“He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.“– Psalm 121:3-4
I don’t even try to hide it anymore. There’s no way to disguise the fact that I am by far the clumsiest person I know. In high school, my basketball coach would try to make sense of me falling down in the middle of the court while completely alone by surmising that the painted lines on the court must reach up off of the floor to grab me. I have had the experience of trying to explain to my doctor that I hit my head and got a concussion by, yes, falling out of a porch swing (I had no idea you could flip those things).
I’m clumsy, so I’ve learned my limits. When I realized I would have to walk down slick stone steps at my wedding, I nixed the heels. When I go on a hike, I stay far away from the mountain ledges. When my beverage is hot, I try not to pick it up until it’s cooled. I avoid wearing anything white.
So when the psalmist talks about God watching over me and steadying my feet, my ears perk up. God will not let your foot slip. This promise is reassuring because I know well the feeling of finding myself, all of a sudden, off balance—the split second of wondering how hard I will hit the ground this time. The promise is also reassuring because I too know well the feeling of finding myself in a brand new job that I don’t know how to handle or in a conflict that I wasn’t expecting. I know what it’s like to walk the ledge into a new circle of coworkers, into a new stage of life and into a new country and culture.
I know, despite my epic unsteadiness, the God who never sleeps not only walks with me, but promises to keep me surefooted. My prayer for us this morning is that God may steady us. That God may watch over us and keep our feet firmly planted.