Life brings its ups and downs, thankfully with more ups than downs. Even the most routine days can bring its challenges, some which are just normal to living.
Yesterday an online friend and I exchanged prayer needs. God had placed her on my mind and I reached out to let her know. It was the last line of her message back to me that spoke volumes … “How may we pray for you?“
A few hours later, I sat in my car, reading the words before me:
“Please don’t follow Christ alone. God designed us to live our fullest and best life with him and in community. We flourish together but we will flail and fail alone.”
(from 7 Days of Soul Care by Dolly M. Lee, page 125)
Three words stood out – flourish, flail, and fall. And the truth is, in any given situation, we will do one of those three.
- “Flail”. The awkward motion of beating or swinging one’s arms. The image it brings is of my granddaughters swatting away any hint of a bug coming near them, their arms waving all around their heads and bodies. It can also bring to mind a swimmer being rescued. A lifeguard can have a hold on them but still in a panic, they thrash around wildly, hindering the pull to safety.
- “Fail”. The realization that one has been unsuccessful in reaching a goal. It reminds me of my school days and studying for an exam, in the hopes of attaining a passing grade, and the disappointment experienced when it was less than my best.
And then there’s the third word …
- “Flourish”. To be at the height of excellence or influence. To be growing and thriving. This brings to mind my garden plants that produce way beyond the expected harvest. Or flower plants, who blossom again and again with a stunning beauty, in spite of inclement weather.
God places each of us where He knows we will have opportunities to either flail, fail, or flourish (see Acts 17:26). The choice is ours. But here is the thing – God is committed to our growth.
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears” (Philippians 1:6, MSG)
God takes the initiative in our lives, making the first move towards us and to pull us towards Him. He is persistent. He is determined to bring each of our lives to a flourishing finish.
May we stop our flailing and failing,
and fall into the arms of the One
who wants our lives to Flourish!