the Question of Failure: When You're Tired of Yourself

I’m afraid to fail. I’m terrified of trying to accomplish something with all of my might, and have it come to a sputtering halt of inconsistency and wishful intentions. This fear is so intense, in fact, that often I don’t even try. We can spare ourselves the ache of failure if succeed isn’t even our goal, right?

I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to consistently eat well and exercise. Several dozen? With each lapse of reasoning, of discipline, and of consistency, I’m only more convinced that I’m destined to be unhealthy, to never have my body and mind operating at full capacity. I’ve started over so many times, what could ever make the difference? I’m stuck this way.

What, then, would I have said to Jesus in response to His inquiry, “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:6). What if my condition were compounded by years of disease, within sight of healing but always out of reach? What if others even condemned my physical state as hopeless? When the discouragement of others is only deepened by your own resignation to despair, when there is literally nothing humans can do, when failed attempts obstruct your way to hope; do you still want to be made well?

Whatever the withered ability that bitters your mouth with defeat, Jesus asks you, do you want to be made well? It doesn’t matter if this has ailed you for thirty-eight years—it doesn’t even matter it’s been since birth! (John 9) Jesus isn’t interested in your ability to improve yourself. He’s interested in your desire for healing, for overcoming. 

Jesus is in the business of restoration. He needs only two things from you: (1) you must desire to be made well (2) you must believe He can make you well. Then, like the lame man at Bethesda, you can be healed. 

Sometimes I wish I could give up. I wish I could resign myself to failure. But I still want to get healthy. I still want to be take such good care of my body that my mind is clear, my energy is high, and my life grows in balance. I still want to stop falling into broken habits and the sensation of defeat. After so many failures, why is this desire still there? Why do I still want to keep going?

Because I hear Jesus’ voice, “Callie, do you want to be made well?” Do not refuse the arm outstretched to pull you to your feet. It is the divine hand, as full of power as of compassion. Jesus placed the desire for wellness in your heart, and He is waiting to fulfill it in you, day by day.