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From Chronic Pain to Constant PraiseSample

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From Chronic Pain to Constant Praise

DAY 1 OF 5

I Failed

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” — 1 Corinthians 1:25–31 (NIV)

When my swimming career ended, I thought I had no reason to write a book. Although I began my career as one of the fastest swimmers my age in the country, 10 years of misdiagnoses and trials led me to the most anticlimactic ending ever. Not only did I not qualify for the Olympics, but I didn’t even qualify for the trials. 

Walking in obedience, I started to write a book anyway. Two years later, I interviewed my surgeon and found out that my biceps had not been necrotic, as I had been told and had believed, but rather it had suffered from a different, less life-threatening kind of degeneration. Once again, I felt that my circumstances disqualified me from being able to help others.

But once again, I stepped out in obedience, because I believed God had told me to write a book. The closer I came to publication, the more insecure I felt. I didn’t see any swimmers who weren’t Olympians writing books. Who was I to think I could write something meaningful when I had failed so utterly to accomplish my dreams?

I’ll tell you who I was. I was (and am) a child of the Most High God. My failure, my diagnosis, and my insecurities do not lessen in the slightest the testimony of how God had used the pain of all of my trials to bring me to himself. And that is the story I pray touches lives. Instead of being someone disqualified from the race, I was a person qualified to tell a story in which Jesus is the hero, not me. 

Are you feeling disqualified today? Perhaps you’ve made a mistake you feel is unforgivable, your faith-filled dream ended in humiliation, or you’re comparing your story to other people’s and feeling like you don’t measure up. 

My question for you today is this: Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, that you are forgiven, and that your eternity is sealed in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Do you believe that God wants you to have an abundant life here and now, rather than only in the life to come? 

If the answer is yes, then to say you don’t have a good enough story or you are damaged beyond repair negates the power of the Holy Spirit in you. God is not finished with you, sweet child. You weren’t made to measure up to whatever requirements you have set in your mind, because the only measuring stick we were ever supposed to use was God’s. And in his estimation, you already measure up—he died for you to make you qualify for any measurement that will glorify his name. You were made to know Christ and to make him known. Boast in the Lord today. He alone is worthy of your praise. Then watch him fill your insufficiency with his sufficiency.

Lord, thank you that you thought I was worth dying for. Help me find my identity in you today and in how you are moving in my life rather than in my accomplishments or my story. I acknowledge who I am is more important than what I’ve done. Thank you for your forgiveness, and I ask you to make your name great in my life. Amen.

About this Plan

From Chronic Pain to Constant Praise

We all experience difficult seasons of trial. This plan will encourage you through whatever dark time you are facing, guiding you from feelings of inadequacy through hoping when all seems dark to rejoicing on the other s...


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