We have all heard the phrase; whether it be the punch line of a corny joke, the dramatic scene of a movie when a person is caught in some sort of an abyss, or even the latest version of a Life Alert commercial in which the line is exclaimed, "I have fallen and I can't get up!" Although I hear it on a regular basis, I was reminded this week that I have fallen and I cannot get up. The fact of the matter is... we've all fallen and we can't up.
For me it has just been one of those weak weeks. A week where my failures look me straight in the face, a week where I tell myself, "Kenny pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get going" to find out that my boots don't have any straps, a week where my sin seems greater than God's grace. What do I do when I find myself in a conundrum like this week? I try to press on, I try to be strong, I try to keep plugging along, yet this week, even after all of this, my failures still stare me down, my boots still have no straps, and my sin still seems inextinguishable. There is nothing worse than being in a fight and knowing before you throw the first punch that you are already defeated and that is exactly how I felt... defeated in this fight of life before I ever even swung. Nevertheless, I had things to do, places to go, and people to see; so, I did just that.
I was sitting in Coffee Bean, writing a sermon, feeling incapable of correctly completing anything on my agenda. There is nothing worse with being tasked to preach the Word of God and writing a sermon when all you can think about is the fact that, as David said, my sin is ever before me. As I was supposed to be writing I was actually sifting through my sin and all of the sudden, in walks... Pastor Geoff Alfassa. I didn't even realize he walked in until he loudly plopped down beside me. After he sat down we exchanged hellos and then he asked me the age-old question, "So, how is it going?" Typically I would respond, "It is going well. How are you?", but this time I unloaded. I told him that I was struggling, I told him that I felt worthless, I told him I am not the husband I am supposed to be, I am not the father I am supposed to be, I don't serve others like I should, I am frustrated and bitter towards people I find annoying, I pretty much told Geoff I was terrible at this whole life thing. Geoff's response was silence, to which I replied, "Are you going to continue to sit there quietly and make me feel worse." What I wanted Geoff to tell me was, "Quit being hard on yourself" or "You are one of the best guys I know" or something that could somehow make me feel better. Instead, Geoff pretty much said, "You are right! You are a disgusting wretch." I looked at him and he looked back at me and he said, "but I know someone who isn't." Geoff turned the whole conversation on it's head. His encouragement was that everything that I was confessing to was disgusting, it was wrong, it was sin, but there is someone who has taken the penalty I deserve upon Himself and His name is Jesus!!!
I have fallen and I can't get up! I read about it in Genesis 3 and again in Romans 3:23. I have read the accounts from the beginning of the Bible to the end where time and time again mankind falls, but I have also read that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and that when I am weak He is strong and that I am born of imperishable seed. I know that I have fallen. I know that I can't get up. I have two broken legs, a busted hip, and opposite shoes on my feet, but so often I try to to muster up the strength to stand on my own. I am lame, I am crippled, and I can't stand on my own; but Jesus makes the lame get up, Jesus makes the crippled walk, and it is only upon Jesus that I can stand. Being broken over my sin, led to my confession to Geoff, my confession led to me crying out to God, my crying out led to repentance, and repentance led to the Lord restoring me to the joy of His salvation... Thank you Lord.
Do you know you've fallen? Do you know you can't get up? Are you trying to stand on your own, but continually failing? If so, I know a God who helps those you are incapable of helping themselves. I know a God who makes the lame, the crippled, the beggar, and the sinner stand like they have never stood before. Come and stand on Christ, the Solid Rock!