Apologetics: ə-pŏl'ə-jĕt'ĭks from the Greek απоλоγία Def: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

In Other Words . . . So What if I Fall?

The Heart of Diety Never Takes His Eyes Off of Me . . .

Written By Esthermay Bentley-Goossen on 19 May 2009

“What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk
becomes a crawl?

What if I stumble, and what if I fall?”

Chorus from the song, "What if I stumble?"
Artist: DC Talk / Album: Intermission

It's a phenomenon I've noticed often in Contemporary Christian Music:
So much use of the word "I."

Why so much focus on ME? So what if I fall? It's a given that I will. And yes, His Great Love will go on even when my walk becomes a crawl.

See, there is not a soul since the beginning of the world that has not stumbled. We all fall and make fools of all mankind. It's our nature. Yet God sees each and every one. Every time. Everywhere. He's the Creator!

It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord our God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.
- Deuteronomy 11:12

What land? What year? It was around the year 1400 B.C. It was the Land of Milk and Honey: The Promised Land. And in the context of this passage in Deuteronomy, the Israelites are being equipped to set out and possess the land. They did not yet physically control the land – their right to the territory hadn’t yet materialized. Yet they already seemed to have power over this land through eyes of faith.
I'm fairly certain they were not listening to DC Talk on thier IPods.
They were not worried about "falling."

And guess what? This same beautiful illustration is -- should be -- ours in 2009: God’s caring and attentive eyes are always looking upon us. And we - like the Israelites - can put our concerns and uneasiness into God’s hand of infinite grace and possess strength to face the yet-unseen future.

“The eyes of the Lord…” What precisely does that mean? Surely it is more than just Omniscience. I don't know for certain. But let’s just envision the delight and enchantment in the eyes of a loving and devoted parent as they watch their young child achieve something for the very first time. Let's say: walking! (Lots of stumbling and falling here.) Do you see in your mind's eye the deep love of God’s eyes as He watches His creation stumble and fall . . . and learn?

This looking-after is not delegated to some other heavenly creature. The Bible does not tell us that the eyes of the angels are watching over us. God Himself watches us! The heart of Deity looks after us! And he never stops watching after us. This special watch-care is unbroken. It’s continuous. This unwearied power of God toward His people has been uninterrupted since the creation of the world! No human effort, no lyricist, no gifted writer, no dramatist could ever sufficiently make plain or explain God’s watch-care over His own.

He watches each of us with personal interest and He absolutely sees us stumble and fall-- knowing full well that the ensuing bruises only teach us better how to walk when we get up and continue on . . . .

It’s time we switched to the flip side of all the songs and lyrics that focus on "I." We need to take an honest look at our eyes.

If God is ceaselessly and unwarily watching us, should not our eyes be upon Him? Constantly?!

Sad thing is I’m afraid we don’t even come close. We get caught up in our days -- setting our sights on the temporal and the frivolous – and we don’t look for Him or see Him at all. And that's when we ask,

"What if I stumble, what if I fall?"

~ Esthermay V. Bentley-Goossen
© 2009 The Heart of a Pastor's Wife

This installment of InOtherWords is hosted by Miriam on her blog, Miriam Pauline's Monolouge.


Barbara said...

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Joan said...

I completely agree with you about contemporary Christian music. Your last paragraph says it perfectly. We are too caught up in the temporal and that brings on all the "I."

I've missed your writing. Don't ever retire on us!

MiPa said...

Wonderful post Esthermay. Thanks for adding your thoughts to the mix this week. Praying you know the blessings of God today!

Denise said...

Woo Hoo, speak on sweet sister. So very true.

Laurie Ann said...

Amen on turning the I's into eyes. We do not know what we are missing. I think the premise of the song is a good one and the intentions were good. Great post - I especially found comfort in this: He watches each of us with personal interest and He absolutely sees us stumble and fall-- knowing full well that the ensuing bruises only teach us better how to walk when we get up and continue on . . . .

Karen said...

