Failing, To Succeed


“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

Wow! Those are encouraging words for me today. And perhaps for you, as well. Seems like, at this point in my life, I fail far more than I succeed. But the Bible says that when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10) Through our failures, God yields His strength to us. And, in these cracked, clay vessels, our

imperfections allow God’s light to shine through. The imperfections are still there. Yet they serve the greater purpose of allowing others in this darkened world to see God’s glory radiating through us- failures and all.

Like Michael, let’s keep on trying!

2 Corinthians 4:7: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

2 Corinthians 12:9,10: “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, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (ESV)


God’s Power In Our Weakness


I was feeling rather disheartened and frustrated, even discouraged, like I was being pulled in many different directions, all the while trying to offer my best to the Lord and to those around me. Yet, no matter how hard I tried or what I had given, it seemed as though it was never enough.

Have you ever felt that way? I’m certain you have.

In those moments of desperation I cried out to God, “What do I do now, Lord? I love my family and am doing everything I possibly can to be there for them, to serve others in the ways You have called me to, to be a good friend, and to live according to Your Word. But it seems like I just can’t do enough! I’m weary, worn and discouraged…please help me, Lord!”

Have you found yourself in a similar place? Have you felt as though you couldn’t possibly be everything others seemingly need or want you to be? Have you felt as though others just don’t understand there is a limit to what you can be and do for them? That’s how I was feeling at the time and how I have felt at various other times in my life.

Because of a chronic illness, I find that often my body just will not cooperate with what my heart and mind long to do. In my weakness, I find myself  feeling inadequate at times, like I’ve let others down, especially my family and those closest to me. Though the desire of my heart is to fulfill every reasonable expectation others may have of me or whatever task I am needed or have committed to do.  Yet my body doesn’t always cooperate. As a result, I am forced to limit myself to what I am actually able to accomplish. And this may vary from day-to-day or week-to-week, even throughout the course of a single day.

Joni Eareckson Tada once wrote concerning human weakness,

“Deny your weakness, and you will never realize God’s strength in you.”

Based on what Scripture has to say, I have to agree with her.  Throughout the years the Lord has taught me that with perseverance there is sweet reward in drawing nearer to my Savior and operating in His power.  It is in those situations that I must rely on His strength to carry me through to accomplish the task before me. During those difficult days, when I have given all I can give, and still, to those around me (and even to myself), it seems like it just isn’t enough, I find comfort in knowing that my loving Savior understands my weakness.  And He is always there to be my strength as I am yielded to His will.

The Apostle Paul expressed it so well, speaking about our Lord, Jesus Christ, in 2 Corinthians 12:9:

“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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

I have come to realize, through adversity, that it isn’t about me or my weakness.  It’s about His power and that power is brought to perfection in the midst of my frailty, even in my brokenness.  God’s light, the Savior’s light,  comes shining through all the cracks and flaws!  He is my source of strength and power!

God uses imperfect people to accomplish His perfect plan.  All you and I must do is trust in Him, yield to Him, admit and embrace our weakness, knowing that HIS power is an ever constant source of life and regeneration– not only for ourselves, but for those we serve!

Romans 5:3-5:

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

In Christ’s Love,