Yikes! Did I just say that???
What “beauty” can there possibly be in failure?
The Beauty of Redemption. The Redemption that is only made possible because of Failure.
I was exhausted last night. Exhausted from two weeks of running nonstop. We had crammed too many activities into too little time.
Some activities were wonderful! Seeing friends. Sharing hospitality. Serving others. Soaring in Your Spirit.
Some activities were necessary. Winterizing our Virginia property. Driving the 900 miles each way to do so. Driving many more miles for the wonderful activities involving people who were not close to home.
We were really “under the gun” (as the expression goes). Particularly in the last two days. We had to get back to Florida for medical appointments today. No margin.
The most vital activities — life–sustaining activities — began to slip. Not a lot. Just a little. Like the pinhole leak in a tire. Just enough to have an indiscernible impact.
Indiscernible… at least, at first.
Like my nightly bedtime. I mean, really! How is it possible to go to holiday parties and get to bed by 8:47 pm??? 🙂
And my exercise. The first week, it rained all day every day. In temperatures that maxed out in the forties. Not the most healthy of conditions for a 10-mile bicycle ride. And I should be concerned about my health… right?
Then there was my physical nourishment. Is there a competition among hosts of holiday parties to serve the most delicious, least nutritious fare? 🙂
Worst of all? My daily time with You, Lord.
I had been “feasting” on our three-hour daily “breakfasts” for months. The crammed schedule of the last two weeks demanded more energy from me, not less. Yet the relentless schedule and late nights began to “nibble” away at those feasts.
“Necessity” demanded that I spend my time with You “on the run.” Or, more accurately, in the car… as we drove the final 600 of our “mileage marathon” on steroids.
Why am I not surprised that last night, I failed?
In my weakness — on every level — I turned to self-indulgence. Willingly. Wantonly.
I was very aware of the wrong choice I was making. I made it anyway.
The temptation had presented itself earlier in the day. I had rebuffed it once. A Victory! But it hung around… looking for another opportunity.
The second time, You shut it down, Lord… in an obvious way. A Rescue! And it hung around again.
The third time, I bit… like a hungry fish taking the bait. Even though I was well-acquainted with the danger of The Hook.
But isn’t that precisely where I can discover the Beauty of Failure, Lord? IF right then, in the wake of Failure — for me, that’s right now — I choose to turn toward You, in fearless honesty. Rather than away from You, in self-condemning shame.
Choosing to trust Your Love for me. Love that remains steadfast, despite my Failure!
Choosing to trust Your Promises to me. Promises You will fulfill, despite my Failure!
Choosing to trust Your Plans for me. Plans You will empower by transforming even my Failures into Testimonies of Your Goodness and Glory!
Whatever choice I make right now, I’m trusting something… or someone. Putting my faith into something… or someone. What — or who — will it be?
I’m trusting You, Lord. Because I can. Because I must.
Today is a New Day!
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
It doesn’t matter what the weather may be outside today. Because in my heart, The Son is shining!
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
I can — and will — begin again Today. As I acknowledge my Failure to You, Lord, and receive another taste of Your Grace.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
I am most vulnerable when I am feeling empty — physically, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually. And the enemy knows which of my personal “hot buttons” to push. He may whisper a suggestion, but he cannot make me act on it. No one but me is responsible for that choice!
“… each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desires and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15)
There is no substitute for You, Lord. Whenever I am empty, You are the Only One who can fill me.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
So many “choice points” along this progression, Lord! Enticement. Conception. Birth. Growth. So many opportunities to choose well… IF we “keep our heads” in the heat of battle.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
If an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure, Lord… What could we do to avoid this “progression” altogether? So that we would not even be enticed?
“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
It all comes back to You… doesn’t it, Lord? As we delight in You, You change our hearts. To beat in sync with Yours. To become more like Yours. So, in time, our desires also change. Becoming Your desires for us — which always lead Abundant Life!
But meanwhile, the battle continues. As it will, every day… until we are truly at Home with You, Lord. Face-to-face. Finally. Forever.
And until that day, You are here with us. Always. Thankfully, You are more than enough!!!
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Getting up, not giving up…
As often as it takes…