Today I reflect on the path that I have come. I realize that most of Gods generals are trained in the backside of the hot sandy desert far away from the applause of the crowds until the day of their showing. Today I thank God for the lessons that I learned from some significant failures in my life. Thank you Lord for those failures which you have redeemed for your purposes. Over the years I have learned that sometimes failure is the back door to success. Some view failure as failure but I view it as learning opportunities. The lessons learned from the failures are priceless. The resources lost during that failure are considered as university tuition fees. By Gods grace I have determined not to lose the value gained from these failures.
Today I wear some of these failures as trophies to Gods grace. I remember that in 1988 I failed one subject in my 3rd year of Veterinary School and was required to repeat the whole year. I was not amused as this was my first ever failure academically. I did not take it well. However this failure led to a redirection in my life. It led to my moving out of veterinary medicine to dentistry. Now I look back in amazement – I do not like animals even our own pets. How on earth did I intend to spend a life ministering to animals I did not like? However God had seen the future and allowed this failure to arrest my attention and redirect my life. If I had not failed I would not have gone to Greece where I attended an informal Theological study by learning the Greek language. There I met people who made a rich deposit into my life. I walked in biblical places like Berea, Thessalonica, Athens etc. My outlook was forever changed. This detour allowed me to spend a year as acting pastor of a small church while our pastor went to Bible school. I also ministered the Gospel in numerous places in that nation. The experiences were incredible. More importantly this failure redirected my professional development as I changed careers to dentistry. This has opened unbelievable opportunities and built on my passion. Thank you Lord for this painful failure as it opened greater opportunities for me. Today I celebrate that monumental failure and can boldly declare that The Lord has turned what the enemy meant for evil to my good. Thank you Lord.
The second failure that I am thankful for is the failure of a business opportunity which we went into by purchasing a manufacturing business in Bulawayo. This was painful as we had been told that that industry thrives on bribery. We were told that unless we were willing to pay bribes for contracts we would not make it. We refused to compromise. We told people that we would rather have the business fail rather than bribe. To us bribery was an admission that our success was not based on Gods faithfulness but on human methods even ungodly ones. Little did we know that literally the business would collapse. It was painful to superintend the failure of a business which had been established was back in 1969 because we would not compromise. I learnt that doing right and making a righteous stand does not exempt you from the consequences. Daniel had to go through the lions den. The 3 Hebrews boys had to go through the fire. Making a godly stand can and will often have consequences. Do we do right simply because we hope God will bail us out? Thank you Lord for the lessons learned about capitalizing business and exercising effective management control of businesses bought. It was tuition fees worth paying.
While I thank you for these lessons Lord I wish sometimes that you could teach me these lessons without the pain of failure. Thank you Lord that there is no resurrection without death. No healing without sickness. No provision without need. No success without failure. I love you Lord for these powerful lessons.