16 July 2008

Failing Gracefully

God always equips those He calls with whatever they will need to accomplish the tasks He has assigned to them. He will stop at nothing to make certain whatever he wants will come to pass. He parted the Red Sea. He held the sun still in the sky for Joshua. He gave a donkey language. He opened the jailhouse doors.

So why do fear that I will be unable to pass the licensing exam for my new job? I tell myself it's because this license and this job aren't comparable to the directives God gave Joshua or Jonah or Moses. It's easy to for me to think that what I do is insignificant to the Kingdom, but in thinking that way, what am I saying about our God and His economy? Surely we believers are not indispensable but we are not without significance. I think we can't see the forest from the trees when we're standing at timberline. At least I seem to have that trouble.

Ever notice that your vision improves when you look outside your own circumstances. I have. I recognize God's supernatural provision for the saints of old and it's easy. Easy enough that I often wonder why, in view of the miraculous provisions, did these people screw everything up? How could Jonah be such a malcontent? Didn't God prove to him that what He was capable of accomplishing through Jonah the conversion of Nineveh? And didn't God prove that disobedience to him wouldn't keep that task from being accomplished? How could Elijah be such a pansy and run and hide from Jezebel and her vow to kill him? Hadn't he just called fire down from heaven and hadn't God done just that?

I can't separate myself from the saints of old. I am as guilty as they in thinking that God has lost control of the universe. Well, not the entire universe. Just the tiny part that houses my little life. I am feeling battered and bruised. Feelings lie. Remember, Jonah slept peacefully in a boat going in the opposite direction. He didn't experience an anxious moment. Time for me to take inventory. Nothing bad has occurred. I am just studying things that are brand new to me and finding that my ability to apprehend new things isn't what it used to be. It's humbling. I used to connect the dots easily. The dots need to be closer and closer together for me now. Should I rest in the knowledge that if this job is what God wants me to do, He will equip me? Sure, but what I worry most about is that He will humble me by allowing me to fail. What if failing is the whole point?

Failure is a silly thing to fear. God uses failure to refine us. He hammers out our impurities and fires away the dross when we fail with grace; when we fail forward. He sustains us with his mercy and love either way. God's provision of grace isn't a reason to be presumptuous or to think we can sin with impunity. It is a reason to work hard and then rest. If I fail, Lord. Let me fail gracefully.

There can be no security felt unless we satisfy ourselves of the truth of a divine superintendence and can commit our lives and all that we have into the hands of God. The first thing which we must look to is His power, that we may have a conviction of His being a sure refuge to such as cast themselves upon His care. With this there must be conjoined confidence in His mercy, to prevent those anxious thoughts which might otherwise rise in our minds. -John Calvin


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. This is something I need to realize. God prepares us for what He brings our way. I need to submit to that and trust Him. It seems easy to trust Him in some of the bigger events in life, but when it comes to coming along side a young lady or talking to someone or something on the "smaller" spectrum of life, trusting God is on the back burner and I just keep thinking of how am I gonna do this and I just don't want to. Nice temper tantrum I pull there 'eh?

Thanks again. I "stumbled" onto your blog a bit ago and am being blessed by your godly ramblings.

rosemarie said...


Thanks so much for letting me know you are being blessed. There's no greater honor for me than to be used by God to encourage his saints. It blows me away. We all need to rest in His sovereignty. :)

Carla said...

It's the learning to rest in His sovereignty that we need more of. That can be the tricky part.