People will let you down sometimes.
This is nothing new. Surely I've heard those exact words from the lips of a sage older woman in a movie. "Honey, that's just a part of life," Sage Older Woman says to the forlorn beauty sitting at her kitchen table. "People ain't perfect, and they will let you down sometimes." She's wearing an apron, of course, bustling about her carefully middle-class kitchen. She proceeds with an object lesson based on something she's baking, while Forlorn Beauty drinks in the coffee and the unconditional love. "People will let you down, it's true," Sage Older Woman finishes, sliding a plate of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies across the table, "But you've still got to try." Forlorn Beauty hesitantly takes one, and somehow we feel that what she's biting into is not just a cookie but a fresh start. Sage Older Woman pats her hand. The music soars.
People will let you down, and not just in the movies. I've experienced enough failed friendships and broken trust to know that. Still, unpleasant surprises can leave me reeling with questions: is nothing sacred? is no one trustworthy? can anyone remain faithful? Underneath them all is the question I'm really asking: is it worth the risk?
So I look pragmatically at the examples around me - men and women of character, full of faithfulness, integrity, and passion. And I'm unconvinced. I've been surprised before, after all. The answer to my questions, then, is "yes and no." Yes, some people are trustworthy, but they're still capable of letting me down. Yes, many are faithful, but they are not without fault, and there is no guarantee.
Then I think about my Lord and realize that He is the resounding "yes" while I am the resounding "no." He, the sacred, faithful One will never betray my trust, and He considered my life worth the risk - not exactly a risk, since my eventual unfaithfulness was not a possibility but a sure thing. And I realize that there is as much cause to fear that I'll betray another - and worse, betray Him! - as there is cause to fear that I'll be betrayed.
The warning, "So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall," plays tug-of-war with the promise, "[He] is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing." I fall again on the grace of the One who will never let me down.