. Jesus' suffering means that he can identify with us in every way. 2 Corinthians 1:5, "For just as the sufferings flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort over flows." God comforts us in our sufferings. I was no where near ready for God to console and comfort me. I refused His hand and allowed myself to hit rock bottom. Remember, there is no Rise without a Fall. I took matters into my own hands and wouldn't open my eyes to see the impact on those around me. G.K. Chesterson stated "We become taller as we bow, we become lowlier when we instruct." I was too afraid to meet God where I knew I could find Him.
"But yet the comfort of God that we receive for our current sufferings is but a foretaste of the hope that awaits us one day," Ed Cyzewski
When you try and find the source of the reason we Rise and Fall as christians we ignore the reality of it. We cannot blame the people of the church for there is no direct correlation linked to the people of the church and you as an individual failing as a Christian. We cannot blame God. In reality we only have ourselves to blame. It has been predestined, we are all going to sin and when we sin we become less like Christ. Some fall to drugs, addiction, pain, anger, etc. However you describe your failure as a Christian, Faith itself dares us to fail.
In the end we cannot look to the world to pick us up as we Fall. Falling is an all too common instinct. The most popular quote, "It is not how we Fall, it's how we Rise," lends a hand in exploring the way to finding the clouds again. God expects us to Fall. Even as individuals in this world our downfalls can lead to an uprising. It is when we become accustomed to failure that we breed a sense of weakness and fear.
God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. Our help is much closer to us than we think. We just have to Rise and meet God where he stands. The bond forged through the pains of life, is intentionally designed and a vital connection. When I Fall, I have confidence I will Rise. My pain is the key to my comfort.
The message in whole is about Confident Contrition and Rugged Remorse. Contrite because we sin and still have a savior. Remorse because we fall short of His glory. Rugged because grace makes us bounce back. Self-renunciation is thought to be and indeed can be very near the core of Christian ethics.
We have to acknowledge the Fall and begin to Rise. The day my mom passed I lost a part of me. I fell hard. I had to get back to basics. I had to find God and Rise. God doesn’t intend for you hit rock bottom and stay there. He wants you to have faith in Him and Rise above whatever caused you to stumble and fall. I had to see past the blame and pain and realize the glory in the passing of my mother. I had to humble myself. That is where elevation takes hold. The Rise and Fall of Christians as we know it is not a genocide.
We can withstand the trials. We have to keep the faith and seek God through our short comings. So, I ask you to evaluate your Rise and Fall to give praise to God. It is then you will see that how we Fall is not going to be how you Rise.