Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Prov. 19:21, NIV)
It’s been a somewhat taxing year, following a car accident in February. I cracked the sideview mirror on our new Honda. Picked up a fender bender in the parking lot of a Starbucks. Missed a freeway exit and drove south for twenty minutes before figuring out I was headed the wrong way. Wrote down the wrong date for a hairdressing appointment and showed up two days late. Worked for six months on a manuscript and got stalled on chapter two. Reversed letters and numbers so much the Organization for Dyslexic Writers called and asked me to be their macsot [sic].
I’ve had a few too many senior moments this year that left me feeling a little panicked about my memory. Short term memory lapses left me standing in the middle of the kitchen, scratching my head, wondering what I was doing there. Ask Tim or the kids how many times they said, “Why are you asking? I just told you that.” Hm.
If you’re going to do a face plant, you might as well go all out. God loves failures!
Do we have to get things right the first time? Ask Joseph, who was in the business of premium dream interpretation behind prison bars. Or talk to Peter, who was too chicken to speak up and acknowledge that he knew Jesus. Interview dear Jonah, whose attempt to run away from God earned him a free ticket on the high seas via Whalesville.
But God loves each of these failures—and used them to lead, to interpret, to speak, to inspire. He gave them second chances. And He does the same for you and me every day. Some days five thousand chances! I pray that every loss is transformed to a gain. That divine exchanges define every trial. That even if we never tip our wings in to an ocean breeze again, we’ll be funny seagulls running on an asphalt track along way. (A story for another day: Richard Bach, whose Jonathan Livingston Seagull was rejected by eighteen publishers, went on to sell 44 million copies.)
Graham Cooke, my favorite author and speaker, says, “God did not want the beauty of His nature and the glory of His kingdom solely to be represented by the great, the good and the clever. He did not want a Who’s Who of humanity to portray His own magnificence.
“Jesus chose to become despised and rejected. God does not have an image problem. He chose people who had a history of failure. He picked people who had a history of not learning and who repeated their mistakes continuously.”
What gains have you seen as a result of your own failures?