I was terrified. One of my greatest fears is failing. Being disappointed in ‘me’.
So when a friend artist invited me to attend a painting class last weekend, I laughed, “I cannot draw a straight line. I drew stick people and little chickens for my children for years. That’s the extent of my creative drawing ability.”
She insisted, “You will have fun; I know you can do this.”
Inwardly, I cried, no, no. You don’t understand. I can’t handle more failure. I will disappoint you and me. Why should I put myself in a position to fail. . . I need to stay safe. I was firm in my arguments to her.
She smiled, looking a bit stubborn, “I will not let you fail.”
Me, not fail. Now, that’s impossible. At this time in my life when I feel a failure in many areas, why, indeed, would I invite another one? Why would I intentionally add another failure to that growing heap?
Fragments of happier days lived with a sense of worth and purpose shatter around me like dry leaves. The brokenness of our family colors most days black, a dark midnight black; it screams of my failure as a mother. I can’t even write a weekly blog. No, no, I will not add another defeat to that list.
BUT. . . I went. Anticipating defeat.
Why? Maybe there was a slight hope that I could do something I never imagined possible. No. I went simply because of Joyce’s words to me, “I will not let you fail.”
I compare my first canvas painting to life at the moment. I believed totally it was impossible for me to have accomplished anything recognizable! I learned something through this. Which is really what life’s experiences are about. Right? I did something I thought impossible. How completely freeing on this journey. I was overjoyed. I realized an enormous victory!
Isn’t this what Jesus whispers to me, to you, “I will not let you fail. I am with you. I will never let you go. . .” Countless promises. I read the words of hope, while negating each one with doubt. I had even forgotten my life verse these past months: “I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He who began a good work in me will continue and continue until the day of His return—developing that good work, perfecting and bringing it to full completion in me.” Philippians 1:6 Amplified.
God is looking for those with whom He can do the impossible—what a pity that we plan only the things that we can do ourselves. A.W. Tozer
Surely there are failures in life. It is how we see and use them that matters. Charles Krauthammer, physician, columnist and news contributor, paralyzed from his waist down for all of his adult life never let the impossible stop him. He is a great example that any of us can accomplish the possible, even when many impossibles surround us.
A fear of failure paralyzes me. Maybe you. Fear blinds one to new possibilities. I needed this Snowman! I learned NOT that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13. This verse is often misused. It is a Greek idiom that means being content in any and every circumstance, not that I, nor you, can do those feats we are not gifted or equipped to do. Paul is in prison as he writes this, and he affirms he can be content because the Lord has promised to give him the strength he needs for whatever is before him. God will sustain him in the failures and heartbreaks of life.
This snowman whispered, “Barb, take your eyes off your failures. Embrace the goodness in life for the many, many possibilities in front of you. The secret is in being confident that the Lord gives strength for the journey NOW . . .”
. . .painting contentedly. . .