"He replied, 'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." Matthew 8:26 (NIV)
I failed at being a wedding planner.
No one wants a planner who gets so undone by the neurotic mother-of-the-bride that she throws up in the parking lot right beside the guest sidewalk.
Really, nothing says, "Welcome to my wedding" quite like that.
I failed at being a kitchen gadget saleswoman.
No one wants to see the tip of a thumb sliced off into the veggie pizza at the exact moment I was promising how safe this gadget is.
I failed at being a cafeteria lady at a private school.
My assistant decided her arms were so dry she needed to coat herself with our spray butter. When we took the trash out later that day, we both got attacked by bees and forgot about the pizza in the oven.
Kids don't take kindly to burnt pizza.
I failed at being a receptionist.
It's never a good idea to just succumb to those sleepy afternoon feelings and lay your head down on the desk.
Bosses don't like workers who snore. Even if they are pregnant.
Yes, I failed at a lot during those years where I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. At the time each of these things felt like the worst that could have happened. Now, I think they were the best worst things.
Had these things been successful, I would have never discovered the joy of being in the ministry I'm in now.
I see this same theme woven throughout many stories in the Bible.
In Matthew 8:23-24 we find Jesus getting into a boat with His disciples. "Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat." Worst thing.
But in verse 26 Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and waves and things turned completely calm. The disciples were amazed. Best worst thing.
In Acts 5:18 we find the apostles being arrested and thrown in jail. Worst thing.
But in Acts 5:19 we find an angel of the Lord opening the doors of the jail and bringing them out. Later we find them with so much confidence they boldly proclaim, "We must obey God rather than men!" (v. 29b) Best worst thing.
I don't understand why we have to go through cruddy stuff. And I certainly know there are many worse things to go through then what I've mentioned here.
We live in a broken world full of broken people. But isn't it comforting to know God isn't ever broken? He isn't ever caught off guard, taken by surprise, or shocked by what happens next.
He can take our worst and add His best. We just have to make the choice to stay with Him and keep following Him through it all.
Dear Lord, I know You are capable of taking my worst and turning it into Your best. Show me this truth anew today. Refresh my spirit. I want to follow You through it all. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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Reflect and Respond:
We live in a broken world full of broken people. But isn't it comforting to know God isn't ever broken?
Ponder the promises He has made in the Bible and how He has been faithful to you.
Psalm 37:23, "If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm." (NIV 1984)
Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (NIV 1984)