Failing Under Pressure

I don’t like to fail…I still fail though. Years back I attended one of the top 10 universities of the world at the time. I was the only paying foreigner in my group of peers. Everyone else were elite students from all over Russia who had worked their whole lives to be among the bright-eyed geniuses who were awarded entrance into Moscow State University Lomonosov. I felt dreadfully out of place, but was determined to do my best. I love to study and love to learn, but my language skills couldn’t begin to compete or suffice. Remnyova Marina Leontyevna, the Dean of our program, said something that stuck with me, “Students, there is talent and there is hard work. Hard work will get you further.” I took that to heart and have since tried to do my absolute best to achieve the desired results in almost every area of my life.

 When it comes to my character though, I see time and time again that I do not have the power within me to be who I want to be—to be like Christ, the purest, most loving man to walk the earth. I can decide all kinds of things that I want to do or be that seem to resemble Him, but then not have the ability to carry them through long-term.

 Proverbs 24:10 says, “If you fail under pressure, your strength is not very great.”

 Agreed. I’m weak. Not to say I don’t try, but it’s still not enough. Like salvation. I can try my whole life to please God, but it wouldn’t be good enough (Eph. 2:8-9) for Him to receive me. Thank God for Christ, who allows me entrance into a relationship with God that I don’t deserve otherwise. Thank God for His Holy Spirit who is faithfully accomplishing in me what I can’t make happen by praying more, reading more, giving more. Thank God that it is His power in me that frees me from the high expectations I have for myself that I can’t fulfill. Thank God that sanctification (the process of becoming more Christ-like), just like salvation, has more to do with Him than me. It has more to do with HIM doing and me accepting what He decides makes me look more like Him. That’s a very peaceful message. In the words of a famous missionary to India, Amy Carmichael:

IN ACCEPTANCE LIES PEACE
He said, “I will forget the dying faces;
The empty places,
They shall be filed again.
O voices moaning deep within me, cease,”
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in forgetting lieth peace.

He said, “I will crowd action upon action,
The strife of faction shall stir me and sustain;
O tears that drown the fire of manhood, cease.”
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in endeavor lieth peace.

He said, “I will withdraw me and be quiet,
Why meddle in life’s riot?
Shut be my door to pain.”
Desire, thou dost befool me, thou shalt cease.
Not in aloofness lieth peace.

He said, “I will submit; I am defeated.
God hath depleted My life of its rich gain.
O futile murmurings, why will ye not cease?”
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in submission lieth peace.

He said, “I will accept the breaking sorrow
Which God tomorrow will to His Son explain.”
Then did the turmoil deep within him cease.
Not vain the word, not vain;
For in Acceptance lieth peace.

About the Writer:
Lyndsay has been many things in her past, but no career, experience, or calling define her more than the desire to follow after Christ in response to His gracious work in her life. At present, she teaches movement classes and works as a wellness consultant in addition to loving her amazing husband and raising her daughter to know and love the Lord.

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