Falling, Not IF, but WHEN…


“You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there” – Edwin Louis Cole

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall” – Confucius

“Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” – Chinese Proverbs

“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford (Canadian born American Actress called America’s Sweetheart during the silent-film era. 1893-1979)

Falling down, making mistakes, getting it wrong, missing the mark……we’ve all done it. Thesaurus.com puts it this way:

Fail

Definition: to be unsuccessful

Synonyms: abort, back wrong horse, backslide, be defeated, be demoted, be found lacking, be in vain, be ruined, blunder, break down, come to naught, come to nothing, decline, deteriorate, fall, fall flat, fall short, fall through, fizzle, flop, flounder, fold, founder, go astray, go down swinging, go down, go downhill, go up in smoke, go wrong, hit bottom, hit the skids, lose control, lose out, lose status, meet with disaster, miscarry, miss, miss the boat, play into, run aground, slip, turn out badly

OUCH!! Unpleasant as it is to face, we will all experience these things over and over again as we walk the road of life. DOUBLE OUCH. This is not happy news. If left as the final word on it, this is downright bleak, discouraging, and somewhat depressing. What is the point of even trying if we are all doomed to eventual failure?

My dear friend and fellow traveler of life’s road, that is NOT all there is to it. Failure is not the end of the sentence; it is merely a comma.

What you did before and, more importantly, what you do AFTER your failures proves your character and determines your final destination more than anything else. Don’t rely only on the temporary circumstances that you face to determine your ultimate destiny and worth. The only people destined for failure were the ones never born. We can ALL rise above our temporary set backs and be the person we long to be. If you are a follower and lover of Christ, then the reason for this does not rest in our own worth or merit, but in the name of HIM to whom we belong. If you are not a follower of Christ, let me assure you that His love extends to everyone. Don’t let the failures and fears of other people turn you from the One who searches through the whole world until he finds the exact one He loves. He searches for YOU, my friend and He will never give up on you. Don’t you give up on yourself.

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
    may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices
    and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart
    and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy over your victory
    and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

May the Lord grant all your requests.

Now this I know:
    The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
    with the victorious power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
    but we rise up and stand firm.
Lord, give victory to the king!
    Answer us when we call!

Psalm 20

Beauty for Ashes


“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crown-less again shall be king.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

These are tough times when many have seen dreams dashed and hopes shattered. There is pain and struggle as people struggle to overcome or re-build their damaged lives. It is really unclear how many people are actually affected, because the hearty, proud and stalwart bread-winners of our country do not like to admit that they cannot help themselves out of a hole when they fall in one. Patience and understanding are at a premium these days, as well as compassion and HOPE.

Today I read an article which broke my heart. It was from a fellow-blogger who was discussing the reasons behind Sesame Street having to cover the issue of food stamps and childhood hunger. (You can read the article here.) The fact that this is even a question for any child SHOULD be heart breaking. Sadly, many of us have become immune to this issue, and many, many others. We give up, we discount our ability to help one, or two, or three or a few. Now, however, the problems are knocking at our own front doors like the Big Bad Wolf. Where do we turn for sympathy? Who do we ask for help?

It is discouraging for many of those who suffer from lost income, surprise medical conditions, crushing debt, hunger, homelessness, and the overwhelming feeling that they might not make it to see the fulfillment of their dreams. It is discouraging for these people to see and hear their more fortunate friends and family relate stories of shopping sprees, vacations, new cars, new houses, and promotions at work. There is so much trouble all around us, our sensitivity is incredibly crucial for those who are facing troubles that genuinely make them wonder how they will pull through this new test.

For those who have or are facing these kinds of trials, there is hope even in the midst of your suffering and confusion, and your dark night will have a dawn. Don’t you dare give up!!

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.                                                                                     

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
    you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
    and in their riches you will boast.

Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.

“For I, the Lord, love justice;
    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
    and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known among the nations
    and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
    that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

I delight greatly in the Lord;
    my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the soil makes the sprout come up
    and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
    and praise spring up before all nations. Psalm 61