Failure Is Never Final
"I will never leave you, nor forsake you."1
Back in 1929 Georgia Tech played the University of California in the annual Rose Bowl football game. In that game a man named Roy Riegels recovered a fumble for California. Unfortunately he became confused and began running the wrong way. One of his teammates, Benny Lom, overtook and tackled him just before he scored for the opposing team.
This was during the first half. Everyone was wondering what Coach Nibbs Price would do with Roy Riegels in the second half. During the half-time break Riegels sat alone in a corner, wrapped a blanket around his shoulders, put his hands in his face and cried like a baby.
Three minutes before the start of the second half Coach Price looked at the team and said, "Men, the same team that played the first half will start the second."
Riegels never moved. The coach called him and again he never moved. Coach Price went over to where Riegels sat and said, "Roy, didn't you hear me? The same team that played the first half will start the second."
Reigels said, "Coach, I can't do it to save my life. I've ruined you. I've ruined the University of California. I've ruined myself. I couldn't face that crowd in the stadium to save my life."
Then Coach Price reached out and put his hand on Riegels' shoulder and said, "Roy, get up and go on back, the game is only half over."
Roy Reigels went back. Those Tech men will tell you they have never seen a man play football as Roy Riegels played that second half.
And isn't that what God does for you and me? Time and again we blow it. We fail. We mess things up. We feel like such a failure. But Jesus is always there. He places a hand on our shoulder and says, "Get up. Don't quit. I am with you. You are forgiven. I love you and I will never leave you or forsake you no matter what!"
Actually, if we were to translate Jesus' words literally, they would read, Jesus said, "I will never, never, never, never, never (five times over) leave you or forsake you," or "I will never, not ever, no never leave you or forsake you."
As the saying goes, the only real failure is not to get up one more time than we fall or get knocked down.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You love me and accept me just as I am—warts and, failures and all—and have forgiven me for all my sins and failures. I thank You that You will never leave me or forsake me. Please help me to learn and grow through all my mistakes and failures, and little by little become the man/woman You planned for me to be. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. Jesus (Hebrews 13:5).