There is so much joy in today’s passage! Look again at the phrases
throughout these verses.
God is faithful, merciful, and good to all. God is slow to anger, gracious and abounding in love. God is forever! Then, at the end of this passage full of billboard-sized praises, comes a verse with a small and tender promise: The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down (v. 14).
I think of our granddaughter on the verge of walking, transforming her living room into an obstacle course of sharp corners and hard surfaces to avoid.
I think of unhoused patrons and friends at our library, some
recovering from a poor choice, or unfair circumstances, or the
inability to find safety or a dry place to sleep the night before.
I think of other patrons that have food and shelter but also have stories of their own setbacks: troubling diagnoses, grief, aging, financial loss, and even literal falls.
Many are able to look you in the eye—sometimes sweetly or defi-
antly—while sagging under the burden of loss, shame, frustration,
and limited options. And sometimes the person who has fallen is me.
Those who are bowed down and fear looking ahead need to experience a change of perspective before they can look up. The psalmist’s promise assures us that God is there to raise us up. Whether we face a past-due notice, a crumbling relationship, or a skinned knee, God can improve any outlook. And God might use us, even today, to help someone we encounter to rise up.
What challenges in your life threaten to weigh you down? How could your own experiences help someone else today?
God, when life is hard, help us realize that our limited perspective cannot match your love and possibilities. Help us trust you when we are afraid to take the next step we need to take. Amen.