Can you believe we are already on Day 33 of our journey? Just one week to go. I’m praying for you today. We’ve come a long way together. I find joy today in thinking about the Holy Spirit filling your room with His presence.
Sometimes I wake up in the morning with my mind racing. In the midst of that, it feels so good to slow down to breathe, to ask God to fill me up in a fresh way. Before we jump in today, will you pause and ask Him to lead your thoughts and to still your mind?
Come, Holy Spirit. Give us clear minds today to understand and obey your word.
I want to focus on failure for a moment. Peter gives us hope when He says, “God will never fail you.” This is really hard for me to understand because of how often I fail. Sometimes failures can make you feel so low that it’s hard to understand love that never fails.
A couple of years ago I had a tremendous failure as a parent. For context, I had just returned from a four-day trip. I had intentionally planned my trip home with margin. I decided to fly into town about three hours before the end of the school day. This would give me time to wrap up any last details before the end of the work week and then be ready to engage with my kids.
My son Caedmon had a wrestling match that afternoon at 4:00. I love wrestling, and I love Caedmon even more. All week I had been looking forward to being home on time for his match. When I walked in the front door at the end of my trip, I entered to see one of my kids in a fit of rage. His face was filled with anger and a deep sense of shame. He couldn’t complete his homework on the computer so he decided to delete all of his work, the work that Stacie had stayed up helping him work on the night before. This created a collision between him and Stacie that resulted in some major fireworks.
After 20 minutes in his bedroom and some careful, quiet conversation, he had calmed down enough to come back downstairs and own his aggression and anger. Needless to say, this episode delayed our departure. I thought, No problem. We’ll still get there by 4:10. We parked on the campus of Valley Christian, and I looked out over Silicon Valley as I held my youngest. I thanked God that I was home and that He gave me grace to work with Sammy and still get to this match.
As we walked up to the gym, I heard the whistle blow and thought nothing of it. Based on his weight class, Caedmon usually wrestles later, and today he was supposed to be wrestling varsity. The moment I walked into the door, I could see the sadness in his face. His body was red, and he was pounding down water. I knew this could mean only one thing.
I walked over to him to explain.
Caedmon uttered four words. “You missed my match.” Then my son stared down at the ground.
Failure. Shame. Sadness. Anger. My heart felt a jumble of emotions in less than two seconds. I actually had not shed tears over a mistake in a while, but this brought me to tears. I felt a deep sense of regret in the moment. I had let my son down. I had told him I would be there. And I had failed him. The irony of this moment is that I had the best of intentions, and I still failed. This memory bothers me still, almost two years later.
Earthly fathers fail their children. But, thankfully, your heavenly Father will never fail you. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that He will never fail me. Never.
Peter calls this Good News even in the context of God’s judgment. God allows His kids to go through the fire in order that their character might be shaped. He wants your faith to get stronger. I said to Stacie the other day, “If God disciplines those He loves, He must love me a whole lot.” All of my hardships are His to redeem. All of my pain has a purpose.
Some people can’t endure the fire so they decide life with God is not worth it. In the end, based on their choices, they prove they aren’t God’s children. They throw in the towel. And when He is revealed in the end, it will not be a good day for them. Our urgency to reach people who are far from God should be increased. God does not want anyone to perish, but some people choose to run from His grace.
You are going to fail God, but He will never fail you. You are going to have many more days when you don’t get it right, but He will be waiting for you when you turn back. The word “trust” here is like a man who puts money on deposit. Every day you live for Jesus you are storing up HOPE.
Keep doing what’s right. Keep serving. Keep loving. Keep blessing. Don’t give up, friend.
If you have a failure that’s weighing heavy on you today, turn back to Him. Let His kindness meet you in your grief. Tell Him you’re sorry. Ask for cleansing. Ask for freedom. Ask for help. Receive His mercy. Then get back up and get out there, and do good from a humbled heart.
Thank you Pastor Andy! I can empathize with Caedmon as a son, with Sammy as well, and with you as father. Those moments sting, and seem to never truly heal. But with God, even those most hurtful moments are trivial. God Bless you and your family Pastor Andy!
Such a good reminder. There have been plenty of times when I have felt shame and guilt and disappointment in myself for unintentionally causing hurt to someone. It reminds me how much easier it can be to forgive and have grace for others vs. ourselves sometimes. I pray God would help me to more fully receive and embrace the grace he offers, and from that also be better at extending it. ♥️
Very encouraging and inspiring! Thank you for the daily words of hope
Pastor Andy, thanks for today’s devotional.
It usually much harder to do what is right but the rewards in heaven are much greater.
“Jesus, thank you for your kindness. Thank you for working with us in our weaknesses. Thank you for taking our messes and making beautiful things out of them. Help us to keep doing good even when we don’t feel it. Please give us a sense of urgency to share your Good News with those who don’t know you yet!” – Amen Amen Amen
@Rachel Those are great questions! Pastor Tim is our Alpha pastor and I’m sure he would love to answer your questions. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing the story with Caedmon. It can be hard to embrace and even recount failures, but the heart you have to glorify God with it is so impactful!
“Our urgency to reach people who are far from God should be increased. God does not want anyone to perish, but some people choose to run from His grace.”
Thank you Andy beautiful message.