Posts Tagged ‘failure’

Condemnation

 

Today I take the power away from you to tear me down with your words. To shake my confidence. To make me feel like I am a failure. I won’t let you or anyone else have that power. Not anymore.

 

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” (John 8:10)

 

When you derive your sense of worth from anything outside of God, it can easily be taken away. The same people, person, institution that builds you up can tear your down in a single instance. With a single word. Even if you derive your worth from your sense of self, one day you will inevitably fall short even by your own standards.

 

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. (John 8:11)

 

You may not feel worthy, or deserving, or even good. But God doesn’t shun you in your brokenness. Jesus doesn’t kick us when we are down; He extends His hands to lift us up.

 

Be lifted up oh my soul. You are a child of the King.

 

Jesus-hands-scars

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He is able

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“♪He is able.”

“♪He’s able.”

 

She sang, but her voice began to shake and finally, it cracked. Sucking in another labored breath she tried her best to continue.

 

“♫I know He’s able.”

 

As she sung the tears began again. But she knew she had to finish.

 

“♫I know my Lord is able to carry me through.”

 

She sung it like a question. But by the end she knew she had found the answer. She sang the chorus again. “♫He is able…” And this time, her voice was stronger, she was surer.

 

By the third time she sang it, there was no longer any doubt. It was certain. He is able. The tears stopped and she smiled. She sung with confidence and certainty and her voice rang true. She chuckled. Now she began to fear she would wake the neighbors. And again, she smiled.

 

That night she had thought of her fears. They were not abstract—simply mere shadows of the night. But they were real, vivid, and ever present. 

 

The thing was, she had brought her burden to Christ.

And after so many years, she knew He must have seen it.

Countless times she fell on her knees in prayer.

He must have heard it.

So many things she tried, each time with hope renewed as if the last failure was never present.

Surely He could recognize that.

 

She prayed for a change.

Then, she prayed for His will.

But still, there was no change.

So she began to accept maybe ‘thiswas His will.

 

She sprung up from her bed. And searched frantically through her drawers.  Finally her fingers jammed against the cover. When she picked up the book. She flipped and flipped, until she found the passage that she was looking for. It had been there all along; read and re-read, marked and highlighted, but only now did she understand.

 

2 Corinthians 12. She read it out loud.

 

“Because of all that Christ has revealed to me and done for me. If I wanted to boast, I could. But I don’t, lest others begin to think of me as greater than I am.  But God, in order to keep me from becoming arrogant, allowed me to have a great burden, “a thorn in my flesh: a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take this away from me. But still He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” So now, because of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

 

I sat back and marveled. It seemed that there was nothing I could experience that God had not already prepared an answer for in His word. I thought God had left me in my weakness. Perhaps, He too, was even ashamed of me. But I began to see how He had made my weakness, into my strength. How He opened doors that I could have never walked through even had I been perfectly whole. What I had always saw as my burden. God was telling me was His perfection.

 

The truth is: as He works miracle after miracle in my life, I wish I could have taken the credit. I wish I could have said, thank you! Yep, it’s me who deserves the praise! But nothing could be farther from the truth. All He has done and will do in my life. I don’t deserve, I didn’t earn. And I can no longer hide behind a perceived impression of perfection. I AM WEAK! But He my friend, is STRONG 🙂

Inadequacy?Loneliness? … A discourse.

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For a person who has always felt most at peace when in solitude, it was quite disconcerting to see loneliness settle in. With this loneliness came the desire to fill it. Acting on impulse, this gaping hole was easily filled with things that soon became detrimental.

Sitting back I began to observe this phenomenon all around me. It seemed like this world was filled with people who in their loneliness reached out for anything that would give them happiness, attention, satisfaction, or love. And yet this happiness was always so fleeting. Lovers leave, money finishes, the party ends, and night becomes morning. The high and the drunken stupor ends in pain when the sobriety of the morning hits.

man with beer

Drinking away sorrows– ends in alcoholism, just as fast as chasing highs leads to addiction. The trouble never stops and thus neither does your dependence. The churchgoer ridicules the drunkard for his bottle, and the drunkard ridicules the churchgoer for his hypocrisy. Yet are they so different? Both with longings, desires, hopes, and failures.

Then there is that woman next door; who’s girlhood days have passed as she looks in the future expecting nothing but more of the same. She is lonely, in ‘need’ of a man. She boasts in her aloneness while grooming herself to perfection in hopes of catching the eye of the next man who looks her way.

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Meanwhile she is oblivious to the fact that the old mamas at church who tell her that her biological clock has ‘tocked’ are living in misery in their own loveless marriages.  These old mamas have their husband in bed every night, but the space in between them lies cold. They were a Ms. and lonely, but now they are Mrs. Lonely. So they have more kids, join clubs, or support groups, and throw themselves in every work their hand finds—hoping to convince themselves that they are… “fulfilled.”

And finally there is that boy who looks like a man. He talks like a man, walks like a man, and lusts like a man. Yet when he is alone, his thoughts are that of a boy. He fights those feelings of inadequacy and he craves power over his own life and over his future.

mna, just a boy

We all go through life stumbling around, picking ourselves up, and developing our own coping mechanisms for loneliness, failure, and lust. We keep seeking, but not many find.

To the woman who is no longer a girl, and to the boy fighting to be a man: You can find a balm for your hurt and relief from your longing. But only at the foot of the cross.

foot of the cross

I have found only one place where it’s okay to be lonely and broken, confused or hurting. It’s okay to be lost and discouraged, weak and weary. Just come with your baggage and your sins, and lay down at the feet of Jesus. The walk of faith is not easy, and failure is guaranteed. But this time, when you fall, Christ Himself will pick you up.