We stop ourselves from moving forward by focusing on the "I". Our walk with Christ starts with trust and it needs to end with trust and leave "I" out of it. With the exception of "I love Jesus. I will trust in Him." Get our "I's" and "Eyes" in the right place.

Debbie said...

Your words are so true! We don't set our eyes where they need to be ...on Jesus and not us. This is the age of ME, it seems. But it's not all about me. I stumble and fall daily. My flesh is always getting in the way, it seems. My desire is to totally surrender each day (sometimes each moment) and allow Him to work in and through me for His good purposes. Thanks for your great post.

LisaShaw said...

Your last paragraph was dead on and powerful. God bless.

kalopoieo said...

AMEN! Powerful and full of truth.
I've missed you in my Google Reader.

mamas*little*treasures said...

I love you!!! ;o) It is such a joy to continually encounter the women in this group week by week, and grow closer in the Lord. You are so, so right about how we are too focused on "I" . . . . and when it became so clear to me was during those years of trying so hard to be everything that everyone expected me to be - and I realized that I could never be what only He can be! How selfish of me!!! Of course, I didn't mean to be, and was trying so hard to be "unselfish" by doing it ALL - but it is only His grace that is sufficient, never, ever ME! What a lesson in humility! But so much farther I must journey on, until I become more and more like Jesus. You said it so well - "So what if I fall?" It's just not about me! Thanks for your words of encouragement. Love, Nina

writingcanvas said...

Ohhh, did you hear our discussion in our home with our children about "their" music?!?!?! LOL! Yes, so often we forget to glorify God. Thank you for sharing!

LauraLee Shaw said...

Perfectly expressed, dear sister.


Amen to all of this post but I found what God was speaking to me when I read this part:

"And guess what? This same beautiful illustration is -- should be -- ours in 2009: God’s caring and attentive eyes are always looking upon us. And we - like the Israelites - can put our concerns and uneasiness into God’s hand of infinite grace and possess strength to face the yet-unseen future."

He's been showing me to step into my earthly promised land and take claim to it. If the enemy is standing on it [as in Joshua's day] then I will fight him for it - because God gave it to me! He's given it to me for HIS glory and HIS kingdom purposes - not mine!

Focusing on HIM at all times is the only way to live out our restless circumstances of life! There is always HOPE and a FUTURE in Christ!

And yes, after all - this world and everything in it and of it - is about GOD - not us!

Choosing JOY,
[JESUS - the One I Worship]

sara said...

it is amazing how we so easily and quickly turn our eyes on ourselves...even when we are trying not to, our nature brings it around to that every time. It is reminders like this post that we need to keep our eyes focused on Him!


Andrea said...

I love your post! I've been watching my little granddaughter learn to walk. I see her stumble and get up and go again. I'm always making sure she's ok.

Yes, God watches over our every move, and yes, I tire of the "I" in so many songs, teaching, etc., even in myself. I just want Jesus.



Susan said...

Yes, this was right on my sweet friend...

Been missing you.

Not I, but Christ that lives in me!

As always you bless us all~

Have a great weekend!

recess said...

Thank you for your wisdom. You wonderfully put into words what was bothering me about the song, "I Can Only Imagine". I think I counted 48 "I's" one day and it ceased being my favorite song.

Doesn't the "me" focus remind you of a baby playing peek-a-boo? Babies are only aware of their own small world. As they mature they become increasingly aware that there is more to the world besides themselves. As we mature spiritually, our focus should be on our almighty God instead of ourselves!

May God continue to bless you!

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LauraLee Shaw said...

Hope all is well...are you on vacation? :D

Sara said...

I just ran across this blog and read it. Thanks! I needed that today. I have stumbled, I have fallen, and I am struggling to get myself back on track. You are right, its not about ME, it's about God. I really need to get my focus back. Just lately, I've made it all about me and look where I'm at, I've fallen and I feel I can't get up. Please say a prayer for me.

Sherry said...

"What if . . ." It's comforting to know that our God is always watching over us, and He desires for us to keep our eyes on Him!

Thanks for sharing this beautiful post.

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