Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails (Proverbs 19:21).
The golfer sets up his tee on the challenging par five green. After analyzing the situation and visualizing his play, he readies for his drive. Keeping his eye on the ball, he swings. However, he mistakenly speeds up his backswing, slicing the ball to the far left rough behind a row of pine trees. His drive is a dismal failure, his chance for par in serious jeopardy.
We all duff a little
After mourning his poor beginnings, the golfer approaches his lie, realizing the only shot he can make is to push the ball back into the fairway, hoping to advance it sufficiently to make a play for the green on his third turn. He executes his shot. The ball hits one of the lower branches, causing the ball to drop short of his target. However, the misplay propels the ball into an unplanned strategic location. His third shot lands on the green within three feet of the hole. He sinks his first putt, obtaining a birdie. Unforeseen at the beginning, what begins as a seeming failure ends in jubilant victory.
There was a woman who had failed at five marriages (John 4). Fearing ridicule from the villagers, she drew water during odd hours. During one of those occasions, a stranger approached the woman, asking her to give him water. Not only was she amazed that the man spoke with her, but that he, a Jew, would approach a Samaritan woman at all, let alone one of such despised reputation.
Jesus knew everything there was to know about this woman. He looked beyond her current failure and saw a beautiful life. Failure had brought her to the well at the time the Messiah was there. Jesus took her failings and turned them into a ministry as she shared what Christ had done for her:
Her failure had provided her with an opportunity for service.
Have you pursued a God-given dream only to feel your labor has been for naught? Christian, take heart. God will accomplish what He has ordained in spite of disappointing first results. In His time, God cultivates our failures, turning them into a bouquet of sweet victory.