Fruitful Failures

To be honest, this winter season has left me feeling quite disappointed and down. As I took an honest inventory of my life in this new year, I began to feel like such a failure at so many things in my life. I even cried as I wrote a list in my journal of all the things I had failed at lately. 

The most impactful feeling of failure I have had is my career choice, and feeling like my years and time have been wasted doing what God never designed for me to do. Perhaps you can relate?

I also reflected on how I had been unsuccessful at an online business attempt a few years ago. Have you ever tried an endeavor only to find you wasted more time and money?

Even this ministry that began a little over a year ago has appeared to produce little to no fruit, yet countless hours and resources have been sown into it. Have you ever ministered to no effect?

Even the book that the Holy Spirit prompted me to write has not lived up to my hopes and expectations. Ever spent months trying to produce something life-giving only to watch it slowly fade away?

I was honest with God and expressed how I felt. Sure enough, about a week later, my loving Father reassured me through His Word that I was certainly NOT a failure. As Paul addressed the Corinthian church he affirmed to them they were doing well in so many things.

He reminded them that they EXCELLED in their faith, their speaking, their revelation knowledge, their diligence, and in their love. Paul then urged them to also learn to excel in generosity (2 Corinthians 8:7).

As I pondered this verse, I heard a still, small voice reminding me that I have been excelling, not failing, in those exact same things: in trusting God, speaking His Word, gaining insight, remaining diligent, sharing love and being generous. 

As I looked at my “failure” list again and compared it to my “excelling” list, I heard the Holy Spirit ask, “Which areas are more important to succeed in?” Wow! What the world sees as success is so different from spiritual success!

As I rested in the loving words of Abba to my soul, a few days later He highlighted the verse, “Love never fails” (I Corinthians 13:8). I was reminded of the fact that if we walk in love, we can never really fail. As I glanced back at my earlier “failure” list, I realized that as long as I had done those things in love, then I did not fail, no matter the natural results. As long as I had been teaching in love, started a business in love, ministered to others in love, and written in love, then it was all a success in the Lord’s eyes, regardless of how it may appear in the here and now. 

I hope this encourages you to flourish through your “failures” and you find true spiritual success amid your natural struggles. May you see your obstacles as opportunities and view any earthly disappointment as a heavenly reappointment, in Jesus’ name, amen.