What to do when you feel like your failing at life
Have you ever tried doing the trust fall? I had to participate several times when I was in Bible School. One thing you can know about me is that I hate the feeling of falling. I am not afraid of heights. I can stand on the top of Half Dome in Yosemite, look out a window from an airplane, or look out from the Empire State Building. But, if you ask me to look down and see the drop before me, that is when anxiety and fear start to build up inside of me.
I jumped off my first cliff when I was 16 at Englishman Falls on Vancouver Island. It took me a while to build up to jumping, again, not because of the height but because I started to imagine the thought of having absolutely no control when I would be plummeting to the water below me. I did eventually jump, actually several times. Mostly, because I was 16 and I gave into peer pressure, and I’ll be candid, I wanted a girl to notice me. I didn’t overcome my fear that day. I’m still afraid of falling. To be honest, I despise all the feelings that get stirred up in my body, the rush my brain senses, and the loss of control I experience even more. I want to trust that I will be just fine at the end of falling, but the problem for me is that it is not guaranteed. How do I know I will be just fine? What happens if the rope snaps or someone drops me? The last person that went may have survived, but that doesn’t guarantee it for me. These are all the thoughts that run through my mind before I attempt to suppress my timidity and fear.
What are you afraid of? At the root of your most basic fear, is there a lack of trust?
Trusting God completely means having faith that He knows what is best for your life. You expect Him to keep His promises, help you with problems, and do the impossible when necessary.
John recorded Jesus, saying that He came to bring and give life, and to give it abundantly or to the fullest (John 10:10). I think we can believe at times that we are too weak to experience that kind of life. The more you may hear about this “kind” of Christian life, the more you may think that you will never experience it.
John Piper defines what Abiding in Christ means for us at an essential level on his blog,
The act of receiving and trusting all that God is for us in Christ.
Here is the good news. Abiding in Christ is meant for the weak. It is not a demand to lead a holy and devoted life or to do some great thing. It is simply weakness entrusting itself to a Mighty One to be kept—an act of us casting ourselves onto the One who is trustworthy and dependable.
Abiding in Christ is not a work that we have to do as the condition for enjoying Jesus’ life in and through us, but rather it is us consenting to let Him do all for us, in us, and through us.
You might be asking, what is my part in this? It is through surrendering and trusting in Him to do all that He has promised to do. He will do it. From that space, you can gather confidence that the good work He began in you He will complete (Philippians 1:6).
When Jesus says, “Abide in Me,” in John chapter 15, He offers Himself, our Keeper (or Guardian), that neither slumbers or sleeps (Psalm 121:4). Jesus drew and called us to Himself. We accepted His invitation into His life. It is the same Jesus who said, “Come,” that says, “Abide.” Jesus who keeps us. The same Jesus who says in John chapter 15, that He will abide (or remain) in us. It is that Jesus that gave us His life when we first believed, that also says I will keep you and sustain life by the strength of my life. All we are asked to do is simply surrender.
If I was to face my fear of falling again and choose to skydive; the way to actually face my fears is not through putting on all the gear. It is not through getting on that plane. It is not even by being on the plane as it takes off and flies through the air. It is by being attached to the instructor, trusting that he or she is fully equipped, trained, and certified in skydiving, and then jumping out of the airplane.
Jesus has not only invited us into His eternal life with the long term in mind of Heaven, but He has also invited us into His life that is full and sustaining for us today. And, it is activated by abiding in Jesus, the act of remaining in Him through trusting in Him. By being attached to the skydiving instructor as we fall to the ground will keep me safe; it is by being attached to Jesus in His life that will guarantee we experience life to the fullest.
The grace that leads us to come, to Him, is the same grace to abide, in Him.
The next time you feel weak and that you are failing at this Christian walk, remember that abiding in Christ is meant for the weak. It is not a demand to lead a holy and devoted life or to do some great thing. It is simply weakness entrusting itself to a Mighty One to be kept—an act of casting ourselves onto the One who is trustworthy and dependable. When Jesus says in John chapter 15, that we cannot do anything apart from Him, it is because it is true, we cannot.
In our weakness, I encourage you to surrender to Him and let Him live His life in and through you. We trust by being confident in the one who keeps us—being attached to Him through abiding.