By Lin Pearson
In 1991, Derek Redmond was part of the British 4 X 400m relay team which took Gold at the World Championships. From that peak, the events of the following year were shattering.
It was the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
Derek had a sizzling start, in the semi-final of the 400m. He overhauled the three runners ahead of him on the stagger. Then – disaster!
His right hamstring tore. He crashed down onto the track. But, before the medical team could reach him, he was on his feet.
In excruciating pain, he began hopping forward. He still had 250m to go, and all the other runners had passed him.
Film of the even show Derek gritting his teeth against the pain, frustration and tears of bitter disappointment .
Then, out of the grandstands, ran a man.
He rushed toRedmond’s side, hugged him and supported him. It was his father. Jim Redmond told his son “You don’t have to do this.”
Derek replied: “Yes I do”.
“Then we’ll do it together” responded his father.
Together they hopped and staggered to the finishing line, to the cheers and tears of all who witnessed the scene.
In our lives, too, we may feel that disaster has struck.
Hopes can be shattered; plans and hard work may come to nothing. Ambitions and dreams may be thwarted. Our best intentions may be rejected. Yet, for the Christian, these events need not bring the crushing defeat you may imagine. Our Heavenly Father is with us all the way, through disaster, to triumph! Here is what the Bible promises for those who have a personal relationship with God, through Jesus.
‘…the Lord … goes before you; He will march with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; … fear not, neither become broken in spirit…(depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm)’ (Deut 31:8 – Amp.)
Maybe in your ‘life race’ you have fallen, perhaps even been grievously hurt.
You may think: ‘Nothing can get me back on my feet again.’ Don’t be ‘depressed , dismayed or unnerved’!
Turn to God in your need. He is waiting for you to welcome Him into your life. The problems may not go away, any more than Derek Redmond’s did in Barcelona. But with the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and Friend, you will have a Helper and Companion who will never leave you and never forsake you. ■
This article was printed first in FIRST! magazine, published by The Faith Mission.
Failure does not mean I’m a failure;
It does mean I have not yet succeeded.
Failure does not mean I have accomplished nothing;
It does mean I have learned something;
Failure does not mean I have been a fool,
It does mean I had enough faith to experiment.
Failure does not mean I’ve been disgraced;
It does mean I dared to try.
Failure does not mean I don’t have it;
It does mean I have to do something in a different way.
Failure does not mean I am inferior;
It does mean I am not perfect.
Failure does not mean I’ve wasted my life;
It does mean I have an excuse to start over again.
Failure does not mean I should give up;
It does mean I must try harder.
Failure does not mean I’ll never make it;
It does mean I need more patience.
Failure does not mean God has abandoned me;
It does mean He must have a better idea.
It has been said…
Never walk away from failure. On the contrary, study it carefully- and imaginatively- for its hidden assets. - Michael Korda
Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. – Helen Keller
Failure is an attitude, not an outcome. - Harvey Mackay
Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. - Winston Churchill
The Inventive ‘Failure’
Success did not come easily to Thomas Edison, the man who invented the electric light bulb. Time after time his experiments failed. Or did they?
When asked is this lack if success discouraged him he said:
I did not fail 1,073 times. I found 1,073 ways not to do it.
He always asked himself:
This article was published by The Faith Mission, Edinburgh, in FIRST! magazine March/April 2004
What can I learn from this? How shall I do it differently next time?
Does God really love us?
I say look to the crucified Jesus. Look to the old rugged cross.
By every thorn that punctured his brow,
by every mark of the back-lacerating scourge,
by every hair of his beard plucked from his cheeks by cruel fingers.
by every bruise which heavy fists made upon his head, God said, “I love you!”
By all the spit that landed on his face,
by every drop of sinless blood that fell to the ground.
by every breath of pain which Jesus drew upon the cross.
by every beat of His loving heart, God said, I love you.
– Billy LobbsThis article was published by The Faith Mission, Edinburgh, in FIRST! magazine March/April 2009
A CHRISTIAN BLACKSMITH, whose life was full of suffering and pain, was once challenged by an unbeliever to account for all the suffering God had allowed in his life. His response to the challenge went something like this:
As a blacksmith, I often take a piece of iron and put it into the fire to bring it to a white heat. Then I put it on the anvil and strike it a few times to see if it can be tempered. If I think it can, I plunge it into cold water, suddenly changing the temperature.
I repeat this heating and quenching process several times. Then I put the iron on the anvil and hammer it and bend it. After it cools, I rasp it and file it, turning it into some useful article which will serve for many years. If, however, when I first strike it on the anvil, I see that it cannot be tempered, I throw it onto the scrap pile and sell it for a few pennies.
I believe my God and Father has been testing me to see if I can be tempered. He has repeatedly put me into the fire and into the water. I have tried to bear it patiently and quietly, and my daily prayer has been: ‘Lord, put me into the fire if You will. And put me into the water if You think I need it. Do anything You please, Lord, . . . only . . . don’t throw me onto the scrap pile.’”
The Lord’s testing of us is not only a sign of His preparing us for usefulness, but it is also a sign of His love for us. The Scriptures say, it is “for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness” and “afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:10-11).
It is a solemn thing to find oneself on the scrap pile, and this, because we have refused being tempered. May our prayer be, . . . “Let it not be so, . . . Lord . . . . in my life.”
Excerpts taken from the tract A Blacksmith SpeaksThis article was published by The Faith Mission, Edinburgh, in FIRST! magazine january/February 2008
By Lin Pearson
Winter sports can be exhilarating and at times scary—a bit like the Christian life! There are elements of “risk” when we follow Christ. There are no guarantees of trouble-free life; being a Christian is no insurance against experiencing difficulties and hardship.
Waiting for the call of God
Knowing the call of God can seem like being at the top of a ski jump, waiting for the clear “go ahead”. Then, when the time is right and you abandon yourself to God’s purposes, you are propelled forward.
Fear of failure
It may at first feel like a slippery slope. “What if I’m no good? What if I fall?” Ski jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards didn’t let fear of failure stop him from competing in the 1988 winter Olympics—even though he came last! His spirit of adventure has been an inspiration to many.
Following God’s plan is definitely not going to result in you careering down a slippery slope, your life out of control, though it may at times be a bumpy ride. You may be misunderstood. Many a Bible College student has been told that they are “throwing away a good career” or “wasting their education”. You will face challenges on every level—spiritual, emotional, financial or otherwise.
Step out – go for it!
But, like the disciple Peter, who stepped out of the comfort-zone of the boat and onto the deep water, you will not be alone. What appears to be a risk is total security when Christ is with you on the stormy waters. There is no safer place to be than in the will of God.
When you obey God, adversity can become adventure! Whatever he has asked you to do—go for it!This article was published by The Faith Mission, Edinburgh, in FIRST! magazine January/February 2009