Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The "F" Word.
Yesterday, a wonderful friend of mine and I were sharing about our concerns and frustrations in life with each other over the phone. What we were sharing seems to be the general theme I have heard shared from many lately. It has to do with the “F” word, but not the one you might be thinking of.
Whether our failure is only perceived, or an actual gory mess that we have blundered our way into, we are all trying desperately to dodge this seemingly tenacious beast. There are times in our lives when it seems that no matter how hard we try, whether in our marriages, our families, our jobs, or even friendships we just fail.
There can be a crippling sense of shame that follows this slithering beast named failure. Paralyzing us as it wraps it tentacles around our hearts and minds, digging deep into the areas where our doubt and self worth intermingle. Like a haze of fog it clouds our views of the reality of who we are and who our God is.
The further we descend and entertain this beast the more he takes liberties with other areas of our lives and hearts. He infects us with his lies about our true nature... About whether God could really still love us. He bleeds images of our Heavenly Father shaking his head in disgust and disdain at yet another failed attempt in our life.
Confidence can begin to crumble away like the land when it is in a drought. Instead of running to someone for help as we begin this fall, often times the shame folds over our mouths like duct tape. We turn from the ones who love us and wander quietly away. Secretly hoping someone will notice the shadows of hopelessness overtaking the light in our eyes, but too scared to speak up.
Whatever the cause for your sense of failure; whether it’s a temptation you continually fall into; a ministry or business that has never really gotten off the ground; or you are caught in the contagious trappings of comparing yourself, your looks, your success to others… Please know this.
Stop looking down at your problems, your imperfections, and shortfalls. Stop looking down and look up.
Like a little child being bathed by their mother. She coaches her child to keep looking up as she washes the shampoo from his hair.
“Look up at me. Keep your eyes on me.”
She whispers gently to her beloved child trying to keep his head tilted upward so that the stinging soap can be safely washed away from his precious eyes. When her child is overtaken by doubt or fear and looks down, that’s when the soap pours down over his little face, stinging and burning his eyes. What was it our mother’s told us?
It works the same with our Heavenly father. He does not look at us and shake his head in disdain when we try and fail. He looks at us and coaches us in gentle whispers,
“Look up. Keep your eyes on me. The enemy will try and steal your joy, but I sent my son for you to follow so that my joy could be complete in you. Keep your eyes on me. It is in your weaknesses and perceived short comings where I can shine through you and do the impossible. I love you and want only the best for you. You are my child. “
If our eyes are on Him we will see how He truly is. A father overjoyed in our open hands that may be unskilled, but when placed in His capable hands can do the amazing. When we fall, He is there whispering, “Look up my child." He offers his shoulder to lean on and His truth as our solid rock to stand on. When we repent he washes the shame away in the warm healing waters of forgiveness. He offers His shield during the attacks of the enemy and He whispers constantly, “Keep your eyes on me. This battle is mine.”
There are two stories I encourage you to look into this week, both are in Matthew 14: 15-32. Each time there was a key integral moment between human failure and the Lord doing something impossible through someone. In both situations the choices were caught between looking at the persons circumstances, and human inabilities or looking up at our Lord to what He can do with our weak hands, and diminished supplies.
Take courage my friend.
God loves you more than you could ever imagine.
I am praying Paul's prayer for you today.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.
Are you struggling too friend?
How can I pray for you?