“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 NIV
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ― Thomas Edison
Failure is bad. No, it isn’t. It just feels really bad! When I look at my failures, I realize they were the foundation for my successes because they caused me to change direction or acquire knowledge and training. The first time I used a computer, many years ago, was a disaster! My husband couldn’t believe how much difficulty I had with a mouse. He said, “You look like you’ve been hit by lightning!” Actually, I laughed because he was right. So, he taught me and I relaxed.
There are other failures in life that hurt so much: Divorce, addictions, childhood traumas, bankruptcies and more. But the Father is our strength and our heart through these disasters. Have you recounted any of your failures and realized how they propelled you to success? Remember taking a spelling test and the word you missed is the one that’s bronzed into your mind forever. (My word was entrepreneur)
“Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.” Sigh… I’ve proved this over and over. You?
Failure isn’t linear. Success isn’t linear. There are feel-good times, anxious times and “It’s over times.” Athletes are perfect examples of this. I’m a Denver Broncos fan and loved watching Elway play. He had all kinds of ups and downs, a lack of good team players, and doubts but he finally made it to the Superbowl…. And lost. Made it again and again and lost. But finally! Wins!
The Father uses pain to get our attention, protect us and train us. Sometimes it’s not pretty. How many athletes broke a rib or leg? Some athletes couldn’t return to their sport and went on to be successful businessmen, teachers, pastors and celebrities. Tony Dungy is one I immediately thought of though he wasn’t physically injured. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and coached the Indianapolis Colts and was fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He and his wife have fostered many, many children and Tony started a prison ministry. How many have successful second marriages? I’m one. How many went to counseling to overcome mental, spiritual and emotional issues and became counselors themselves? Failure is not the whole story. And you will feel joy again.
I think every Christian gets this painful and true lesson in their walk with Jesus, “You never know how much you need God until God is all you’ve got.” And somehow, after failure, we get up, try again or a different approach, and ideas of success become more focused and in line with our faith. Peace, contentment and usefulness with confidence are ours. All we have to do is ask.
Thank you for creating us and showing us how to work for your glory. Help us in our times of failure to remember failure is not the whole story. Moses was a murderer, Joseph was arrogant, Gideon was a coward, David also was a murderer and adulterer and Peter was emotional and prejudiced but you used these greats for good. We are grateful to be counted and to be used for good, too.