Perhaps my favorite section in C.S. Lewis’s second-written Chronicle of Narnia, Prince Caspian, happens when young Lucy encounters Aslan one night in the forest. She had seen the Great Lion the day before, but since no one else could see him, nor would believe her that he wanted them to follow him a different way, she had sadly turned away and gone along with her siblings and Trumpkin the Dwarf.
The sweetness of Lucy and Aslan’s reunion in the forest, when she throws herself into his arms—er, paws—and buries her face in the golden glory of his mane, sticks vivid in my mind. But so does the conversation they have, in which Aslan gently challenges Lucy as to why she didn’t follow him on her own, even if the others wouldn’t believe. Much time was lost and danger endured because she hadn’t.
Lucy messed up.
Right now I feel rather surrounded by situations where I’m afraid of messing up—potential opportunities to share Jesus with people, delicate relational circumstances where a false step feels like a huge deal. I’ve also talked lately with friends about the awesome “someday” prospect of parenting and how daunting such responsibility would feel. So many ways to mess up.
And the truth is—we do mess up. No matter how hard we are trying to do right and seek wisdom from the Lord and follow Him, it seems unavoidable to not blow it, at least once in a while, as humans in this fallen world.
That’s scary to me.
Then I thought of the Bible, and the people God chose and loved and used. Jacob . . . Moses . . . David . . . Peter. They majorly messed up. And yet, God didn’t let them mess His plan up. Though consequences for sin still came, He worked good over and through all their mistakes.
Jacob’s lies didn’t stop God’s working through his family. Moses’s foolish boasting cost him dearly, but didn’t cancel out the Promised Land. David’s adultery had harsh consequences, but didn’t stop the line of Christ. Peter’s denial didn’t prevent Jesus’ rising from the dead.
And Lucy’s failure to obey didn’t stop Aslan’s plan in Prince Caspian, either. As he tells her in that moonlit forest glade, we can’t know what would have happened if we hadn’t messed up, but we can find out what will happen . . . when we are willing to put our hand in His, say “yes” to Him, and follow Him now.
Because . . .
“. . . He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~ II Corinthians 12:9-10
Is it just me, or do you struggle with fear of “messing up”? What has the Lord taught you about how His power is perfected in our weakness? Please comment and share . . . I’d love to hear your thoughts!
P.S.: My dear friend and critique partner Sandra Barnes also decided to blog on this topic this week, from a bit different angle. Check out her post here and read all the things in life she would have missed out on–if she hadn’t learned not to fear messing up!