Author: Holly Hawes
Not to sound pessimistic as we embark on a new year, but I have had a revelation; most of my years have been marked with failure. I’m not forgetting that joy has been there too, dashes of laughter and periods of growth have all been present in my life. However, I have not experienced a single year that was a 100% success. Have you? No issues? Smooth sailing?
Who lives that life?
Some years it’s a small bump in our path that is easily remedied; other years we wait broken down, on the side of the road, praying desperately to leave this part of our traveling behind. Reality may not be exactly what I envisioned, but I still set out on the next phase of my journey.
No matter what future we hope for, I’ve never seen this on anyone’s resolution, 30 before 30, or bucket list. FAILURE.
Yet, Failure is the one thing we are all guaranteed. We are after all, human.
James 3:2 “We all stumble in many ways.”
It may be personal failure. The places we never thought we’d go. The change we feel unable to accomplish. People hurt by what we’ve done.
It may be the failure of someone close. Betrayal. Brokenness. Bitter words or deeds that threaten harm.
It may be the failure or loss of a dream. When the job is lost, the options run out, or the plan you’ve had your whole life fails to materialize.
It may be failure due to living in a broken world. When sickness attacks, the world is at war, or things just begin to fall apart.
I cannot avoid these difficult places or pretend like next time I can steer clear. Though I could pretend to be in control, it ultimately proves to be an illusion. When you’re going 60 mph and you hit an unexpected patch of ice you don’t get a re-do. Sometimes we just have to deal with the things that happen.
What is the fall out when failure haunts?
Will I fall into despair,hopeless? When I mess up again, they screw up again, or it, whatever it is, doesn’t happen again—Is fear my default? Will I let bitterness become my poison of choice? Or will I fall towards Jesus?
I may not be able to avoid the hazards of life, but I can choose what direction I go when life starts spinning.
This is where true hope comes from. We will fail. But Jesus is there no matter what the diagnosis. No matter what bumps and bruises I’m left with or how long it will take to recover from that incident.
My dad taught me, when you’re driving and hit ice—you take your foot off the gas. DO NOT hit the brakes and steer towards where you want to go. When life hits those places that send me spinning, the ones I prayed to never encounter, the moments I wouldn’t wish on ANYONE—when the struggle is full of pain, I must decide I’ll steer toward Jesus. Moment after moment, I have already decided. He is the only one who will bring wholeness and healing. The only hope, no matter what is on the horizon.
While God doesn’t necessarily shield me from the bumps along the way, He does promise:
I will never leave you or forsake you.(Heb 13:5)
This struggle will produce fruit. Character, perseverance, strong faith. ( 1 Peter 1:5)
“…Put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and full redemption. “ Ps 130:7
Failure can be redeemed. His love is not dependent on success. With the Lord nothing is impossible, and with Him is where I want to be every moment, and especially in the moments of deepest failure. When the heart is weak, He is stronger.
Have you encountered failure this year? Has anything helped you steer towards Jesus?