Failure to Launch

By Jennifer Miller

            Do you ever have the fear of trying something new or accomplishing a dream because you think you have nothing to offer?  It seems to be easier to just set it aside and move on to something else instead. 

            I want to talk to you today about diving headfirst and taking that risk.  It could be your calling and you are missing out on such a blessing.  I want to point out that:

  • We can bounce back from adversity or risk – even for our perceived failures.
  • Even if we “FAIL” big time that does not mean to toss in the towel.
  • Launching a new career or calling is not easy but it can be done.

The Bible gives plenty of characters that have done just that – failed and yet, they have left an indelible mark from their experience.  I want to present some examples to prove my point.

            Before I go into my examples, we must need to realize that we all have choices, and we also have free will to go one way or the other.  We need to suit up and fight this war with all the spiritual gifts God gave us.  We must decide to be optimistic no matter the cost of sacrifice to accomplish our calling.  So, sit down, make a list of what you feel you are interested in, grab a nice cold or warm beverage and start to assess your skillset.  Make notes of where you fall short and where you shine.  Mull it over and give it to God.  Ask Him for discernment and wisdom to see what His calling for you may be.  Once you have your answer, strategize a way to get there, but never forget to leave room for God to move within your desired calling.  His timing is perfect, and He always shows up when we need him. 

            Next, prepare yourself.  Jot down what obstacles may pop out along the way and how you would respond.  Obstacles I find are a great teaching moment for me.  It makes me want to act on my goal even more.  Some I can plow down right away, and some are more difficult to navigate, but persevere as you prepare.  Never give up!

            Remember that we all are fallible and have failed at one point or another.  Some make poor choices and must deal with the consequences that come from those choices.  The good news is that Jesus is there for us during these hardships.  It is here that we need to rely on His strength to get us through this trial.  The examples I am centering on today realized just that.  They could not do it on their own, but they knew who they could depend on to carry them when they faltered.

            King David was very loved and had the favor of God, but King David, just like you, was just a man.  Yes, he took out Goliath with a slingshot, he wrote a huge part of the Psalms, he was anointed king, yet Saul did not want to give up his crown and sought David’s life.  David made good choices most of the time, but he saw Bathsheba, desired her, and took her for his satisfaction.  He did not consider that she was married and that her husband Uriah was serving the King by being in his army of men.  He did not think of what the consequences of one night would do and who it would affect. Bathsheba became pregnant and now he had a mess to resolve.  What should he do?  After offering Uriah time off to be with his wife, of which Uriah refused, he then puts him at the front line knowing he would most likely be killed.  David was indeed in a pickle!  He commits this sin and had not repented of it, but rather tried to sweep the problem under the rug.  It wasn’t until he was confronted by Nathan, a prophet, who illustrated in a parable the dire disservice.  David hears the plea and agrees that the person deserved punishment.  It was then that Nathan lowered the boom and said he was example of the parable by what he did to Uriah and Bathsheba.  David recognized his sin and repented, but there were still consequences that followed.  No matter how much he pleaded he was told that his unborn child was going to be taken from him.  Lesson learned is that sometimes we go through experiences or trials due to our behavior, but it is what we gain from the trial that can be used to help someone out in a similar situation.  God can take the bad and use it for good.

            Elijah is my next example.  Here is a prophet who witnessed so many miracles. There was the flour that lasted to make bread for him and the widow and her son or challenging the false gods of the people to produce rain, of which only the One True Living God could deliver.  He also struck down the 400 prophets of Baal.  God was with him.  However, when his life was threatened by Jezebel, he ran instead of trusting in God to protect him.  He must have felt all alone, abandoned, but he need not be.  Our God is faithful and true to His word.  Jesus tells us many times that He will never leave us, and this is what we need to cling to during our trials.  Yes, it gets bumpy.  Yes, it can get dark and scary, but trust in Him and trust His protection.  Everyone will stumble at some point, but it is here that you get up, repent, and keep on marching forward.  Never forget we are doing His will, not ours.

            Sometimes there will be conflict with others.  Take the case of Barnabas and Paul.  They were set to go out on a mission trip and Barnabas wanted to take Mark, but Paul felt Mark was wishy-washy.  He wasn’t sure if he was dedicated to the ministry or not.  Both argued and parted ways and this could have been resolved, but it wasn’t.  We will disagree with one another from time to time but hear them out and listen to their point of view before a decision is made.  Mark was faithful.  He had studied under Peter and wrote one of the four gospels.  He did produce much fruit.  Never write others off is what the takeaway should be.  We do not know how or where they are being called to.  Keep the lines of communication open and the doors of judgment closed.  Remember God is in control.

            Speaking of Paul, another lesson comes to mind.  As I have said earlier, we are all fallible and guilty of sin.  Paul (originally called Saul) was a Pharisee and he persecuted Christians.  It wasn’t until that fateful day on the road to Damascus that he met Jesus who then asked Paul why he was persecuting Him.  Talk about a wakeup call!   Paul was suddenly held accountable for his actions and now he must deal with this issue.  He was blinded for a short time, but when his sight was revealed, at that moment so was his calling revealed.  He came to Christ later in age.  Not everyone sees or hears our Lord at a young age.  It can be quit daunting and humbling to do so at a later age.  I knew of Jesus as a child, but I came to know Jesus as a much older adult.  Suddenly you are faced with questions.  Am I too old for this?  Can I be of use?  Why would He want me after all that I have done in my past?  I had to face my past.  I had to come to terms with my sin and ask for forgiveness.  I needed to assuage all doubt about my contribution to further the kingdom in His name.  I decided to move on forward and just jump in.  I will never regret that choice, nor can I ever forget my past.  Mind you I am not holding onto my sins, but I am holding onto the memories of the lessons that brought me to Him.  It is a risk, but we need to walk on faith and just do it.  When He calls us, it is best to answer Him.

            These examples should offer you hope and incentive to proceed on your path.  Our journey is determined by Him alone and it may be short, or it may be long.  It is a journey you will never regret, and the reward is seeing our Lord Jesus when we die.  No more excuses.  Again, I say, gear up, pray for strength and courage, and make that choice today.  Remember tomorrow is not guaranteed.  Receive Him today.  God bless.