Daily Word of Grace # 84 (July 10, 2020)

The only Christians who have never stumbled or fallen are either liars or sorely deluded.  In scripture we read, “For though the righteous fall seven times, they will rise again” (Proverbs 24:16).  In scripture the number seven always denotes completion, as in God’s creation of the heavens and earth in seven days (Genesis 1:1-2:3), so another way this proverb could be written is: “For though the righteous keep on falling over and over, they will rise again.”  The brilliant nineteenth century English poet Christina Rossetti put it this way: “Lifelong our stumbles, lifelong our regret, Lifelong our efforts failing and renewed, While lifelong is our witness, ‘God is good:’ Who bore with us till now, bears with us yet, Who still remembers and will not forget, Who gives us light and warmth and daily food; And gracious promises half understood, And glories half unveiled, whereon to set Our heart of hearts and eyes of our desire; Uplifting us to longing and to love, Luring us upward from this world of mire, Urging us to press on and mount above Ourselves and all we have had experience of, Mounting to Him in love’s perpetual fire” (from “Later Life: A Double Sonnet of Sonnets”).  Indeed, even when, especially when, we stumble, “God is good” and God’s love has always borne us, bears us now, and will bear us throughout all eternity because love “bears all things” and “love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8).  The reason we rise even after falling seven times—over and over—is because our Risen Lord keeps on raising us up, and enabling us to continue “Mounting to Him in love’s perpetual fire”.

Love and Prayers,