When my oldest grandson was four years old, his big passion was superheroes. I wanted to get him something for Christmas that he would really like, so I looked at superhero merchandise. I found a set of pajamas with his favorite hero on the front, and a green cape behind, attached at the shoulders like any self-respecting superhero. After his gifts were opened on Christmas morning, he put on his new jammies and took me out in the backyard in the Florida sunshine. I didn’t know his world was about to change. So out we went.
He looked up at me and asked, “Which way to Granny and Granddaddy’s house?” I pointed in the general direction of his great-grandparents. Then he took off running and tried to jump into the air.
The next moment is burned into my memory forever. I realized he thought the cape would allow him to fly, and he was going to visit Granny and Granddaddy. When he took that leap, it was as a sweet, innocent little boy truly expecting to fly…but reality came smacking him in the face and a wiser, more mature little boy fell back down. My heart broke as a look of realization and disappointment came across his face. Part of his childhood had just left him.
He took it like a trooper. He straightened himself up and brushed himself off. I gave him a hug and we went back into the house together without a word.
Hasn’t that same thing happened to all of us, more than once? You took a ‘leap of faith’ that didn’t work out as you expected. Maybe it was a failed relationship, a failed business, or a thwarted plan for the future. You may have wondered where God was.
I imagine that just as my heart ached to see my grandson’s disappointment, the heart of God aches to see us try something that doesn’t work and be forced to face an unpleasant reality. So He gave this promise: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). Those of us who are redeemed children of the living God can go through failure, learn its valuable lesson, and go on with hope. That was why He sent his Son, born in a manger, who died for us, that we might live a joyous life of hope, even after failure.