by Christine Berglund

This brings to mind one of my favorite old recipes, the one for squash souffle.

As any good cook knows, a souffle is supposed to stay puffed up after baking. I had nicknamed this recipe “Babylon Squash Soufflé” because it resembled the curse of Babylon in Isaiah 21:9, and repeated in the Revelation of John.

I loved making this recipe when we had extra butternut or acorn squash.

Now that it is autumn, I notice a variety of plants that have just gotten so heavy they have fallen. It’s not just falling leaves that give this season its name!

Tomato plants have slid down and lay in crumpled heaps at the base of their stakes, and the tall flowers now sprawl lazily across the decaying remnants of the formerly glorious garden.

This is especially true after a good rainstorm. In many cases the storm has beaten the plants well into the ground, and picking them back up can actually break their brittle stems. Great care must be taken with fallen plants like this.

The Maximilian Sunflower is a good example of a plant that will not stand on its own. My first introduction to this majestic flower, Helianthus Maximiliani was last year, when I didn’t know that it would produce twelve-foot long stems.

I didn’t really mind the fact that these long stems splayed themselves in three directions, covering up old cleomes and physalis plants. However, I did feel a little guilty that I let them fall.

What causes Christians to fall? Sadly, this happens all too often. Galatians 5:4 gives us the example of those that want to be justified by law as being “fallen from grace” (KJV). Reducing Christianity to a set of rules is as dangerous as ignoring the laws clearly outlined in Scripture.

More often, Christians fall because of discouragement, lack of knowledge, or lack of faith.

They can become discouraged by a tough set of circumstances, bad examples by other Christians. Sometimes it is just weariness in well-doing.

A lack of knowledge can cause a falling away, because there are plenty of skeptics trying to prove the Bible wrong. They are persistent with their false message, and sometimes the weak Christian just succumbs to the barrage of erroneous information.

A lack of faith can develop when the emotional “flowers and butterflies” — which seem to be everywhere in the springtime of our walk with God — give way to the cold, harsh winds of reality.

As with a toddler, Christians are going to stumble, and sometimes fall. What is important is not the amount of times we fall, but rather how often we get up again.

“Though a righteous man falls seven times,
he will get up,
but the wicked will stumble into ruin” Proverbs 24:16, HCSB).

Seven times? The inspired writer probably means “unlimited times,” as the number seven indicates completion in Hebrew numerology. The important thing is to get back up. Don’t be like the people on that commercial, who say, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.”

I will exalt You, Lord,
because You have lifted me up
and have not allowed my enemies
to triumph over me.
Lord my God,
I cried to You for help, and You healed me..
Lord, You brought me up from Sheol;
You spared me from among those
going down to the Pit (Psalm 30:1-3).

Rise up again! We don’t look as pretty as my sunflowers when we’ve fallen down. God is there to lift you up.

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