Yesterday I alluded to just how hard it was to worship after I experienced a career failure. My connection with God wasn’t strong. I really didn’t want to talk to God – at all! Not only did I feel like I let God down but I felt like maybe God let me down, too. Have you ever felt that way?
Perhaps one of the most challenging points of spiritual growth is to stay with God even after failure. In other words, how do we allow failure to be a springboard to a deeper relationship with God?
As I continue to look into the post-failure life of King David, I’m personally challenged by his reliance upon God. The first thing he does is to admit his failure. But the story continues to unfold at a deeper level. The child that David has with Bathsheba becomes gravely ill. David remembers what Nathan said – “the child will die” (2Samuel 12:14). David is undeterred. He fasts, weeps and prays for the baby to live – even to the point of willingly giving his own life for the life of his son. Unfortunately, the child dies.
Do you see what happens to David, though? The failure and the consequences of the failure propel him to a deeper reliance upon God. He doesn’t run away. He doesn’t brood or feel sorry for himself. David doesn’t neglect God. David gets even closer. In fact at the end of his life David reflects on the strength of God in those moments of failure: “The Lord is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer. My God is my rock…” (2Samuel 22:2-3).
Stay in love with God. Some of the hardest moments of your spiritual formation will take place in the shadows of failure. Many will run away from God, blaming God rather than seeing what God will do after the dust of failure settles. God is not done with you. Failure can redirect you to deeper places with God.