Failure. When I first thought about blogging I did a lot of research to figure out how to start, let along succeed. I ran into a lot of facts stating that Christian blogs have a high failure rate. Determined not be in that category I learned all I could about generating a lot of followers and how to drive traffic to my cite. When I thought I was ready, I “launched.” Looking back I can say that I was not ready: blogging is more than writing, and managing a website was much more nuanced and complicated than I imagined. But I have pressed forward and have learned a lot.
What has become most clear to me, though, is that I’m not interested in self-promotion or all the “leg-work” that goes into developing the coveted “large-following”. I admit, when I started this journey, my long-term goal was to generate an income from it. I also wanted to evangelize and help people on their faith journey – and still do. But! After writing for several weeks, it occurred to me that perhaps the most impact I was having was on myself, not necessarily my readers (although I still hope to impact others). This blog has turned into more of a tool to help me keep my sanity on the difficult road of chronic illness and fatigue. I found a rhythm and a peace through the writing process, all the while filling the God-sized hole in my heart with scripture and right-thinking rather than despair and frustration. This blog has been therapeutic.
So if I quit now (which I’m not) or never make a dime of profit, does that make me a failure? Quite the contrary, I think it gives me a bold testimony.
I’m following God’s call on my life, willing to take opportunities that He places before me, even if it doesn’t seem logical – much as this blog was when it began. Yet, despite my health not being any better than it was when it forced me to resign from full-time employment 8 months ago, the Lord has placed an employment opportunity before me. The work is completely different than anything I’ve done before and is in a field as foreign to me as HTML and managing a website was (and is). But, much like the Lord did with this blog, He will qualify the called.
At this point, juggling chronic illness and fatigue with any type of employment, even part-time, has the potential to be too much and push me back into unemployment. So why do I think I can manage it and a blog? I don’t have an answer and it could be that I can’t. But that is not my intention. I have a saying prominently displayed on my exercise room wall: Succeed. Always. To me this means trying over and over and over, never giving up, because success is found in the process, not the outcome.
Walking with Jesus is much the same. There will be pitfalls, there will be setbacks, there will be times of blind faith, too. But, we get back up by taking His hand, over and over again, all the while learning and adjusting in the process.
We can find success in the process rather than in the outcome because of Jesus’ work on the cross.
The Message translation of the Bible explains further (Isaiah prophesying):
“Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush [Jesus] with pain. The plan was that [God] give [Jesus] as an offering for sin so that [God would] see life come from it – life, life, and more life. And God’s plan will deeply prosper through [Jesus].” -Isaiah 53:10, MSG
Jesus’ death was not the failure of His kingdom as many at the time believed – including both the disciples and the Pharisees. Jesus’ sinless life was more than just an example for us to follow, it meant He could become the Perfect Sacrifice – dying blamelessly on the cross. As dark as Good Friday seems, it is the beginning of our Christian victory. When Jesus rose on the third day, Resurrection Sunday, He proved His sacrifice (death, the penalty for our sin) was not only perfect, but also not in vain. By rising from the dead, Jesus conquered sin and death, once and for all – no more blood sacrifices and burnt offerings.
Because of the cross, success is found in the process of daily exercising our faith and trust in Jesus. So when we find ourselves mired in the daily grind of life, we no longer have to focus on our outcomes or achievements, for, as Jesus said, “It is finished.”
Join me this Resurrection Sunday in accepting the hand Jesus is offering us from the empty tomb, lifting us up and keeping us going – “until he returns or calls [us] home.”
Always seeking to be found in Him,
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