I never knew what these two words meant until the night when I finally met my Waterloo… All the hard work I put in the last couple weeks were reduced to a pile of yarn scraps and stuffing on the dinning table. It was admittingly a major disaster for a knitter.
To start with, I was planning to surprise a precious little boy with a hand-made dinosaur which I thought will thrill him. But that night, T-Rex was an epic fail and it looked more like a giant green frog with funny mocking teeth.
I have often bragged about my knitting skills and proudly considered myself as an “experienced” knitter. I have got many compliments from friends about my finished products and have felt accomplished in this area. But that night I finally faced the cold hard truth that I am not as good as I thought I was….ahhh, failure indeed is a bitter pill to swallow!
There was this devotion I read about a week ago on the topic of failure, it said something about learning God’s purpose for us at times of failure. At this point I am still unsure about knowing His purpose at times like this, but I sure did get a rude awakening. I am not making a big deal out of my deformed T-Rex, but this experience did bring back memories of other times when I failed miserably.
As Dr. Charles Stanley once wrote, though failure is an ugly, unpopular word, it is actually a stepping stone to success for those who trust in God. “Throughout the Scriptures” Stanley said, “many of God’s servants suffered failures. The most successful men and women in history have experienced failure. Why do some who fail at first go on to succeed while others do not? Those who eventually succeed are the ones who understand the difference between temporary defeat and failure. They look beyond life’s occasional setbacks and refuse to be completely undone by the obstacles that confront them.”
Dr. Stanley also pointed out that God is not the cause of our failure, but He does allow it. There are many reasons for doing that, to get our attention, humble us, discipline us and most of all to bring us back to Himself as we might have allowed ourselves to become sidetracked. There are so many things which will distract us from making Christ as our center, when our priorities are out of order, when we become too self oriented in our endeavor, when our heads get too big…. God lets us fail so we can learn from it. There is a difference between failing and being a failure. In my failure God also has given me a prescription for future success: humbling myself in repentance, submitting to His will. Whether failure is a stumbling block or stepping stone is all entirely up to how I act in response.
“It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.” ~Ornette Coleman
Failure is definitely a divine appointment with God in the classroom of Life.