We all need a soft place to fall. As a wife and mother I want to be a soft place for those I love most in this world to land when life gets hard. As Christians, we have a hard time admitting that we need a place where we can just be fallible sometimes. Aren’t we supposed to have it all together? Aren’t we the ones who know best how to trust in the promises of God?
We aren’t supposed to worry, we aren’t supposed to get discouraged, or feel overwhelmed with all that life throws at us. But the truth is, even Christians need to be able to pull off the mask and just be weak some days. Sometimes we need to be able to show someone our wretchedness without fear of being criticized for it.
I don’t know what I would do without people in my life that let me be less than perfect. As a ministry wife, there are few people who can handle me when I am at my worst. To that end, there are a precious few who have ever seen me on those days. I can actually count them on one hand, and I don’t need all five of those fingers, either. These precious few people mean the world to me.
Who do you have in your life that is your soft place to fall? Have you ever misjudged that place only to be allowed to fall hard? You thought they would catch you, but they just couldn’t do it? Have you felt the disappointment when that person just couldn’t handle knowing your brokenness?
We have to choose wisely those places to let it all hang out… but we must have them. We have to risk finding that place where we can be completely honest, for it’s in that honest place where healing can come. Where growth can happen. Only when we come to the place where we confront our weakness can we begin to grow out of it.
This is especially hard for people who work in ministry. I understand it. People need to believe that those who work in ministry have their stuff together. They have perfect marriages, model children, and uncomplicated lives. All things work out for them because they have a special relationship to the heavenlies, or whatever.
The truth is, ministry people face the same struggles, stressors, disappointments and frustrations that everyone else does. Only ministry people deal daily in eternity… other people’s eternity. Oh, we all know that it is the wooing of the Holy Spirit, and not by our doing that someone comes to salvation in Jesus. But the local church is the means by which God is choosing to accomplish the task of gathering in the lost sheep, and when the local church is your calling, the stress gets ramped up a bit sometimes.
No one likes to think that their ministers need a soft place to fall. They don’t like the thought of them falling at all. But without that soft place, ministers cannot make it over the long haul. They will burn out, have a moral failing, or grow ineffective in their calling.
As Christians, we all need to make room for everyone to be able to face their worst days and come out the other side looking more like Jesus and less like their old sinful self. That is the process of sanctification, and we need each other for that process to be successful.
Who is your soft place to fall?
Are you someone’s soft place?
Are you that place for your spouse? Your children? Your siblings or closest friends?
Being that place doesn’t mean you take on their brokenness yourself. Rather, we are called to bear one another’s burdens. A weight carried on the backs of two is much easier to carry. And when you are that soft place to fall, when you relieve that person of their burden, you keep it only long enough to then pass it off to the Father who is able to carry it.
Being a part of someone else’s process of sanctification is a noble thing. As believers, we are part of the same body. Lifting up another believer only serves to make the entire body healthier. We are the Bride of Christ. We want her to be spotless and ready for the day of the coming of the King. Every time we are willing to lift up another Christian, help them grow, help them refocus, and stand on what they already know to be true, we take one more step toward that day.