During the recent wintry weather our two little grandsons were staying with us for the weekend. The paths were very icy and slippery, and the three year old was enjoying slipping and sliding on the ice. He could only manage to stay upright, however, if he kept his little hand firmly in his grandfather’s. Then he was safe and had a great time. But there was one occasion when he ran ahead alone, ignoring the danger and the warnings, and he slipped and fell, hurting himself.
I was reminded of this when reading Psalm 37, which says that ‘If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand’. My husband was holding his grandson firmly by the hand, so that even when he slipped he could not fall. This is what our Heavenly Father does for his children, if we allow Him. If we remain close to God and keep our hand firmly in His, He will not let us fall. Often, however, we forget about God and run ahead of Him in an independent way. It is then that we stumble and fall.
These verses tell us that having our steps made firm is conditional on the Lord delighting in our way. Of course we know that the Lord always delights in us as His children, but He doesn’t always delight in our ways. When we’re not going His way, we can’t be sure of His hand upholding us.
A new year gives us a good opportunity to check on the way we’re going. Are we giving the Lord cause to delight in our way? If we are, then we can put our hand confidently in His, knowing that He will uphold us and won’t let us fall.
Prayer: Lord, I want to walk in Your ways in this new year, with my hand firmly in Yours so that I won’t fall. Forgive me for the times I’ve run ahead on my own and have given you reason not to delight in my way. Amen.