Everybody falls off the wagon sometime

So. Funny story. I had a great Thanksgiving with my awesome family, and I hope you did too. What I didn’t expect was a freakin’ ice apocalypse to hit Kansas on Thursday night. So starting Thursday night until about 3:30 this morning, we’ve had intermittent power, which means intermittent internet, which means any sort of schedule for posting devotionals kind of went out the window.

How many of us face a similar conundrum after the holidays are over? Whether it’s diet or exercise or whatever else, usually a holiday or a special event happens in the middle of all our progress and throws us off. It upsets our schedule and our plans, and have you noticed it’s 10 times harder to get back on track than it is to get on track to begin with?

It’s so much easier to start a long-term process than it is to start it all over again. But the only other option besides starting over again is giving up.

9A298869D5Today’s verse is Galatians 6:9.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

It’s hard to keep going. It takes discipline and hard work, even if what you’re trying to accomplish is something you enjoy doing. But the human nature isn’t wired to keep doing good things. Our sin nature is always out to convince us to get off track, and we have an enemy who is solely interested in destroying us.

What’s important to understand (and embrace honestly) is that you won’t always be on the right track. I mean, sure, aim to stay on. Do your best to keep doing what you’re doing, but know that someday you’re going to fall off. You’re going to fall down. You’re going to trip up.

And it’s okay.

It’s just not okay to stay down. You need to get up. You need to get back on track again. But that’s the hard part, because you’re overwhelmed with shame and regret. You tell yourself you shouldn’t have fallen to begin with, that you knew better, that you don’t deserve a second chance–or third chance–or fourth or fifth or sixtieth or hundredth.

And you want to know the truth? No. You don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve it. But then I didn’t deserve a chance to begin with. I was born broken, and God loved me enough to set me on the right road and let me live for Him. I didn’t deserve that, and I don’t deserve the chances He continually gives me. But that’s the point of mercy.

None of us deserve a second chance, but God gives it to us anyway. So it’s up to us to decide whether we want to give up or press forward. That is your call. You’re perfectly free to give up if you want to, but God has promised that if you don’t give up, you’ll gain a blessing. And God’s blessings are always worth working toward.

You fell off the wagon. So what? Everybody does. Get up and dust yourself off and get back on the road again. Don’t live by the illusion that you’ll never trip up because that’s the surest way to discourage yourself, but know that when you do fall on your face, God is there waiting to help you up again.