Falling hurts a little more than it did when I was little. As a toddler, I had a few inches to fall. Now, when the full force of my 6’4” frame hits the ground, it hurts a lot worse than it did then. I think as we get older, it hurts more when we fall down in our lives as well.
Now, there are people who are going to say to you, “Dust yourself off, and get back up.” What they are saying is right. It is amazing how wide the chasm can be between their being right and speaking what is right. When they fall down, they don’t want to hear that either. It’s just an easy response to people who are down and hurting.
When you are down and hurting, it is sometimes hard to hear encouragement for what it is. Sometimes, it can sound like preaching. Sometimes, it sounds artificial and disconnected from your reality. Sometimes, if I was really being honest, I would tell you that everything they are saying is true, I just don’t want to hear it.
This is what happens when you’ve tried and failed. Then failed again. You got back up, and failed again.
You fell down.
What if you gave yourself permission to fall down? What if you gave yourself permission to be human like the rest of us? What if you could make mistakes and the world wouldn’t cave in on itself forever? What if you were real?
This whole thing about being perfect has to go, because perfect people can’t fall down, but you and I we fall down. So instead of pretending like that’s not a possibility for you, how about we embrace our failures, scars, and pain because that is part of the real you. Your failures do not define you. Your successes do not define you, because you are more than your successes and your failures. You are a human being, created in the image of God, and you are of great worth simply because you exist.
“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” Proverbs 24:16
One of my favorite quotes about what it means to be a Christian is this.
“You fall down, you get back up. You fall down, you get back up. You fall down, you get back up. You fall down, you get back up and see Jesus forever.” – Carl Lentz
The reason I love this thought is because we’re all people who need 2nd and 2000th chances. If falling down is unacceptable for you, then maybe you haven’t found grace. How many chances do you get in this life with Jesus? As many as you need. Out of everyone in the world, the Lord will not give up on you.
So you fell down. Get back up. The best is yet to come.
P.S. If you have a couple minutes, check out this video about getting back up when life hits you hard.