- July 07, 2019
- Jared Odenbeck
You find out who you are on your worst days. When your life crumbles, when you underperform, when you don’t live up to your expectations and standards for yourself, when you experience loss, demotion, or disappointment, you will either sink or swim. But how will you swim with these weights crushing you and pulling you under? This is the fundamental question we face when faced with failure and its consequences.
At some point in our life, we will fail. And we will fail miserably. When we fail, even when we fail valiant failures that rise out of great bravery, we will feel the weight of that loss. Maybe we suffer lost relationship, lost respect, lost confidence, lost hope, lost faith, or lost progress.
But after every failure, God says, “play again.” But some of us don’t want to play again. And we don’t want to play again because we are afraid to lose – again. We are afraid to date because we do not want to feel the sting of rejection, or worse, the potential for the impending failure of sexual sin. We are afraid to play the sport we love anymore because we cannot bear the feeling of making a terrible mistake and hearing the disapproval of our coach and our teammates. We do not want to get out of bed in the morning because we know that undoubtably something will go wrong. But, respectfully, this line of thinking is both unintelligent and radically non-Christian.
In his sermon “Peace – Overcoming Anxiety,” Timothy Keller speaks of the phenomenon of Christian life, namely, that when we find ourselves in the midst of the sea, we do not sink, for we have a buoyancy – which is our peace – that comes from a belief that we are eternally secure in God, that he will work everything for our good, and also a realistic expectation for the circumstances of this world. While we are often wet from our time in the seas of suffering, we will not go under, and we will certainly not drown.
If we take this alongside us, we quickly realize that we do not have much to fear at all. And not only this, but also that we do not possess sufficient power in and of ourselves to control our life in a way where we are beyond the grasp of his sovereignty. Perhaps you lost that relationship. Perhaps you lost the interest and approval of a coach. Perhaps you lost your job. Perhaps you feel you have nothing left. But listen. Listen to the voice that stretches out a hand to lift you and calls you to play again. He knows the way and he will show it to you, so get ready to go again.