THE SUCCESS OF FAILURE
Isn’t the title a contradiction in terms? You may be asking yourself, and perhaps wondering, how and where the writer got the audacity to post such a preposterous heading. For indeed, how could failure be a success? Is there really success in failure? Some pivotal questions that could nudge us in our quest for that elusive dream called success.
Have you seen the faces of success? It has a thousand and one faces, you know. It is etched on the tired expression of a mother as she successfully delivers her baby into this world despite the excruciating pain she has to endure. It is in the smile of a teacher after a gruelling day in school knowing that she has done her best for her class. Success is in the joyful shout of an examinee who passes the bar after some sleepless nights, not to mention the stress and anxiety that usually come with such kind of hurdle. What about the cry of jubilation from a young man whose love has just been reciprocated by the woman of his dreams after pursuing her for years?
But where is success behind a failed marriage? Where is success after your schooling has been interrupted on account of an illness that consigns you to a hospital? Or because of depression that sends you reeling in mental agony and confusion. Is there success after you have lost everything?
I can assure you, there is. I should know.
The Book of books, the Bible, is replete with narratives about THE SUCCESS OF FAILURE.
Joseph, the dreamer, was sold into slavery by his own kin, imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, and by the looks of it, he would stay in that jail to rot and die. One can’t just imagine where success is inside a prison cell. But there was one for Joseph as God’s intervention led him out of that confinement to become the Prime Minister of Egypt. Yes, from prison to the palace! (Please read the account in Genesis 37-41 )
You must be familiar with Job’s story in the Bible. After losing all his children, his wealth, and his possessions to the enemy, he was afflicted with painful sores from the top of his head to the sole of his feet. Where would success be if you were Job? His friends blamed him and his wife told him in no uncertain terms to curse his God. But Job remained steadfast in his faith and God vindicated him. Was Job a failure? He lost everything, yes, but he didn’t lose sight of God.
We have read some stories about the rich, the famous, and the beautiful. They were in the pinnacle of success as the world counted them so. They had everything they could ask forwealth, beauty, popularity- but they ended up in misery and even suicide.
Clearly, success is not defined by our wealth, our position and possessions, not by our awards, not by our connections, not even by our intelligence and good looks. It is measured by our relationship with the Creator and how we relate and touch people around us with God’s love.
The greatest success of all time happened on a lonely hill more than two thousand years ago. To the eye witnesses, it was the greatest failure – to expire in shameful, painful death. The enemy of our soul must have laughed in triumph and to his heart’s content as he viewed the Son of Man dying on the cross. He failed to review the Scriptures in JOHN 3:16, “For God SO LOVED THE WORLD that HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. “And in COLOSSIANS 1:14, “In whom we have REDEMPTION through HIS BLOOD, even the FORGIVENESS OF SIN.”
This is THE SUCCESS OF FAILURE!
SUCCESS is when things and circumstances seem worst but you don’t just give up because you know God is holding you, lifting you up, and cheering you to keep going.
What is success for you?
For me, success is having God by and on my side as I ride out the many storms in my life.