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But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. Acts 2:23 (NLT)

One of my favorite movies of all time is Apollo 13. I watched the drama of the moon bound spacecraft hobbling back to earth after an explosion ‘first-hand’ on television. Still, when I watch the movie I still feel that twinge of ‘will they make it?’ surging through me. It amazes me how this group of people (some on planet earth, some thousands of miles away on a crippled hunk of metal) could work together to figure out how to solve the crisis.

Apollo 13 is a perfect example of a ‘successful failure’. They didn’t get to the moon and back safely. But they did get back safely after revamping their plans. True heroics is the ability to go with plan ‘B’ or ‘C’ when plan ‘A’ is no longer an option. To carry on when failure tells you success isn’t possible.

Although the story of Apollo 13 is intriguing, the story of salvation through Jesus Christ is even more so. Were we, as humans, able to look into the future and see how some of our decisions would play out, we’d no doubt change our plans to avoid failure. God didn’t do that.

Long before Adam was a glint in his eye he knew you would be where you are right now, while you are reading this. The website you looked at last night? He knew you’d visit there too. And the cruel words you said to or about that person at work, or in the next locker at school? Yep. He knew about that too.

God knew, long before what we call time, that you’d disobey him. He knew every failure you’d make. He knew every time you’d reject his quiet voice telling you to follow him. Even so, he made two decisions. One was to form you in your mothers’ womb in his very image. The other was to provide a way for you to escape a life bound by sin and struggle and pain.

God isn’t surprised when you fail and he’s not about to give up on you when you reject him. Nothing you can do will surprise him. Nothing you’ve done has made him give up on you. You can never escape his love and his forgiveness and grace is there for the asking.

Apollo 13 is an example of a good plan diverted by failure but ending in success. Salvation through Jesus Christ is an example of a good plan unaffected by failure and ending in a rich relationship with God and eternal life after we die!

PRAYER: Father God, there are so many times when I fail you. I even surprise myself by my weakness and inability to do the things I want to do! Thank you for the cross. Thank you that even though you knew I’d fail you went ahead and made me in your image. Thank you that your plan isn’t affected by my weakness. Empower me by your spirit to live a life pleasing to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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