When Failure is Grace

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(Another post written for She Reads Truth #SheSharesTruth –Psalm 38 :))

I remember it so clearly.

The day I was so broken over that sin I could hardly breathe.

With tears streaming down my face and constricted lungs, I kept reading. It was as if God dug through all that stuff, all that pride, all that disguise, all those excuses, all the “I acted this way because of that…” man-made rationale meant to make me feel better, unburied that sin and said, this, this is what you needed to see.  

And all at once I was David in Psalm 38: utterly bowed down and prostate, groaning, heart-sick, bending from the weight, sensing every ounce of that burden. My heart throbbing, achingly aware of my foolishness.

And at that moment I was open and laid bare before the One who breaks and the One who heals.

With knees and elbows digging into the carpet, I became intimately aware that He alone is the answer.

Only Him.

No one else and nothing else could forgive, could grant grace, could make good come from this, could make haste to help me. 

“But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.” (v. 15)

It  is a rare and beautiful moment to be simultaneously broken and healed; to be so sorrowful, so dependent on One to forgive and make good, yet so utterly in awe.

Because it was in seeing the massiveness of my sin, that I saw even bigger grace.

I saw Him. Grace embodied.

The grace that slayed sin at the cross.

The grace that came through death and birthed life.

For it is the irony of life that we must be brought low to stand. That we must break to heal. To understand the power of His grace, the reality of His glory, the beauty of His mercy.

And though I too cried “do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God, be not far from me, O Lord, my salvation!” (v.21-22)

One redeeming truth remained steadfast: the reality of who HE is. In. Spite. Of. Me.

And it was humbling.

A God who will not forsake the work of His hands.

Who will fulfill His purpose for me, despite my sin, because no purpose of His can be thwarted (Psalm 138:8, Job 42:2).

A God who makes evil the slave of His grace.

Because grace abounded all the more. So much more than my sin. (Romans 5:20)

You see, that is why breaking is a gift. Why desperation is a privilege. Why the reality and awareness of sin cleanses and heals. Why failure is grace.

Because without sin you don’t see it.

You don’t see the glory of the Answer.

Without sin you don’t see Him for who He is.

Without sin, you don’t see the massive grace of undeserved forgiveness.

Without sin your entire being will not cry out in desperation for Him.

Without sin you are not left clinging to the cross.

There is no testimony of His grandeur.

Why?

Because without sin, you don’t need an answer.

Because of sin, He. Is. More. Glorified. 

For in our sin, He leverages all His majesty and goodness and sovereignty and holiness and grandeur to work for our good.

And He is glorified in that.

And it is in witnessing His glory that our desperate, thirsty, longing hearts are quenched.

THAT is why failure is grace.

Because.

It is in experiencing the crushing weight of sin that we understand one very life altering, humbling, implausible thing.

We understand that He alone is the answer. 

And it is in His being the answer that He is glorified and we are satisfied.

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19 thoughts on “When Failure is Grace

    • Kelsi! Girl, you just put the biggest smile on my face:) Praise the Lord for His truth! If we don’t meet on this earth, I can’t wait to meet you in glory:) And it is such a blessing reading your blog as well! xox

  1. Lauren, you are a beautiful writer. I loved your post last week and this one includes language that is haunting. I was ready to copy and paste a line that I loved and then I loved another, and another, and another. Just lovely.

    “It is a rare and beautiful moment to be simultaneously broken and healed; to be so sorrowful, so dependent on One to forgive and make good, yet so utterly in awe. Because it was in seeing the massiveness of my sin, that I saw even bigger grace. For it is the irony of life that we must be brought low to stand. That we must break to heal. To understand the power of His grace, the reality of His glory, the beauty of His mercy.”

  2. Your devotional touched my heart this morning in ways I can’t explain. I read this verse over and over this week, and it is though you have pulled out of it exactly what I needed this morning.

    • Sheila, Praise the Lord for His truth that resonates through all hearts and circumstances! So thankful you stopped by. I just love how God knows exactly what we need to hear exactly when we need to hear it and then directs us right to the truth:) Blessings on you.

  3. Wow! Such a stunning post and a powerful reminder that we need a Savior so much more than anything in this lifetime. Love the line: “For it is the irony of life that we must be brought low to stand. That we must break to heal. To understand the power of His grace, the reality of His glory, the beauty of His mercy” Amazing truth and a huge encouragement! Thank you for sharing!

    • Isn’t it such an incredible joy and privilege to see our desperate need for our Savior! Brings tears to my eyes. Even though we often must learn this through pain and sin, there is so so much joy. Thank you for stopping by. Blessed by you and thankful for you!

  4. SRT lady here as well…Lauren, you are a beautiful writer. I deeply loved the line, “It is a rare and beautiful moment to be simultaneously broken and healed.” Yes, yes, yes. You are so right…without sin, we don’t know the grace of God, and how madly we need it.

    • Rachel! Isn’t it incredible to see sin in this light–highlighting the grace of God?? You’re so right, it’s a joy and privilege. Thank you so much for your encouragement as well–your kind words are such a blessing to me. Thankful for you!

      • Yes, yes, yes…highlighting the grace of God. Like we’ve all said, we need to know the depth of our sin in order to know the greatness of the grace of God. Sharing your story is a blessing to me, Lauren! Keep writing, girl!

  5. Hi there! SRT Sister stopping by.

    I clicked your link because I really liked your title, “when failure is grace”. And WOW, I am so glad that I did! Your words were powerful and gave me chills. I loved your take on this and I hope to read more of your perspectives in the future.

    Prayers & blessings to you, friend. 🙂

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