Our apparent failures are redeemed by Love

Failures may drag us down and cause us to doubt our efforts. But as Christ Jesus demonstrated, the redeeming power of God, divine Love, is ever present to uplift and guide us to safety and new opportunities.

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Perceived failures in our lives can sap our self-confidence, dampen our desires to persevere with worthwhile activities, and generally discourage and dishearten us. Can turning to God in such circumstances help?

Yes, God’s redeeming goodness and grace are always present to sustain, support, and guide us forward with wisdom and spiritual strength.

This is because God, divine Love, is the all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful, and ever-present force for good in all creation. Divine Love, our heavenly Parent, is constantly upholding and sustaining us. No matter what confronts us, we can turn to this higher power – this holy influence for good, this divine Principle – and find our apparent failures are not only redeemed, but transformed into steppingstones to increased spirituality and dominion in our lives.

The Apostle Peter is an example of one who experienced the redemptive power of this Love, which Christ Jesus so fully expressed. Jesus’ disciples were rowing across a large lake when a fierce storm came up. Peering into the dark, the disciples saw a figure walking toward them on the water. They cried out, thinking it was a ghost. But then they heard the voice of their teacher, Jesus, who assured them it was he, not a specter, who was approaching.

Peter, known for his spontaneity, shouted that if it were indeed Jesus, he should call Peter to him. Jesus’ simple reply was: “Come.” Peter then climbed out of the boat and started to walk on the water toward Jesus. But the storm caused Peter to panic, and he began to sink. Peter cried out in fear and apparent failure. But the Christ was right there to uplift and deliver him. (See Matthew 14:22-33.)

What had happened here? Peter’s attempt to achieve a noble purpose, to demonstrate what Jesus had been teaching about the unlimited capabilities of spiritual man (meaning all of us), appeared to have been thwarted by the material surroundings. But ultimately, divine Love proved that the Christ is ever present, here to redeem what appears to be failure. Peter had indeed walked on the water for a moment. And, yes, he did get wet, but he went on to learn more and to spread the message of Christ in many ways.

When we falter – in ways small or large – we can rely on the eternal Christ’s tender presence to pull us up and lead us on. God doesn’t know us as mortals prone to failure, but as His spiritual and pure offspring. This spiritual fact of our relation to God is the basis for our ability to trust in the Divine and to discern the inspiration that helps, heals, and guides.

I experienced this one time when, as a teenager, I decided to go out alone on a small sailboat my family owned. I didn’t usually sail alone, but thought I would try it that day. However, the wind was brisk, and as I tacked, the boat flipped, trapping me underneath it. I didn’t know how to escape.

Fighting off panic, I mentally reached out to God, affirming I was never out of Love’s presence – that there was nowhere, not even under that boat, where Love was not able to protect and save. Instantly I had an idea of how I could free myself and surface, which I did. I had a profound sense of God’s presence and attention in that moment.

Later, as I considered the experience, I was tempted to feel like a failure because, even in that seemingly simple activity, I had not known how to “get it right.” But the gentle grace of the saving Christ was there for me, and I realized this was an opportunity to learn that whatever we come up against – be it a safety, physical, financial, relationship, or any other kind of difficulty – the Christ is always present, reconciling us to God with the law of Love.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, puts it this way: “Jesus aided in reconciling man to God by giving man a truer sense of Love, the divine Principle of Jesus’ teachings, and this truer sense of Love redeems man from the law of matter, sin, and death by the law of Spirit, – the law of divine Love” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 19).

No matter what we encounter in our daily experience, we can be sure the eternal Christ, the message of divine Love to humanity, is always close at hand to guide, save, and redeem us in everything we do.

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