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Girlfriends in God - Sept. 2, 2010

September 2, 2010 

When I Fall Down 

Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV) "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'"

Friend to Friend 
I had forgotten just how amazing the process of learning to walk really is until our youngest grandchild recently reminded me. Justus was a speed crawler who could scoot along the floor almost as fast as I could walk and seemed content to explore the bottom of tables and chairs, play with doorstops or inspect flecks of lint, food crumbs and the floor at close range. For the first twelve months of his life, that was enough.

However, the day came when he was no longer satisfied to explore his world from the vantage point of his two little hands and knees and began pulling up on various pieces of furniture. Evidently he liked what he saw because he soon grew tired of just being upright and quickly graduated to the "One Step" method of walking.

Throughout the day, Justus repeatedly and carefully pulled himself up on the living room sofa. Next came the toddler shuffle as he tentatively positioned his stout and very determined little thirteen-month-old body between the sofa and loveseat. Pausing to catch his breath and gather his courage, Justus longingly stared at his goal, the armrest of the loveseat. His big brown eyes seemed to measure the size of the step he would have to take in order to reach his final destination and thus, master that long-held toddler tradition of cruising the furniture.

Eventually, he would let go of the sofa cushion, take "a step" and quickly grab hold of the loveseat. Most of the time, this brave little man then looked over his shoulder at whoever happened to be watching, a huge grin lighting up his face and the room. That was the cue for applause. And believe me, we always applauded. Yes, the "One Step" method of walking served Justus well - until he decided that what he wanted was not anywhere near the sofa or loveseat - and a new strategy was required.

I can imagine his little heart beating with excitement and fear as he realized the profound ramifications of his next move. He had to completely let go of that sofa and loveseat and walk where he had never been - into thin air - with no safety net.

And then it happened. Justus let go and took a step ... then another and another! We held our breath as we watched this special little boy actually walk for the very first time in his life. When he wobbled and fell to the floor, our daughter instinctively reached out to catch her precious child. He didn't see her at first, but when he looked up ... there she was. She had been nearby, watching the whole time. Justus looked into her eyes. Danna squealed with joy, grabbed Justus in a fierce hug and twirled him around the room, laughing and yelling, "Good job! You did it! You walked, honey!" My husband and I joined in the celebration, clapping and cheering along with our daughter. Justus decided that his accomplishment must be worthy of praise and he began to clap as well. In fact, he was so excited that he fell to the floor, kicking, laughing and clapping.  It was both hilarious and profound.

Have you ever felt like you have taken the step God wanted you to take only to find yourself dangling in thin air with no safety net in sight? I have. I don't like it. I want to know what is just ahead and see what is around the next corner of life. It frightens me to take risks. I wonder if God will really be there and come through for me the way He says He will in the Bible. Can I really do what God is asking me to do? Will He be pleased by my seemingly insignificant step of faith? And what happens if I fall? Falling is painful and something I try to avoid whenever possible.

I have great news for you, girlfriend! God is near. His eyes are set on you and His heart delights in your very existence as His daughter. If you listen carefully, you just might hear Him applauding that one tiny step of faith you were willing to take as you walked straight through your fear. God is fully aware of where you are and what you need. Heaven is not in a panic. And when you fall, you can rest assured your Father will be there to hold you in His arms of love and strengthen you for every step of your journey.

Let's Pray 
Lord Jesus, I want to see and know You as the loving and caring Father that You are. Thank You for Your faithfulness in my life. I praise You for Your unconditional love that gives me hope when life looks hopeless. Thank You for never leaving me to live in my own strength. Today, I celebrate the truth that I am Your child and when I fall, You will be there.

In Jesus' name, 

Now It's Your Turn 
Read and memorize Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV) "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

Look at the action words in these two verses. What would those actions mean or look like in a life that chose to trust God even when times are hard? For example:

Action word:  dwells

Means: If I stay under the protection of God (Most High) I will find rest and a shelter from the storms I face in life. God protects me through His Word, through prayer and the ministry of others. I need to constantly be looking for God - even when things are falling apart. What is God trying to show me? What lesson do I need to learn? Do I need to change the direction in which I am headed? Do I need to wait to make a decision until I have God's peace and rest?

If you are facing a difficult time, I encourage you to begin keeping a journal. It can become your victory journal as you look for and see God at work in your life.

More from the Girlfriends 
Yes! We are living in tough times, but instead of allowing the giants to defeat me, I am asking God to let the giants in my life fall. Everyone laughed at David for taking on Goliath. "Look how big he is" they taunted. But I can just see David laughing right back with "I know! Isn't it great? He's too big to miss!"

Need help? I can't believe I am even writing these words, but the holidays are just around the corner! I can already feel the faint stirrings of holiday stress. If you want to find God's answer for stress, you want to buy my book, Escaping the Stress Trap, for steps you can take to help you learn to manage stress instead of allowing it to manage you.  

Check out Mary's FREE MPs or visit her online store for great deals on books, CDs,

E-Bible Studies and be sure to check out Mary's DVD, Strength for the Storm.

Join women from across the world in Mary's Online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. Sandpaper People is the current series and will help you discover ten ways to deal with the "sandpaper people" in your life - you know - the ones that rub you the wrong way. When you enroll, you also have access to all of the 2010 studies. Check it out!

Need a friend? Connect with me on Facebook or through email. I love hearing what God is doing in your life! Let's talk about it, girlfriend!  

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