“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” ( Ephesians 5:8 , NIV )
The Jews of Jesus’ day knew very well these passages from Isaiah and Psalms. But they were scholars, not seekers. They stumbled over passages about stumbling, missing the One who fulfilled them. It is easy to do.
Stumbling is a weird process. It is sudden, unexpected, and enlightening. Have you been thankful that you weren’t being photographed at a time you stumbled? You are in complete control one moment, then the next you are spread-eagle, perhaps skinned and shaken. Before looking at your wounds, you look to see if anyone is watching your graceful antic.
The surprise of stumbling comes from the contrast between our confidence before and our total embarrassment after. How can a very small thing like a curb, rock, or root have complete control over a grown adult!
Is stumbling God’s reminder that we are not self-sufficient? We can be spiritually smug one moment and wrecked by sin the next. Or we can assume we understand Jesus one moment, then ignore Him the next. “Because we THINK we know him, we pass him by.” Or we can be a post instead of a tree, congratulating ourselves on spiritual growth when we are actually dead.
Jehovah God, keep me from secret sin, make me alert to the power of Your Spirit, and cleanse my heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
- BOB MIZE, Colorado Springs, Colorado