I am still thinking about the ladder picture God gave me and think now that there could be two opposite ladders. One where the front two legs (Pride and Insecurity) are leaning on the back leg of Self-Reliance (bad, dangerous ladder!) and the other ladder where the front two legs (Humility and Confidence in God) lean on the back leg of Dependence on God. (Click here if you missed the picture/post about the ladder.)
God wants me to be confident in Him and not insecure. God wants us to be humble, but not humiliated. And humbleness, is for me becoming more and more tied to thankfulness. : ) And to freedom and resting and trusting because God knows what is good for me and what He has planned and what is needed and what is not... what is actually failure and what is not.
I've been reading a biography of Amy Carmichael this week. She was a missionary in India who had an amazing ministry. But before that she was a missionary in Japan. And she "failed" there. : ) I have often wondered what will happen if we go to Peru and we have to come home because I don't have the strength to handle it. (In other words... if I FAIL.) I think it was extremely gracious of God to lead me to the story of someone who "failed" according to her perspective at the time but whose "failure" was just part of God's plan for her life. Once again evidence (that I can also find over and over in scripture!) that I can depend on God and don't have to live in fear. Even what looks like "failure" will be for my good in God's hands.
So I stand again at a fork in the road. One sign points to the road of Self-Reliance which leads to the cities of Pride and Insecurity but always dead ends at the Impasse of Fear of Failure. The other sign points to the road of Depending on God which leads to the Valley of Humility and the Mountain of Confidence in God, ultimately leading to the Resting Place of Intimacy with Christ where I always will find freedom and victory. And that path is paved with His love and He walks there with me. Why do I ever consider going another way? : )
Thank You, Good Shepherd, that You walk with me even when I stumble onto the path of Self-Reliance and that You lead me back to Depending on You. It is so much sweeter to walk trusting and resting in You. Thank You for laying down Your life for me so that we can walk together... so that I can be one of your sheep. There is no one else I want for a Shepherd...