About a month ago, I was at my daughter's house keeping my granddaughter when I saw a flash of red go past the window. When I investigated, I found that the wind had taken their patio umbrella into a neighbor's yard. I took off in hot pursuit and just as I reached it... boom! The wind picked it up and hit me with that patio umbrella and I landed on my backside. I wasn't hurt and found myself looking around to see if anyone was watching. It was a humbling experience; but evidently, I needed another dose of humility!
Just a few short weeks later, I was taking out the garbage. We live on a hill and the wind can be fierce at times. I was carrying a bag of garbage in each hand, so pushed the door open with my hip. I started out the door and a huge gust of wind caused the door to fly back shut and hit me, knocking me (and the garbage) back onto the porch and the concrete floor. This time it did hurt! My husband was in the kitchen making coffee and saw the whole thing.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Nothing's broken, but I'm not okay," I replied.
He sat me down at the kitchen table and poured me some coffee. The coffee didn't help the weak, shaky feeling or the burning sensation on my hip. Eventually I felt well enough to go on with my day, but my fall definitely shook me up.
Score? The wind 2 and me 0.
My falls reminded me of a warning the apostle Paul gave the Corinthians:
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12 ESV).
One minute I was standing and the next I was horizontal. That's the way sin works, too.
Some falls, like my first fall, aren't too painful. Recovering from others, like my second fall, is much harder. Sin works that way, too. The consequences of some sins are much more painful and powerful.
A friend had her life upended when she found out that her husband was having an affair with her "best friend." Her husband was very sorry and tried to reassure her it would never happen again, but it was too late. Too much damage had been done and too much mistrust had been sown. My friend ended up divorcing him and a marriage that most community members thought was rock solid suddenly ended.
Of course the worst consequence of sin is what happens if we don't repent and stop sinning — we grow comfortable with falling again and again. Paul reminds us the consequences:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 ESV).
Take my advice and watch out for sin (and the wind). "Take heed" lest you fall!