How Do I Deal With Failure?
Leave It To Your Friend!
I am in a ring. A boxing ring. My gloves are on and I am ready to fight. My tag partner is waiting outside the ring. My eyes are cast down on the canvas which begins to shake and tremble.
I look up, and discover to my slackjawed horror, that my opponent is bigger than I am! He weighs in at 1,500 pounds, stands over 12 feet tall and has loose flesh hanging about his jaw. He has a slanted forehead.
If I were smarter, I wouldn't even dream of going up against him, but somehow I'm strangely confident. After all, he looks very old-perhaps about 7,000 years any way.
The bell rings and we rise. Before I take my second step toward him, a three foot glove meets my face and I'm out cold. The next round I am somewhat apprehensive. I plan a new strategy of attack, but the same three foot glove crashes into my head and I'm out again.
My partner has an anxious look of pity on His face, but I'm still confident. Every time I rise to fight, he leans into the ring so I can tag Him. But I don't. After all, someone once told me that he was only the son of a carpenter.
After a thousand rounds with my 1,500 pound opponent I become discouraged and think to give up. Somehow I am not doing so well.
In my discouragement, I begin talking to my tag partner. I can't believe how understanding He is! I discover that He understands my grief and a new bond of friendship begins to develop between us.
I discover that He has fought before. He drops a few names of His former partners. There was Able, a shepherd; and a man named Enoch; a ship builder called Noah; a father named Abraham and his son Isaac; even a woman by the name of Sarah. The list gets longer-Joseph, a leader in Egypt; Moses, a shepherd turned prophet; Samuel; David; and even a man named Paul. I am impressed!
The next time I go to battle, I notice my partner seems more anxious then ever to enter the ring. Our relationship has grown closer as we've spent time together and I can tell He wants to be tagged into the fight. At one point He even crawls into the ring to be closer to me.
Finally, as my opponent, full of confidence, stands towering over me, my heart fails. I want out. I'm tired of fighting. Just as I am about to be clobbered, I reach over and tag my partner. In a flash He is in the ring!
Through blackened eyes I notice that He enters with both hands stretched in the air, the sign of victory! And to my amazement, the 1,500 pound bully races out of the ring, completely overcome with fear. The battle has been won and my partner gives me the victory.
I soon discover that as long as I invite Him to remain in the ring, the enemy is always totally defeated. My partner and I now spend a lot of time together. I found out that He is not only a superb fighter, but He's a problem solver, a teacher, a comforter, a guide and my best friend.
Jesus has won the victory for us. And that victory-won upon a wooden cross-is still good today! Its good every day!
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. Philippians 1:6 (The Amplified Bible)
Lesson 7 - Introduction