It’s been only a recent event, but I know that the feeling has been swelling in me. My son, Jasper, is growing up right before my eyes, and with each day he’s got a new skill, a new word, a new expression, a new individual and unique trait. And it’s wonderful to see, and I thank God for creating my son. Yet, there is something in me that laments the transition from infancy and toddlerhood to his older-toddler-stage. In the last week or so, he’s learned to go on the jungle gym all alone, something that we’ve never let him do before. After dinner this evening, I went out and let him run freely, loosing my reins and letting the One who created him reign.

Now here’s the story: Jasper was running around the playground and he hit a patch of sand. He then went tummy first onto the pavement, scraping his knee and elbow, and immediately started to cry. Another father nearby commented, either intentionally as a metaphor or simply as something to say: “You know, we all fall down at some point.”

That’s when it hit me, how true, beautiful and eloquent those words are.

Falling is necessary if we’re to rise. Scrapes and bruises are necessary if we’re to live a life engaged with Christ, because nothing hurts more than to fall on your face. As a father, I know that Jasper will have to fall a few more time. I’m hoping that I’ll be there to help him get up, give him a brush off and a hug, and be there to reassure him that everything’s okay. One day, he’ll get the hang of things, but he’ll “fall” in other ways. I’m praying that I’ll be there to help him, or, even better, that he’ll come to know how God raises him up when he does fall.

So many people who read these words on this blog have felt the same kind of shattering effect that I’ve felt. Being broken in today’s world doesn’t make sense, and it’s often a sign of weakness or unmasculine. But in God’s sovereign realm, it’s crucial. We might think that we’ve got it all under control, but we can have everything slip out from underneath. Then we’re on our knees begging and praying, “Oh Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” And because our hearts are contrite, and because we see the need, Jesus enters our lives and transforms us.

Our falls are simply that: they’re temporary falls. With Jesus at our side, we’re lifted up, raised from the dead, healed of our sicknesses, eased of our burdens, released from our chains. Now how cool is that?