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For recovering perfectionists like yours truly, failure is a curse word.  Failure is at best unthinkable, and at worst, catastrophic.  To fail at something would mean that I, personally, am a failure.  But this week, I failed at something – and it was good.

As part of my no-more-whining-about-the-way-things-are approach to life, I signed up for a few sessions with a personal trainer.  Stacey Parrish, my trainer, is a body building champion.  Nothing jiggles on her.  Nothing.  Dear readers, meet Stacey:

 

staceyparrish

 

By contrast, her client is a middle-aged mom who has indulged her affection for chocolate chip cookie dough a few too many times.  Many things jiggle on me.  (Don’t worry.  I will spare you the photo of me in a bikini.  Wait.  I don’t even own a bikini.)

In our most recent weight-lifting session, I tried so hard that I failed.  That is just what Stacey was hoping for.

“Failure is good!” she said.  “That means that you have worked the muscle as far as it will go.  You’ve reached muscle failure.” 

Apparently, the point at which the muscle fails is the point at which the magic starts to happen (i.e., more lean muscle mass, less flab).  I may want those weights to move with all my might, but they will not – until Stacey actually helps me to lift them.

This happens in life, too, doesn’t it?  We try so hard.  We work ourselves sick.  We chase after things, people, dreams, careers and perhaps even ministry.  And sometimes, in spite of all our trying, we fall flat on our faces. 

We fail.

But like muscle failure, this is when the magic happens!  When we at last come to the end of ourselves, God is there to do the heavy lifting. 

There is no such thing as failure to Him.  Everything is under His supreme control.  The moment we feel our weakest is the moment He really goes to work.

Have you failed at something?  Then give thanks!  Thank Him for what He is about to do in your life.  Thank Him for being there to lift the burden.  Thank Him in the midst of failure.

Then sit back, and watch the magic unfold.

 

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”  (1 Corinthians 1:25, NIV)

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