Ann Farabee column: The safety net

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 31, 2021

By Ann Farabee

In a recent column, I referenced feeling as if traversing through difficult circumstances was like trying to keep my balance on a 3.9 inch wide balance beam.

I now have an update.

Lord, could I please have my balance beam back?

The news came. Not just one — but two friends — lost their lives to COVID this week. They were too young to go. It was too soon. They had families that needed them. It was hard for me to understand.

COVID continues to impact all of us daily. The struggles seem to be front and center and multiplying. In a way, it feels as though our balance beam was removed and replaced — with a tightrope.

As a young girl, I remember watching a tightrope circus act from the upper level of the coliseum. I gasped in horror as I saw the acrobat on the tightrope fall. She fell and fell and fell. The fall seemed to last forever.

Then came her landing. She fell — right into a safety net. It was so far down from where I was sitting that I had not even realized that a safety net was there. She jumped up, smiled, and waved to the cheering crowd.

I caught my breath. Whew! That was close. Or was it?

No, apparently, it was not close at all. It was part of the show.

That memory has now become a message.

A tightrope is a tensioned wire between two points that you try to keep your balance on by positioning yourself over your base of support. Some use a tool like a pole to help them balance. Others choose to balance by stretching their arms out.

Me? You? Balancing on a tightrope? Let’s see:

There will be times we will waver back and forth, feeling that we will fall. It can be scary, for there will be emotional strain — tension.

How do we keep from falling?

We position ourselves over our base of support while using these tools:

• Balancing pole — that would be God’s Word.

• Stretching our arms out — that would be prayer.

But, we are human. God knows our frame. He made us. He knows our limitations. No matter how hard we try to walk safely on our tightrope, there are times we lose our balance. We forget our balancing pole. We forget to stretch out our arms.

Those are the times we may fall.

We fall, and fall, and fall.

Then we land.

Straight into the safety net.

Our savior’s outstretched arms.

Psalm 145:14 says, “The Lord upholds all who fall.”

All means all.

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