Please watch the video above as this devotion is based on this short clip from one of my favorite animated movies, Kung Fu Panda. The video is pivotal to the devotion itself.
Wow! What can I say except, "Been there, done that"? Oh, yes, my friends, I have had some Level 0 days. No matter what I did or how hard I tried, I only accomplished getting myself beat up and frazzled. By trying to prove just how strong I am or how much I have things together, I only succeed in proving to myself and all those around me the exact opposite. I'm not strong. I don't have it all together. In fact, most days I'm not sure if I'm coming or going. Let's face it--I'm definitely a Level 0, and I need some serious help!
But this is where my story differs from that of Po, the overweight Panda who set out to fulfill his life-long dream to become a Kung Fu master. As you saw in the clip, Po's teacher and mentor, Shifu, was not thrilled with his new student. In fact, he was so distraught that his plan was to make Po miserable enough to quit and walk away from his calling. Praise the Lord, my Teacher and Mentor does not behave this way. On the contrary, He is the One who keeps me from quitting. Not only does He lead and guide me, but He also comforts and encourages me when the way is tough and I feel like giving up. Hallelujah for such a Teacher!
Another way I differ from Po, contrary to the way I often feel, is that the Lord never declares me to be at Level 0. No matter how often I stumble or how many times I fall flat on my face, God picks me up, smiles and says, "I give you an 8 for effort, but you might want to work on that landing." Eight? Seriously? Yes, that's just the way my Father is. He doesn't only judge me by my actions or inactions but also by the intentions of my heart and my faithfulness to Him. No matter how many times the world may look at me and say, "She's a loser," God will never agree. No matter how often I feel like I've once again reached Level 0, God will reassure me that there's no such thing, and nothing I do will change His mind. Is that awesome or what?
Now, as Paul warned, I want to assure you that I am not condoning sin in any way, shape or form. We ought to strive to do right no matter what. That being said, I also want to remind you of this: But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (Romans 5:20b). I don't know about you, but I needed that reminder on this Kung Fu Panda Level 0 kind of day!