1 Samuel 16:7 - But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
You wake up in the morning, get dressed and ready for work, then you take one more look in the mirror. Yes, you even look like a success story. The world is in the palm of your hands. You just have to reach out and grab it. Then it happens.
You’ve made a plan. It looks good on paper, so you believe everything will head in the right direction and you’ll achieve your goal. But things go sideways. The people who said that they would invest in your idea drop off the face of the earth. You try to do it on your own, but only end up in debt with your family angry at you because you placed all of their futures banking on your idea but the plan failed.
Those plans you made have indeed caused a domino effect on your finances. One domino hits upon another and there’s a great crash. What’s more, you’ve lost your confidence in making wise decisions to try to regain the finances you had, to live the lifestyle your family is used to. But no amount of bargaining with your creditors has succeeded, and you find yourself headed for bankruptcy.
Those plans failed, your finances followed close behind and now you’re having trouble making decisions even at work. You try to hold your head up high, but you begin to slip behind in each of the tasks that are your regular responsibility. And your boss notices. He starts by showing you where your mistakes are happening. Then he moves on to threats that if you don’t turn things around he will fire you. And you guessed it, you get fired.
Your plans went down the tube, your finances ended up in a dumpster, you lost your job and now because of all of the stress you’ve been under – your heath begins to fail. You have high blood pressure. From time-to-time you suffer from chest pain, but tell no one. You gain a few pounds. Then your left arm hurts and you feel a crushing feeling in your chest. It’s a heart attack. Your wife tried to warn you to take better care of yourself, but you didn’t listen.
All of the steps above don’t just affect you. They affect your wife as well. But you stopped listening to her advice; even her concerns about where your life is headed. It doesn’t matter. She’s had enough, and you’re served with divorce papers.
Not only your wife, but other people around you fail you. They jump ship. They turn away. They now think that you’ve failed in every way imaginable, and instead of being there for you, they walk away. Now you experience a pain in your chest that has nothing to do with a heart attack. It has everything to do with a broken heart.
You walk into your bedroom later that night. You take a look at yourself in the mirror. You no longer look like a success or like you hold the world in your hands. You wonder if your life is even worth living any more.
Forbes.com, in their article, “Five Ways to Make Peace With Failure,” provides some ideas that can make it possible to turn your life around. One of their ideas is to not make it personal. Separate the failure from your identity. Another idea is to release the need for approval of others. The article gives the example of how Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job because “he lacked imagination.” Think about that one. What if he had given up on life and decided he wasn’t going to try something else?
Plans may fail. Your finances might fail. You may lose your job. Your health may fail. Your marriage may fail. People may fail you, but God is the God of compassion and His love for us never fails. So the next time you look at yourself in the mirror don’t think about how much of a failure you are, but remember how God sees you – you are more than a conqueror because of what Christ Jesus did for you.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.