Failing With Christ

October 21, 1999

Psalm 9:10 – Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. (NIV)

Telephone Support Expert: "Well…(pause) you can't get the database back. There's just no way to do it."

Me: "Oh, no."

My chest felt like there were bands of steel clamping round it; I couldn't breathe. My head felt hot, very hot. Around me were six hard-working programmers, a project manager, and a half million dollars invested. They were relying on me, and I had just lost their data — all of it, every last bit. I stood up, and walked out of the office. My body was automatically searching for a way out, out of the building, out of the situation — but there was nowhere to go. I ended up in a washroom, staring at the wall.

"Lord, what am I going to do now?"

(You're going to go back in there and tell everyone, and apologize, and admit you have failed.)

"But they'll… they'll… be angry! And my manager will probably fire me… this is terrible!"

(Yes, but you are going to tough it out.)How are Christians supposed to handle failure? We're supposed to carry on, to persevere, but also to bring our troubles before God and trust in him. I thought for a moment of asking for a little supernatural help to get the data back, but realized that wasn't part of His plan. He'd already told me what I should do.

And so, with a heavy heart, I broke the news, apologized to the team, and prepared myself for the worst. Then a strange thing happened, or rather, didn't happen. I didn't get fired. I didn't get penalized, or rebuked; in fact, the guy sitting next to me said, "Don't worry, this kind of thing could happen to anyone." The team calmly figured out what we could salvage, and then we got back to work. I thought, "Wow! These are really a great bunch of people. Lord, I don't know if you had anything to do with this, but… Thanks! You really delivered me."

Prayer: Help us, O God, to bring our troubles to you, as you have told us to do, but also let us not forget to trust you as well. Lord, you will never abandon us in our failure. Thank you that you will always be there to guide us through dark hours, out into a glorious new day. Amen.

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About the author:

Michael Ames
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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