Dear Ones,
Hope you have a day of experiencing freedom! Al will be going to men’s group, and I am going to be busy in the kitchen, later Bible Study and then going to a pizza party for the friend who use to walk with us each day but is now in Edgewood.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
How free are we? Are we free to take risks or are we too afraid that we will fail? Eugene Peterson writes that “those who are free to fail are the most free. Fear of failure inhibits freedom; the freedom to fail encourages it.”  By nature, I am not a big risk taker and like to take the safe way. But my eyes were opened when reading about how failure is the true test of greatness.

We have for example Peter who was impetuous and failed in some big ways when he was tested. He denied even knowing Jesus when Jesus was being tried, and not just once but 3 times. We know that like him, we all fail.  Failure in our own lives help us to see our own humanity and become aware more of God’s grace to us. We are not to just play it safe to avoid failure but to face it and learn from it, just as Peter did. Abraham lived a free life of faith but he also had failures that are normal for us, as we walk out the Christian life. Abraham left his home and security in obedience to follow God’s call, and it meant a new way of life, a walk of faith. He listened to God and not those around him.

We may be asked to step out of our familiar, to follow the Lord in a new call on our life, maybe relocate, a new ministry etc. If success in the world is more important to us than obeying God, then we will find we become imprisoned and lose our freedom. We are all much like the teen who is leaving home for the first time. As he makes decisions and tries to find his way with so many options, he has some failures. But the important thing is what he learns from it and that he sees how much he needs God’s grace. Even though he will have failures, he is growing and learning and becoming. Maybe the question to him and to ourselves is, what did we learn through failure? Perhaps it breaks our strength in ourselves and teaches us to rely on God; or it makes us more compassionate for hurts and failures of others. If our failures bring us to surrender everything to the Lord, it has accomplished much. It says in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain, and He is always ready to restore the repentant one.”

Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to teach you through your failures and dare to step out in faith as you are led by the Spirit.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy