No. Not always.

The morning we were to pick up the kids from the social worker, our daily Bible reading “just happened” to be this:

Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.  (MSG)

JAMES 1:27

I was serving God the best way I knew how, but when put to the task I realized my abilities weren’t enough. I fell painfully short.

And you know what? That’s OK. God used this time to remind me of a few things.

  1. Following God’s call isn’t easy.
  2. I can only be strong when I lean on His strength.
  3. God doesn’t expect me to succeed … He asks me to try.
  4. I will often fall short, and God’s love will melt over everything like butter on warm bread and my insecurities will melt away.

In the nine months since we brought these two kids home a lot of things have changed. With the help of professionals, the tantrums and destructive habits are mostly gone. I’ve learned how to parent kids with these pasts, and they’re learning to open their hearts a little more each day.

Falling short has been one of the best things that happened to all of us. It’s OK to strive and fall short because Jesus is there to make up the difference.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

JAMES 1:2-4

God’s calling wasn’t just about rescuing two kids but also allowing me to see my true colors—see my continual need for Jesus—so that I can become mature and well-developed.

Friend, do you know that thing God’s calling you to? You will try and you most likely will not be Mary Poppins or Carol Brady in the process, but that’s OK.

Faith is stepping out. Your maturity grows when you see Jesus filling in the gaps with His grace and love.

Falling short leaves you with the need to fall into the arms of Jesus … and there is no more wonderful place to be.