We pray for our dreams to come true. We work hard to succeed in our projects. So we are rather disappointed, even demolished, when the result is not what we expected. However, failure can also be beneficial.
“Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not” (Acts 7:25 NIV). Moses knew his calling. His heart burned with passion for his Hebrew brothers. He wanted to give them peace, rest, victory over their enemies. He had studied in the best schools in Egypt: he had all the knowledge necessary to succeed in his plan. He had received the physical training worthy of a king: he had the physical strength to undertake such a great mission. But his plan failed. He had to abandon his dream, leave his brothers to suffer and go into exile far from everything he had mastered.
We have read several books on marriage and how to find a partner, but we are still alone. We have worked on our health, have a pretty good appearance, are faithful to our congregation, and are even generous with our time and money. But we are still alone. Or we really followed all the teachings we heard about being a couple to the letter, but our relationship still ended in divorce. We had all the knowledge and physical strength just like Moses, but we failed. And here we are now, for several years, in a place where we never thought we would be.
“The failure of one’s own strength or one’s own wisdom is a painful, humiliating experience, but ordinarily necessary for the crucifixion of the self” (Charles Rochedieu, free translation from the book The Treasures of the New Testament). God does not want to see His children suffer. No parent takes pleasure in seeing their children fail. But failures are inevitable, and by the grace of God they can even be beneficial. The crucifixion is not pleasant, but without it there is no resurrection. “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24 NIV).
Loneliness and divorce are not trials sent by God, but if we humble ourselves before Him, He will use these pains to free us from our self and bring us closer to His Spirit. If we let God use our failures to teach us new skills, we become stronger. Like Moses, who probably used his new skills as a shepherd to lead God’s people out of Egypt. If we learn to be more sensitive to His Spirit because our own wisdom has failed us, we will come out of our trials smarter. Was it necessary to go through all this to acquire this strength and this intelligence? Maybe, we can sometimes be so stubborn, so convinced of our own abilities, that we are blind to our immaturity (Revelation 3:17). These failures are sometimes necessary to break our pride. So, now that we’re here, let’s not dwell on the sadness of failure, but choose to consider the wonders that God can create in our wilderness.