Tag Archives: failure

Rise Again

Story of the Day for Wednesday November 23, 2011

Rise Again

                 Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Even though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord is a light for me. 

                                                                          Micah 7:8

 Leroy and Mike were high school friends who shared a passion for basketball. They both tried out for the varsity, but Leroy made the team, while Mike was cut.

Mike was crushed.

He asked the coach if he could at least ride on the bus with the team for the district tournament. The coach let him accompany them – as long as he helped carry the player’s uniforms.


So, how do you respond to failure?

When I fail, I find it convenient to give up – claiming it is God’s will. I have often felt that, if God is behind it, then I will be successful, and it will be easy.


Over the years, I have begun to realize that Jesus doesn’t share my theology. He told a parable of a widow who kept coming to a judge with the plea, “Give me justice against my adversary.” Again and again the judge ignored her.

Eventually, she wore him down, and he heard her case.

The point that Jesus is making is that – even after repeated failure – we should never give up. The Lord will come to our aid.


In 1976, Ronald Reagan challenged the incumbent president, Jerry Ford. Reagan fought hard to gain the nomination, but in the end, Ford won.

Reagan had lost, but hadn’t given up. At the Republican National Convention, he met with tearful supporters and quoted from an old ballad, “Sir Andrew Barton.”  There is a line in this poem which says:

I am hurt but I am not slain;

I will lay me down and bleed a while,

And then I will rise and fight again.


When, Mike failed to make the basketball team, he didn’t give up. All summer long, he practiced basketball with his friend Leroy Smith. And that next year, Michael Jordan did make the team.

Failure didn’t keep him down. It fueled a fire within him. Jordan says, “It all started when Coach Herring cut me.”


Do you feel like you’ve stumbled into a deep pit? Invite your enemies to come quickly, because they won’t have much time to gloat over you. The Lord is our light. He heals, he strengthens, he forgives. You can wallow in the pit for a while, but don’t get used to it down there; the Lord intends to pull you out.

You’re going to rise again.

                                           (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

It’ll Be Enough

Story of the Day for Thursday October 27, 2011

It’ll Be Enough

                    Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother said, “Here’s a boy with five loaves of barley bread and two little fish. But how far will they go among so many people?”  

                                                                                     John 6:8-9

Sometimes at night, when the wolves were howling on Still Peak, our old dog, Ivan the Terrible, would join in. Some deep, primal memory told him he was part of the pack. Pointing his nose to the night sky, he would reply with a lonesome howl.

But Ivan never sounded like a wolf. He sounded like a cow trying to yodel.


Ivan the Terrible died this last summer, but I always envied him when he would sing. I didn’t envy him because he was good – he was so bad as to make you wince – but he howled nonetheless. I’m afraid to sing in public. What if I’m off-key? Ivan, on the other hand, never worried what he sounded like – he just gave you what he had.


“Use what talents you possess,“ Henry Van Dyke said, “the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”

And, yeah, I know William Purkey’s words can be misconstrued, but I like them anyway: “Dance like no one is watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like no one is listening, and live like it’s heaven on earth.”


But, hey, if we don’t attempt something, at least we won’t fail, right? Who’s going to laugh at our clumsiness if we don’t join in the dance?

It turns out our common notions about this are completely backward. The well-known psychologist, Karen Horney, discovered that, if you do not attempt to do something, you will usually have the self-impression you have failed.  Horney claims that, by simply attempting to do something, we will almost always conclude that you have succeeded.

It’s not about performance; it’s about trying.


All the same, we often define ourselves by our limitations. How many times have you found yourself lamenting, “I wish there was more I could do?”

But the Lord only expects you to use the gifts he’s given you, to offer what you have – and not worry about what you don’t have.


Once, a young boy had little to offer Jesus. Just five loaves of barley bread and a couple of small fish. Not much, but he gave what he had.

Yet, in the hands of Jesus, it was plenty.


Don’t focus on the talents you don’t have, the money you don’t have, the opportunities you don’t have. The only thing that matters to Jesus is using what you’ve got.

It’ll be enough.

                                                                       (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)