Got grip?

Mowing my yard tends to be an aggravation to me, particularly in these days when it seems we are getting so much rain. A good portion of my yard is situated on a definite slope, and the most distinct problem of mowing it involves slipping.

I have shod myself with a variety of shoes, including boots and tennis shoes, football cleats and baseball cleats. But, neither provide consistent grip. In some spots, thin soil lays over rock on which cleats cannot provide adequate traction. The sod is so loose in other areas the ground and grass often slip under the rough-tread boots I most often wear. On several occasions where the angle is hardest, I have slipped and slid right into the waterlogged ditch at the bottom of the hill, which the mire will absolutely suck shoes right off your feet.

There is nothing more irritating to me than busting my backside from loose footing on that slippery slope of mine while trying to manipulate a blade-spinning lawn mower on a hot, humid summer day!

Nonetheless, once the temperamental reaction to it settles down, it does provide a biting contrast to a critical truth found in the Word of God for “he that is ready to slip with his feet” (Job 12:5).

Take into consideration our daily concerns for maintaining good grip during our walk in life. We often say we do not want to “slip up” or “lose grip.” Some express concern about avoiding the “grease on the grass.” Some confronting circumstances are like “walking on ice.” We talk about the possibility of “sliding feet first in hell.”

An honest assessment of our problematic society suggests that many have a problem with footing in the affairs of life. But, it is cheering to the inner countenance of us that God has the necessary grip at hand for us.

The prophet Habakkuk teaches us about the grip that gives our lives. Putting it in the following terms, Habakkuk said, “The Lord is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds feet.” Just like God has given great grip to the feet of a deer, so great grip is given to those whose trust and faith is placed in the Lord.

Furthermore, two of the Psalmists expressed understanding about the value of the great grip God gives. The one said that God will not allow our feet to be moved. The other spoke of the fact that God will not let our feet fall. Since God gives great grip for us, how is such a truth helpful for us?

It is discovered first in the fact that God gives us great grip emotionally. Sometimes when it is a matter of losing grip with the emotions of anger, frustration, or depression, there is traction otherwise to be made, for He assures us that we need not be anxious for anything, and that His peace will keep our hearts and our minds.

God gives grip to stand during adverse circumstances. Nothing can dislodge one’s spiritual footing when there is the constant assurance that the Lord will never leave us or forsake us. Our feet are never better set than when His strength anchors us in His love.

Lifestyle needs good grip, and God is aware of our need for it. There is not a person alive that does not possess in the essence of their being a moral or spiritual weakness. There is always a part of us easily tempted to do those things contrary to God’s will for our lives. But, God gives grip to help us to walk away from the slippery slope of temptation.

It is unfortunate that so many of the people of God lose grips in their lives. People lose grips in their marriages. People lose grips in their moral lifestyles. People lose grips on spiritual expectations. It is concerning to see so many slipping when they can otherwise be standing firmly.

I only wish the same were true for me when I mow my yard.

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By Rev. Ron Branch

The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.