Have you ever felt like falling into despair because you had not accomplished what you were supposed to do? Have you felt like giving up and thought, “What’s the use anyway?”
Just before Jesus went to the cross, He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to plead with His Father about the heavy road ahead of Him. He contemplated drinking that final bitter cup; He was to come face-to-face with all of humanity’s sin, and offer up the ultimate sacrifice–Himself–so He could redeem mankind. He needed to know that He was not facing the unfathomable burden of satan’s (intentionally not capitalized) final onslaught completely by Himself. He asked the disciples to support Him by just being there for Him, keeping watch and praying with Him before His Father. Instead of supporting Jesus in prayer, three times He found them sleeping.
Finally,in Mark 14:42 He told His disciples to get up and get going. In spite of their abandonment, Jesus still loved the disciples. I am sure these followers found it very hard to forgive themselves, to not fall into negative self-talk of, “It is all over now; I failed Him, so what is the use of trying anyway?” On the contrary, Jesus encouraged them to get up and get going on to the next thing ahead of them.
When we have disappointed God and we try to take the first step back toward Him, often it is a step into the dark. But not for long! We find that He was there all the time. Then the drudgery of that first step in His direction becomes divinely transfigured into joy. During this process, we stop dreaming about getting up; instead, we find ourselves living and fulfilling His dream for us.
After we have failed the Lord, and we walk back into His arms, we will be able to take huge steps into the future He has planned for us: a deeper love for Him and with greater joy. We will find that a right response after a failure is actually an advance in His kingdom!
Below is a picture of a person whose steps are ordered by the Lord. She was just forgiven and restored. The balloons she is carrying are filled with the helium of the Holy Spirit, thus lightening her footsteps, enabling her to leap over the hard places ahead. I hear Jesus say, “My child, get up from your rocky place, leap and jump over the obstacles, for I have empowered you with My precious Holy Spirit to reach My goal for you.”
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