January 6, 2009

Fall at Your Feet

"He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him."
Luke 17:16
The subject of feet came to my mind the other day as I was trail running. The leaves from fall have completly covered the trails, making it a bit treacherous to run (often large rocks or tree roots are buried just under the leaves). Any unexpected, uneven landing upon the trail can quickly turn an ankle or foot, resulting in a very painful sprain, or worse. Add three days of rain to the leafy, rocky trail-stew, and you might as well walk most of the way if you want to avoid injury . . . even with the right shoes. But I had walked long enough. And I was needing to exert more energy. And I was willing to take the risks . . . and not surprisingly, I turned my foot on a rock--but not too badly. Enough, though, to slow me down and take notice of my limitations that day. I was grateful not to be limping, grateful that my foot stabilized quickly, grateful that my feet could carry me yet again on the trails the next day without much more than a light ache. My feet take a lot of abuse and strain, but they are very powerful, taking me though a day, a month, a lifetime. My feet allow me to move forward, take action, and come running toward the ones I love. They also remind me of the humble acts of servanthood demonstrated by Jesus and many others in the Bible.

The Bible mentions feet often throughout both the Old and New Testament. I did a search for feet on biblegateway.com and was surprised not only to find the disciples washing Jesus' feet (serving), but Satan being crushed under our feet by "the God of Peace" (empowering): "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you." Romans 16:20. When I realize all that I am able to do through God's strength, I am so comforted. My strength alone is so frail. And if I ever think my strength alone is sufficient, I am painfully reminded of how human and unequipped I am to do battle on this journey.

I love Psalm 40:2: "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." To me, this is a promise from God of redemption and salvation. The slimy pit represents my sin. He rescued me from that part of my life. He then takes hold of my feet and sets them on a rock, better known as Jesus, the Rock of my salvation. Jesus is the anchor where my feet will settle, without getting sprained, twisted, or snared. Notice that the word "stand" is used after Jesus has rescued us. The scripture says "a firm place to stand" (not sit). There is no shame in the rescue and redemption and former sin. There is only a God who is proud of my coming home to him, who wants me to stand tall in his love and grace.

And for that kind of love, I should gladly and eternally


in humble praise and thanks.

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