I’ve Fallen and I CAN Get Up!
Most of us remember poor, old Mrs. Fletcher from the commercials in the 1980s and 1990s. She was the one who notified LifeCall that, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” A real-life occurrence of an elderly person falling isn’t funny, but the less than stellar acting in and low-budget production of those commercials helped turn those words more into a humorous catch phrase than an identifiable slogan for the company whose product was being advertised. I’m guessing that had I not included the name of the company in the second sentence, most of you would not have been able to name it.
In Proverbs 24:15-16, Solomon issued a warning to those who would fight against God’s faithful people. “Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” The wicked have been put on notice. You can knock down a child of God all you want, and each time he or she is going to come back stronger than before and with even more determination. The righteous soul will fall but he or she will get back up! As Adam Clarke wrote, “Though God permit the hand of violence sometimes to spoil his tent, temptations to assail his mind, and afflictions to press down his body, he constantly emerges; and every time he passes through the furnace, he comes out brighter and more refined.” John Gill said of the cause of this determined spirit, “he rises by renewed repentance, and under the fresh discoveries of pardoning grace and mercy to heal his backslidings.”
The Psalmist sang, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:19). It is this confidence in God’s devoted care that lifts the diligent Christian off the floor after getting shoved down by Satan and his minions.
How many times will the devil try to bring us down? It’s obvious that his attempts will be numerous. Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8). Paul said, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (II Timothy 3:12).
How many times can God lift us back up? Jeremiah stated, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Through Isaiah the Lord exhorted, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10).
With Satan constantly seeking to take us down and God constantly stretching out His mighty hand toward us to lift us back up, the question is, how many times can we get up after we’ve fallen? The answer is, simply, “every time.”
How long will the devil keep us down? That, my friends, is entirely up to you and me individually. There are times when we will bounce back from his blows almost immediately, as if he had barely laid a glove on us. At other times, we will stagger in our efforts to rise but we will eventually stand again. Then there are times when it will seem like we are down and completely out and that there is no way we will ever again stand erect. Think of Job as you try to picture that scenario. For that matter, you might be able to think of your own life and see times when it seemed that there was no way for you to escape Satan’s stranglehold. Perhaps you are there right now. You are down. You have been thrown to the ground and left for dead. Satan is standing atop you in a triumphant pose, confident that he now controls you. But look up, dear Christian. Turn to God in prayer. Build up your faith through His Word. Reach out and grab the hand that is extending down toward you from the heavenly realm and permit that hand to lift you back up onto your feet. The Psalmist wrote, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5). There is victory ahead. When you get back up, you may find yourself battered and bruised, but you will also find your faith more refined. As Job said, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10). You may indeed fall, but you, faithful Christian, will rise up and you will win (I Corinthians 15:57)!