He is Faithful, even when I am not.
If you’re like me, you have really screwed up at some point in your life…or multiple points (let’s be honest). Some people are able to quickly bounce back and brush it off. That has not been my typical response. Over the years, I have taken failure pretty hard and at times I have held myself to a standard that I am now convinced that not even God is holding me to. As a result, there have been times when I have felt that because I have messed up, God’s plans for me have been negated. I have disqualified myself. Something I have had to learn is that it was never about me to begin with. It’s about what He is doing through me. He is not looking for perfect people to work through. He is looking for willing people to work through and that is something that I am…willing.
In Romans 4:20-21, it is said of Abraham, “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in His faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He promised.” If you know the story of Abraham than you know that he made plenty of mistakes, pretty big ones at that. He lied about Sarah being his wife while they were in Egypt and let her be taken into Pharaoh’s palace, resulting in plagues being brought on the nation. He slept with his wife’s servant and so that he could have a child by her, which was never God’s plan or intention for him. Yet when Abraham is talked about in the New Testament, his mistakes are not the focus. His faith is. Because God doesn’t look at our mistakes, He looks at our hearts. He remains faithful, even when we do not.
Recently, I have been blown away by God’s faithfulness in my life. I have spent the last season recovering from some things that had great potential to ruin me and to be honest I really felt that they had. Our perception can be a tricky thing sometimes. We have got to shift our focus from what Satan is doing in our lives to what God is doing. Often we are so focused on what is going wrong that we don’t even realize that behind the scenes God is already orchestrating our rescue and our deliverance. We would save ourselves some major headaches and anxiety if we could learn to tune into what God is saying and doing even in the midst of failure and disappointment.
My whole life I have known what it is to work to achieve. I adapt easily to my surroundings and I have learned to work and serve, in order to grow and to step into opportunities that aligned with my purpose. I made some decisions that I felt were right at the time and I watched everything that I worked so hard for fall apart, leaving me with nothing. In my mind, I thought my dreams were over because I could not fathom how I was going to be able to work hard enough to recover what had taken many years of my life to build.
In the absence of position and titles and roles I had served in, I was left alone with God. I had to learn what it is to rest in Him. I had to learn who I was apart from all the roles I had previously clung to. I had to learn what it meant to be His daughter, only His daughter. I had to learn to love, accept and forgive myself. I’ll be honest. In that season, I didn’t lift a finger to work, to serve, to volunteer…I came into God’s presence and into His house to receive His love and to grow in an understanding of who I am. Work and service is important but for me, I needed to learn what it was to rest at His feet and to learn my identity apart from what I did.
The most incredible thing happened. Doors have been flying open left and right to begin pursuing my dreams once more. I have been sought out to do things that are blowing my mind. At a time when I thought I was hidden from view, God has presented me with opportunities to pursue His purposes for my life. Without my help, He has restored my life and recovered so much of what I thought I had lost forever. But this time, I didn’t work for it. This time I didn’t do the things I normally would to get recognition and affirmation. I didn’t do what I normally would to feel as though I deserved the opportunities I had been granted. Every blessing I have received in this season has been nothing more than a pure gift from my heavenly daddy. I understand it is because He loves me and I am His. In this season, I am walking in a greater understanding of who I am and the lie that I have to work and to strive to earn everything that I have has been shattered.
In 1 Corinthians 1:8-9, Paul writes, “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God, who raises the dead.”
In the times of crushing, in the times of failure and in the times of defeat, we learn that we are not in control. We learn that our striving never gets us anywhere. We learn to rely solely upon Him. And when we learn to put our full confidence in what He can do, even what was dead can be raised back to life.