When You Feel Like a Failure

strength of my heart

One summer my friends and I decided to have a fruit stand.

Only we didn’t sell fruit. And never mind that our street didn’t have much traffic.

We were sure that in no time, neighbors would stop by to buy all the extra tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers from our garden. My mom would have a little less to can and we would make a little cash for the candy store.

So my dad got an old table down from the attic and nailed on some long supports for a sign. I made the sign. Can you tell?

fruit stand027

The sign wasn’t perfect. The “fruit stand” wasn’t a roaring success. My brother, friend and I probably sold about 8 tomatoes, 5 cucumbers, and 20 glasses of lemonade during the week it was in operation.

The bottom line showed our fruit-vegetable-lemonade stand was a failure.

There have been many other things that I have tried and failed. Twenty-plus years ago I started speaking at schools about classical music. That speaking career flopped. I also wrote a Bible study about contentment that was never published. I wasn’t very content.

But there is one thing about failure. It’s better than not trying.

Thomas Edison wrote:

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

So I keep telling myself: Keep trying. Yes, when you try something new you might not succeed right away. You probably will experience some failure. But keep trying. Learn from the failures and move on.

My fruit stand was a bust, but my friends and I learned how to count change, make lemonade, and pick tomatoes. My classical music lectures were a failure, but now I do get to speak to women’s groups about Christ’s love. That contentment Bible study is still in a file drawer, but by God’s grace three other Bible studies have been published.

So if you’re trying something new and your first attempt looks a little like my fruit stand sign, remember to keep learning, keep growing, keep trying. You don’t know how close you are to success.

Lean on the Lord, He is our strength–even in our failures.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26

Question: When have you experienced a failure that later turned into a success?

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