Our text for meditation this week is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your hearts, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (NKJV).
Sometimes I feel I stack up all my failures and take roll call every night. I keep them close through the darkness and then, in the day, hang each disappointment around my neck like a tree trunk. While the failures are already killing me, I go ahead and start each day full expecting to only add to their weight as I go. The only trust I can feel is the trust in my own likelihood of imperfection, and it screams at me nonstop. There is no relief.
Do you know that feeling? It hurts! Carrying around all my failures is like carrying around a rattlesnake. I can’t make a move because I’m afraid of another mistake and more pain. There’s no transformation because I’m paralysed with fear. And yet, I cannot stop. The world demands that I go on, clumsy and dusty as ever. There is no time to stop and reflect on life. There is so much that I have to do and ample opportunity to fail…
What a horrible way to look at future! And yet, we do it all the time, don’t we? We overlook anything positive and focus squarely on the less than perfect. And when that happens, it’s hard to trust God or ourselves.
Yet our quest for perfection continues, disappointing toil that it is. We fail to succeed. We fail to act godly. We fail to love enough. And all we can see is the list with no check marks, no evidence that we’ve accomplished anything.
I know you understand what I am saying. And we let all of these failures that we focus on every day keep us from God. It seems so backward; but until we choose to reclaim the peace and joy and redemption that only He gives, we miss the point completely.
Frustrated and ashamed about everywhere we fail, we began to wonder why we fail so much when we do try as hard as we can. There could be tons of reasons why all of our efforts don’t succeed, but we focus on a few out of desperation. Has God abandoned us? Has He decided to withhold His guidance and instruction? Has He forgotten about our needs and our plans? Has He become as obsessed with our failures as we have? No, He’s done none of that. There’s only one failure He’s worried about.
Our failure to trust that He is still in control has become our biggest failure of all, and it’s the only one that matters. When we have no trust, we have a lifetime of futile, everyday human failures that teach us nothing. We have forgotten “that what He had promise He was also able to perform” (Rom. 4:21), but we can change that. We can transform failure into trust, one step at a time.
You may be thinking: “How can I change the failure into anything? It’s already done!” You’re right in one way. Some failures are real acts that you can’t deny or redo, but God is waiting for you to change your interpretation of your failures and what comes with them.
Your failures can destroy you when you let their testimony of imperfection shout louder than anything else. Or they can be part of your journey in God’s grace if you’ll trust Him to work them into
your imperfect life and to never let them keep you from Him. His grace is that strong.
Despite any failure, you can rest in God’s grace because He can still use everything you have and everything you are to work His plan, if you’ll entrust it to Him.
The apostle Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Making that commitment to trust every day is hard, isn’t it? It’s especially hard when we think I’ve done my very best and still failed. It’s not fair! That’s another one of our human emotions that the Lord endures while He knows, “It’s not what looks fair in our mind that troubles us. It’s the trust in our heart that’s missing.
The kind of success and failures we’re looking for isn’t necessarily what God’s most concerned about. We want results: “Please, let this work this time!” And He wants a relationship: “Please, walk with Him now and forever!”
By Rev. Eric D. Maefonea