What if God’s plan for your new ministry, new job, new relationship is for it to fail? What do we do with that?
Sorry I haven’t blogged for a while.
I’m reading through the book of Isaiah with my mentor. We’ve never been to seminary. We’re not biblical scholars, but we’re reading through and gleaning what we can, consulting commentaries and other translations. It’s actually been pretty awesome. We get to Isaiah 6:8-13 and I stumble over what I’m reading. (read it here)
Isaiah is given a new ministry to go and preach to God’s people, but God tells him – you’re going to fail. You will preach and your words will fall on deaf ears. You will share your heart and beg people to repent, but their hearts will be hardened against your message. You know – heads up. That’s the plan.
Back that train up. Am I the only one who’s been told that if I seek out God’s Will for my life that I’m guaranteed (OK – no one’s used the word guaranteed) to succeed? If God is in this new thing – if whatever you’ve been called to is God’s Will for you in this season, He will raise up people to partner with you, He will raise up the funds, He will go before you and make the crooked paths straight. I know people who agonize over discovering God’s Will. They live in fear of inching one itty-bitty tip-toe outside of God’s Will, because that would open them up to failure and disappointment.
By implication, what they’re really saying is that staying inside God’s Will for your life (whatever that means) is a sort of insurance. It means you’ll always succeed, you’ll avoid all the hard, tears-down-your-cheeks, gut-twisting uncertainty and heartache.
Not so, Mable.
But God is love.
Who says this isn’t loving? I allow my children to fail at things (non-life threatening things) because sometimes you just gotta learn the hard way. Because you can’t learn from a book how to be a humble winner AND a gracious loser.
What if, as in the case with Isaiah, it’s not about you? What if it’s not your lesson? Maybe whatever it is you’ve been called to has to fail to teach someone else something.
Well – that’s not fair.
Have a seat at the feet of Jesus, let the gentle stroke of His nail-scarred hand soothe your hurt feelings.
What does God have for me in this season?
Whether you are weathering an easy or a hard season, look for the lessons God would have you take away from it. God’s plan is always to make us more like Him. What is it about your attitude that could use some adjusting? What motives aren’t as pure as they could be? How can you use this experience to help someone else along the way? Maybe the lesson for you is to learn to give thanks in every situation?
Maybe He wants your attention.
Sometimes His ways don’t make sense, sometimes there are really hard lessons to learn. Sometimes we’re a little slow in the learning. But He is patient.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis