Sunday, April 6, 2014
Free to Fail, Ride Like the Wind
And we know that [a]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Several days ago, I was given the privilege to share with a group of women, at a nearby addiction home. I shared with them the story God was giving me and His faithfulness to me, in it. While sharing, one thing I told them I was learning was that they were free to fail. That God was able to take our failures and use it, for even better, than if we had never failed. That our time of failure was not wasted, but that God was using it for our good. I spoke to them of my 15 years of depression and how God had used it to show me how to be alone with Him, and dependent on Him. I mentioned to them that as a result of me being free to fail, that I was making more loving choices, wiser choices.
Then on the way home it was like the enemy said, "are you sure what you said it true?" "Those women are going to go out and fail now, because of what you said." Can grace, that much grace, really be true? Can we give too much grace? Does God truly keep His promises and His word. Did I know it to really be true. Does God really use our sin, our failures for good.
I did not tell them of the suffering my depression caused me or those I love, nor their failures. They knew that. I did not say, don't go out and fail. That is why they were there, at the home. Instead I gave them freedom. I hope I took away the fear of failure and gave them a desire for life and loving and peace and joy. A life in Christ and Christ alone.
One thing I loved to do, when I was a child, was ride my bike. I remember when I first began to learn to ride. My dad was holding me up and I was leaning a lot on him. He would try to let me go a little at a time, but I was afraid. I was peddling just so. I was gripping my handle bars tightly. I was looking down, looking back. I was swerving from side to side. I was afraid I was going to fall and I would have fallen many times, if it had not been for my father, holding me up. Then, I remember, I thought I could ride on my own. I got cocky. I went where I should not have gone. I thought I could handle it on my own. I tried to ride fast into a pile of gravel. I did fall and have the scars on my knees to prove it. I still remember the tender care of my father during that time. I would make unwise decisions about where to ride and that I could handle things, unsafe on my own.
My father taught me well. He let me fail. I learned from my failures. I gained confidence of making wise decisions, I could really ride and I was wise in doing so. I knew the gravity would hold me up. I remember taking my bike and taking a shoving start. I placed my feet on the bars ahead of me. I held my hands high in the sky and I looked ahead to the places my bike would take me. I was not afraid, I was going to fall, but enjoying the ride all the more. I had the confidence I needed to ride with abandonment and no fear. I rode into the wind with a big smile on my face. I was free!
We can have this fairy tale of how our life should be and when our failures or the failures of others take it away, we can become bitter and angry and unforgiving. Angry at God and others, because things didn't go as we had planned. We can deaden our hearts and bury our pain in addiction Or we can repent of our fears, unbelief and anger and know, as in Hebrews 2:8, that all things are under the subjection, or control of God. It is the Fathers love that gives us the freedom to fail. We may not understand life nor what has happened, but we can know the One who has tasted, fully, death for us so we can have life and life abundantly. We can love as never before, without fear of failure. We can ride this ride of life with abandonment of self, and place our trust in the One who will hold us up. The one that has never failed for us, so we do not fear failure, but hope in what He has done on the cross and will do for us in bringing us to freedom and dependence, so we lean into Christ to sustain us, lead us and keep us from failing. We now lean on our heavenly Father. We will never fall too far out of His reach. He will never let us go. He will never leave us to ourselves to go too far from Him, but train us to trust and lean into Him and His wisdom and mighty power. We can ride into the wind and never look back. God keeps no lists of wrongs but uses it all for our good. We can have a better life than before we failed. It seems God chooses those who fail to pour His grace and love to. He chooses the sinner not the righteous. Those who know their need of Him. Sometimes He has to reveal that need to us through our failure, that love, that grace and mercy of His to us.
What I am trying to say is... I don't want to go back to my life before my failure. My failure has helped me see my weakness, my need for Him. His mercy and grace and His great, jealous love for me and faithfulness to me a sinner, His child. My failure has been Gods mercy to bring me out of myself to Himself. To lean on Him and not me. I want to get on that bike, not in fear of failure, but to ride like the wind. I am not saying I will try harder to do better but to laugh and love and be free. To lean on Him. For some reasons, I do not understand His power is made perfect in our weakness and child like trust.