Your Failures and God’s Grace

Your Failures are Covered by God's Grace
I blew it yesterday. Not once. Not twice. But three times. If I’d been playing baseball, I would have completely struck out.

The day started out well. I went to the gym, rode 17 miles on my bike, worked on the computer, and visited a friend. By 3:00pm, though, I was tired. As I sat in carline, waiting to pick up my daughters, I prayed about my attitude. “God, you know I’m worn out. Please help me to be patient with the girls, despite how I feel.”

The first five minutes went well. I asked Isabelle and Jocelyn to tell me something good that happened at school, and we chatted about their experiences. But as soon as we started discussing homework, everything went downhill.

Isabelle got annoyed because I was asking too many questions. I got frustrated with her for being defensive. My blood pressure rose and so did my volume. By the time we pulled in the driveway, I was steaming mad.

Strike one.

My husband met us at the door with a smile on his face. “Hi, babe. How are you doing?”

“Just great,” I replied through clenched teeth. Though Justin usually greets me with a kiss when he gets home from work, he decided to steer clear. My body language and facial expression communicated that I was not in the mood for a little smoochy smoochy. Justin got the message and kept his distance. In fact, he bolted to his shed to escape the obvious tension in the room.

Strike two.

The next few hours were pretty uneventful. I calmed down. Isabelle studied for a test. Jocelyn, the peacemaker, played her guitar. Justin finally dared to reenter the house. We had a peaceful dinner.

Just when I’d almost forgotten about the events of the afternoon, I was blindsided by another wild pitch. At bedtime, Jocelyn brought me her Language Arts paper and asked if I’d look over it. Right away, I could see that she hadn’t followed directions, and many of her answers were wrong. When I told her so, Jocelyn started crying. “But I put my paper on the kitchen table so you could check it! I don’t want to redo the whole thing!” she said. “Jocelyn, you didn’t tell me about the paper, so I didn’t know. You’ll just have to get up early in the morning and correct it,” I told her.

Jocelyn kept wailing. Even after I tucked her into bed, she was still hysterical. Eventually she cried herself to sleep.

Strike three.

Do you ever have days like I did? When your poor choices lead to conflict with family or friends? When your words aren’t loving and kind but sharp and cutting? When gentleness and patience are nowhere to be found?

Mistakes cause us to struggle with bouts of sadness, regret, and self-loathing. And the Enemy loves every minute of it. He takes great pleasure in beating us down and then stomping all over us in our moments of weakness.

But that is never God’s response to us! The Lord knows we will blow it sometimes. His Word promises, “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lam. 3:22-23 NLT).

When we disobey God and hurt others, we don’t need to walk around in shame. But we do need to repent and follow this two-step process of restoration as outlined in God’s Word:

1. Confess your sin to the Lord. 
Tell God what you did wrong. Yes, He already knows, but your confession is not for Him. It’s for you.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

2. Forgive, and ask for forgiveness.
Forgive the person who offended you. If you hurt someone, humble yourself, and say, “I was wrong. Will you forgive me for _____?”

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Col. 3:13 NL).

Maybe you struck out yesterday. Or maybe your no hitter is happening today. Just remember, your failures don’t ever exclude you from God’s glorious grace. Just turn to the Lord, and let His love cover your failures.

Today when I pick up my daughters from school, I’m determined not to swing and miss. Today I’ll rely on the Lord to help me hit a home run.

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Comments

  1. Wow, That is good, Thank you!
    Heard something else today shortly after we talked: DON’T LIVE IN BAGGAGE CLAIM! I think I need to get out of baggage claim.

  2. Thank you for this! I love your honesty and allowing yourself to be exposed!

  3. When are you going to write that devotional I know is in your heart? As always, you hit the nail on the head for so many of us and I, for one, am grateful for your honesty and openness…I know how easy it is to get stressed out and react in the flesh. Thanks, honey! Praying for victory for you.

    • Judy, thanks so much for your encouragement! I don’t know what is next for me. That’s exactly what I’m praying–that the Lord will show me which way to go. So maybe that devotional isn’t too far off! 🙂 Thanks for praying for me, too.

  4. Hi Kristen, I don’t read your blog all that often, but it seems like I turn to it at the perfect time. Your insight into yourself and how it relates to God’s teaching is both revealing and refreshing. I have forwarded it on to my wife as well. Some days I wish I had a shed like Justin!

    • Mike, thank you so much for your encouragement. I’m always humbled how the Lord touches others through my writing and experiences (and failures!). I’m so grateful. I appreciate that you took time to read the post and share it, too. 🙂

  5. Hi Kristen,

    God is so good! I have been struggling with this very same situation lately with my girls and had been beating myself up about it. I had prayed to God to ask for patience and guidance (wisdom) on how to better connect with my girls, especially right after school, when we all are tired. And as I opened my email this morning, yours was the first to grab my attention and I felt compelled to open it. Now, I know why! It is just one of the many ways God shows us that he is listening and he provides answers in so many different ways. Thank you for allowing God to use you as you share your experiences with us. I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness, grace, and his unfailing love! 🙂

    • Well, praise the Lord! His timing is always perfect! Thank you so much for sharing how the Lord spoke to you this morning. Your comments encouraged me. May you be filled with joy and peace today as you rest in God’s wonderful grace!

  6. Thank you soooooo much for the information. To day I was truly struggling within myself about my failures during my fast. I thank you for your honesty. It has blessed my soul

  7. This was right on time, I have truly been this person for a very long time.I have been struggling with forgiveness. This has given me some insight as to how to handle my anger, and my stress. Thanks FC

    • You’re welcome. I thank God that the post was an encouragement to you. 🙂 Thanks for your comment. May the Lord fill you with His power and peace as you trust Him with these areas of your heart.

  8. Just read this today. I needed to hear these words: “Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.” This was a message from our loving Lord straight to my heart. Thank you for being the vehicle that brought it to me. I have started the Daniel Fast for the first time – a few days early because I need to finish by 1/18. My husband, another friend and I are doing it together. I am only on Day 2 but already hearing the Lord speak to me. Thanks so much, Kristen, for these resources to help us be successful on this 3 week adventure!

    • Thanks for sharing how God is working! I’m glad to hear you and your husband are doing the Daniel Fast together. May God bless you abundantly as you fight the good fight of faith together!