Failing and Singing by JW Kaiser
Recently I was surfing, and because the waves were better than most days and the amount of people out of school and work, there was a large increase in the number of surfers in the water. One particularly friendly guy in the water near me had a less than graceful style when he attempted to paddle into waves. As a wave approached, he would flail his arms like a Olympic swimmer doing the butterfly stroke. He kicked like I’ve never seen before. It was a combo of the butterfly with rapid frog style leg kicks. The entertainment value was high, but his wave count was low.
Providentially, later that day in my quiet time with the Lord, I came upon these words from AW Towzer: “We please him (God) most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into his arms with all our imperfections and believing that he understands all – and still loves us.” A vision of my fellow surfer frantically trying to catch a wave came to mind and then I thought of how hard I work to “perform” for God at times. Does he still love me when I’m at my worst, flailing around like that guy trying to paddle? You bet he does even though that’s hard to believe. Does he love me more when I’m on a “spiritual high”? Nope. His grace filled love and affection for us is not dependent on the “form” of our lives.
God reminds us that his grace is sufficient in many places in the Bible. One of my favorite is from the book of Zephaniah 3:17. “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Can you imagine The Lord taking great delight in us even though we are spazzing out? Can we take a humble and submissive posture so we can enjoy our Creator and Lord as he rejoices over us with singing? The tragic and yet beautiful part of all of this is that no matter what you think of your reality, we are all flailing around in a total mess of our own sin and shortcomings. However, God’s grace is actually singing over us in love. Can you hear the melody?