For the righteous falls seven times and rises again. (Prov. 24:16)
It’s okay to fail…sometimes.
I was once invited for a job test for which I traveled about 3 hours to get to the examination venue. I vaguely remember that it was computerized. I think there were mathematical, abstract and/or psychometric aspects. But long story cut short, my results popped up after I submitted and it was below 40%. *lol, yea* And to make matters worse, my classmate told me after the test that he made a whopping over-70%. You know that feeling of, ‘Wow, girl what were you doing? Sleeping or drooling through the test? That test wasn’t so difficult! Blablabla.’ I have had my fair share of stumbles and slips, failed tests and poor decisions. I do not know if you also have? But it can be a good thing.
It takes the bitter taste of failure to truly appreciate success and excellence. Every great man can tell you that climbing is an uphill task. You must remember Thomas Edison, the founder of electric bulb. One of my teachers said that the great scientist worked on the electric bulb countless times before it eventually lit. The same goes for other ancient and contemporary scientists, philosophers and artists the world over. The important thing however is that they ALL LEARNED FROM THEIR FAILURE. Let us take only three (3) quick benefits of failing:
1. It keeps us humble (The Bending Effect)
Ah! Humility is key. And an occasional failure has a bending effect which will help you navigate life’s narrow path as well as keep you sensitive of others’ situations and predicaments. We are all that we are by the grace of God. Failing, like the thorn in Apostle Paul’s flesh, helps us to fall on our knees and connect to the Ultimate Source of all grace and help Himself- God. And guess what? This form of bending is true treasure because the arm of flesh will always fail but those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength and soar like eagles!
2. It lends us some reevaluation period (The Braking Effect)
Sometimes, we all do need to take a break. Of course! Even cars have brakes that help them to take emergency stops and avoid crashing. When we fail, we gain the opportunity to pause and think through what caused the failure, why we failed, if we should continue on the present path or we should change directions. This is gold, believe me, to have God’s direction and leading per time. Life is not about how fast we go but about how well. A time came for the children of Israel under Joshua’s leadership when they went to war against the land of Ai and they were beaten soundly with loss of lives. They went back and sought the face of the Lord, repented of their sins and confessed their total dependence on God, securing His leadership. Then, they regrouped. The next time they fought against Ai, they rejoiced back to their land in victory.
3. It gives us bounce-back energy (The Bouncing Effect)
Have you seen a springboard? Or a bouncing tennis ball? That’s exactly what failure can do with a man. It lends you a fresh force, propels you with a new form of speed. After a student fails a test, he suddenly realizes that there is so much more that he needs to learn. Then, he sits down for tutorials and burns the midnight oil. But here comes the difference between a wise student and an unwise. The unwise may develop the erroneous idea that his failure defines him. That is when you hear things like ‘I’m not good at Mathematics’, ‘I’m not an intelligent or fast person’ and so on. But the wise knows that his source is God who can inspire him to excel and abound. He counts on God’s promise that ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ and several others in the Bible. Then the student works hard, practices, submits to tutors and wins with God’s help.
Your story does not end simply because you failed. You see, my own story didn’t end with that unsuccessful job test. No, not at all. I went for other tests and succeeded by God’s grace! I got settled in something better. And guess what? My story has not ended and neither has yours. As long as He lives, we remain victorious. And He is going to live for a very long time – forever.
So, the next time you have a setback, among other things it will be good that you remember to bend, apply your brake and then bounce back under God.
We are what we are by the grace of God (I Cor. 15:10)
Even the youth shall faint and the young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30-31)
Lord, cause every reader to see the treasure in the occasional slips You allow on our paths. Grant grace to us all to bend towards You, take a much needed break to reassess and gain Your leadership during our periods of confusion and to bounce back, propelled by the wings of Your spirit. Shed light on every lie that we were made to believe about ourselves and let this truth set us free. Take all the glory and may Your kingdom continue to expand in our world in Jesus name, Amen.