Lord, I have failed

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7 Jan 2016
I have to say I have not experienced much failure in life.
When I say failure I mean when you give something your best and don’t succeed.  Which now really makes me wonder if I have always been in my comfort zone, only succeeding at things that were easy anyway? Or attempting only that which I knew I could beat to a pulp. All said and done I quietly believed I would succeed at absolutely anything I tried. Imagine my shock when I recently lost my job. My self-image of a ‘treasured, dependable, stellar employee’ came crashing down, with no identifiable pieces left.
They asked me after they had delivered the piece of information whether I would like to say anything.
My brain at that moment felt a lot like what goes on inside a turbine: Whrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
So I politely replied, ‘No not really’ because I knew they wouldn’t understand the whrrrrrrrr.
Heck even I couldn’t.
I quickly picked up the shattered pieces of myself and walked out.
I texted my husband and told him I would be waiting outside his office. My eyes refused me the luxury of tears as I drove to his workplace.
‘Lord speak. I want to hear from you’.
(I selected random verses from the Bible app in my phone.)
 ‘The Lord Promises Deliverance’ (Zechariah 10:1-12)
 ‘You are Chosen for Salvation’ (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17)
And then I read the day’s devotional: ‘When you were weak I held you close and never let you go. For I made you for this purpose. You DO have a calling on your life. You DO have a purpose. I am going to use you to change hearts for Me. It has been your destiny. The loneliness and regret, the anguish and the torment, the abandonment and rejection, the loss and desertion, the tears you cried alone, the fears you fought alone, they will not be wasted. Because there are others in this world who have only tasted defeat and deceit, it is now your job to go out and meet them head on. Speak the truth in love. Tell them to hold on, hold onto hope, hold onto faith, to just wait and taste and see that the Lord is good! … I will overwhelm you with My love and hold you close to My heart. I have chosen you to become a contributing saint. Don’t look away. Don’t pretend to faint.”
I had been reading a book called ‘If you want to walk on water you’ve got to get out of the boat’. Every day I read a chapter. That day it was chapter seven’s turn.
The title was That Sinking Feeling. The accompanying quote, ‘He who has never failed somewhere, that man cannot be great. Failure is the test of greatness.’ Herman Melville.
The chapter of course speaks about failure, starting with Peter’s sinking when he took his eyes off Jesus.
The writer says maybe you are in that cave right now because you lost your job and goes on to say that the cave is where God does some of his best work in moulding and shaping human lives.
I soaked in all that God had spoken to me for the next few minutes until my husband arrived.
It’s been more than two months since I have lost that job and God has continued to speak and minister to me, comforting and strengthening me.
There were moments of sadness, doubt and despair. On one such day I cried out to the Lord, ‘Lord I FAILED!!’ His response hanging from the cross was immediate, ‘AM I A FAILURE?!!’
He knows how to silence me.
Through all the confusion I knew something deep within my heart. This painful experience was a fantastic blessing in my life. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on my weaknesses and accept them. It humbled me. It shattered many myths about myself, others and life in general. I felt like a snake shedding its skin. I was being made new. I started feeling excited and embraced the change.
I would never have learnt all of this if life had gone on as usual.
So, dear friends, run first to God when you fall. Let this be the first thing you do. You will need the foundation to hold you together in the days to come. It was especially hard for me to face the disappointment/judgement/confusion in the voices of my loved ones. God’s word spoken to me right after the incident really helped me through it. He loves to comfort us and teach us. Let him find all sorts of creative ways to do it. Just sit back and listen.
Take a deep breath and accept the situation. Don’t resist it or waste time in blaming others. Let it refine you. Flinch if you have to but don’t run.
Thank God for allowing the pain for your growth. God disciplines those he loves. When you hurt, remember God’s love for you and his firm resolve to help you grow in holiness.
I now understand how very precious failure is.
I feel like adding all my failures like the greatest achievements of my life on my resume!
‘He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God’. (2 Cor 1:4).
Raifiel Cyril lives in Queensland and writes as a hobby.
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