Are You a Failure?

Some days there is an “x” that I cannot solve in my son’s math. And sometimes I can’t even find the “y”. We stare at those triangles in silence and wonder what rule could help us solve this.
Though I can find the x most days, I haven’t been able to teach my boys how to find the x on their own. That’s what a teacher is supposed to do, not find it for them —every single day.
It seems such a little thing. Why should I care? But it is every single day.

Maybe it would be easier to accept if it were just math. But ask for a preposition. All you have to do is travel to the mountain, or around the mountain, or through the mountain. Fill in the blank. Or memorize them if you have to, but find the prepositions. Is that so hard?
A good teacher motivates her student to want to learn. 
Ever try to motivate a teenage boy who thinks his mother doesn't know what she's talking about?
Or if he knows, he could care less about the information. What has a preposition got to do with life?
Me? I just cram the material down their throats so we can be done.
Failure seems to be embedded in every single day.
And I don't even want to think of attitudes. 

I go to the Bible out of my failures.
How can God accept such a habitual failure?
Know what I find?
I find a perfect wife, Eve, blaming her husband for what she did.
And that perfect husband, Adam, whom every woman would want, blaming God for who he got.
I read about Noah, who preached fearlessly for over one hundred years without a single convert, yet falling in a drunken stuper.
Was it over memories of all those companions who did not listen to him?
I find Abraham, known as the friend of God, telling lies about his wife—twice, to spare his life.
I see Moses, living on the mountain with God, yet so angry he shattered God’s Word in a hasty throw.
Or leading a rebellious, stubborn people all the way to the Promised Land, yet not able to enter himself because he had not obeyed totally either.
I read about Deborah, judging Israel, wishing a man would lead.
Or Samson, his strength became his weakness, as he was rejected by his own people.
I read about David, a man after God’s own heart, failing to bring his family to know God too.
I read about Jeremiah—great spokesman for God to an audience who never believed what he said, let alone obey it.
Jonah didn’t even try to obey. He even failed running from God. His preaching brought an entire city to repentance. By his “success”, he felt a failure.
I see Judas, trusted by his fellowman to be the disciples' treasurer, but couldn't be trusted by his Lord.
I read about Peter. He denied Christ.
I read about John. He fought with his brother over sitting beside Christ in heaven.

Know why I like the Bible?
Because it's full of failures.
People like me. 
Trying to do what God wants. 
Yet not getting it right.

Know what failure does?
Makes me go back to God. 
Depend upon Him. 
Because I can’t do it on my own.

The just man falls seven times, but gets up. Proverbs 24:17.
Know what makes him just? 
It's not that he is not falling.
He falls many times.
But he’s not focusing on his fall, or he would stay down.
He gets up.
He tries again.
Because his focus is on God. 

You bet. 
But somehow God brings all those “x’s” to be found in His time.
And He gets the credit for finding them.
I become only the means to show others how great is our God.

When God gets the ultimate praise, there is no failure.

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Displaying 1 comment

I don't know if any of my kids could even now tell you what a preposition is, but they know how to use them and I figure that's all that really counts. Teaching is hard enough without the unnecessary parts. I have plenty of other feelings of failure though when I think of different ways I "failed" our kids and "ruined" their lives. Good thing God still loves us failures! Actually, it's kind of nice to know you feel this way too, for I think you two have been amazing parents. We really must get together soon.

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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