Psalm 37:23-28 | The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing. Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish.
Though [we] may stumble, [we] will not fall. -Psalm 37:24
In the early, harrowing days of the global coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Craig Smith (chief of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center) stood at the epicenter of the US outbreak. Every day, Smith posted a note to his hospital colleagues.
In one memo, after outlining their dire reality (the skyrocketing cases, the impending need for ventilators and ICU rooms), he closed with this powerful image: “A forest of bamboo bends to the ground in a typhoon but rarely breaks. We are that forest and we must not break.”
There are critical moments—tragedy, heartache, sickness, financial loss, family disintegration, national catastrophe—when we must gather our wits, steady our courage, and refuse to surrender. We face the impossible challenge, and we know that we must not break. And yet, we also know that if we’re left only to our own strength and resources, we’re doomed.
If we’re to hold fast, we need God to help us. Thankfully, as we surrender our future to God and fix our hope in Him, we discover how “the LORD makes firm [our] steps” (Psalm 37:23). We discover that even though we “may stumble, [we] will not fall, for the LORD upholds [us] with his hand” (v. 24).
Our resilience rests not on our vigor, effectiveness, or tenacity but in knowing that our God is with us. He upholds us. And we trust that in Him we will not break.
What causes you to stumble and threaten to break? How can you lean into God when you face those challenges?