Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
II Cor 12: 8-10
It was one of the hardest things I ever faced. I had to tell my patient that my mistake had damaged her heart and that she would probably die from the complication. I spoke the words and then worked for her and with her through the months that led to her death. I was never sued over the incident, but it was years before the husband spoke to me again.
Have you ever failed at something really important---something you were supposed to be good at? A patient? A project? A relationship? A business? A sin?
If you haven’t, you will.
Failure is hard. It hurts us badly and it hurts people for whom we are responsible.
Can any good come from failure? Sure: “With God all things are possible.”
1. Failure helps us discover the truth of who we are. We are fallen, sinful, imperfect human beings. Sometimes humans forget this truth.
2. Failure helps us change. If we approach failure properly, we put into motion new actions in our lives that will help us avoid the same mistakes.
3. Failure helps us reach for the God who can carry us through. When all is going well, we tend to reach for ourselves instead.
4. Reaching for God in our failures allows him to work in ways not possible when our self-sufficiency is in the way.
Failure is bad because it brings great pain. But failure is not a total loss.
When failure comes again, let not its pain resolve until it has brought change in your life. Let the pain of failure allow God to meet you in ways you never allowed during your days of success.
Let me not fail in ways that hurt other people. But when I do, please work in my life and change me to become more like Jesus next time.