How to process failure so it becomes an opportunity for growth

By Peter DeWitt

Probably 10 years ago, when I first married and I was out doing some woodworking in my dad's woodworking shop. I was making this music box out of cherry and cedar for Megan as a present. The sides of the music box were just over 1/2” thick and I had these barrel hinges that you have to drill a circular hole to put the hinge in to make the lid of the music box open, and the barrel hinges were a half inch in diameter. There was very little wood on either side of that, about 1/32” or so … almost impossible.

On this day, my dad was taking my sister to an OSU basketball game, and I'm out there trying to get these hinges to work. They go to the OSU basketball game, and I experienced multiple hours of frustration trying to get these hinges to work. After the OSU basketball game finishes, they come back. You can imagine a game is two hours, at least. There's the drive there, the parking, the walk there, the crowds, the parking, the walk back and all that sort of thing. So probably about four hours later, my dad returns, the hinges still haven't worked. I've been fussing with these things for about 4 hours!

My dad walks into the shop, says one thing, and I don't even know if it was the answer to how to do the hinges. He says one thing and within probably two minutes or less, the hinges work. The Lord spoke to my heart and witnessed to me that this was a prophetic experience.

The Lord spoke to my heart and said, "Everything hinges on the presence of a father."

A friend was telling me a story recently about when he was a young boy he went to go try out for a select team. During the tryouts for that select team, he realized, I'm not going to make the cut. So, he faked being hurt.

He faked being hurt, and his parents weren't at the actual tryouts and the coach drove him home. The coach was trying to cheer him up a little bit in the car because he now recollects with an adult perspective and realizes that the coach probably knew what he was doing. So anyway the coach drops him off. He goes inside and just casually tells his parents, "I don't know, it didn't go that well." That was the end of the interaction. He hid what had happened, right?

He told me the story and I thought, “wow, that's fascinating, I have a similar story.” I really wanted to play baseball and I wasn't that good or I got better over time, I should say. When I was 11, I tried out for a travel baseball team. The tryouts had a couple of teams that you're trying out for and a bunch of kids were there. I played pretty well at times, but I still got cut.
I was driving home, I remember I was in my dad's 1995 Saturn, you remember those cars? I don't even think they exist anymore! We're driving home together; my dad was driving me home. We get to our driveway and we stopped there, and we sat in the car probably for 10 minutes because I was just crying. I was devastated that I had been cut.

For bout 5 or 8 minutes he just let me cry, and then he said, "Well, do you want to go have a catch?" I said, "Huh?"
He said, "Well, do you want to make it next year?" I said, "I guess."
He said, "Do you want to go have a catch? Looks like we need to practice." I said "Okay."

We walked out and we had a catch.

Do you realize that the presence of a father reframed what seemed like failure into an opportunity for growth?

Do you know that perfect love removes the fear of failure?

If you're processing failures, difficulties or challenging words on your own … Remember the two kids: me and the other kid. The one kid was not measuring up at tryouts. He processed it on his own. "It didn't go that well mom and dad." Then he went up to his room.

Me, I'm crying in front of my father, who then at the appropriate time says, "Ready to have a catch?"

If you're processing failure in any area of your life on your own, you've not yet been perfected in love.

 1 John 4:18, right? Perfect love casts out fear. Fear has to do with punishment.

There's a place that's called love. Think of a literal place that's called love that I’m trying to describe to you. Megan said that I was going to take people into new green pastures where they're going to be able to grow.

The Shepherd leads us beside still waters and leads us into green pastures. He helps to transfer you from one place into another place of growth! There's a place for many of us that we're going to get to feed and grow like we've never been able to grow before.

A big part of it has to do with how you relate to the Father in the place of failure. Think of it like this, God's leading you to a new green pasture, and I'm calling that pasture, perfect love.

John says, that perfect love casts out fear. Anyone who fears has not yet been perfected in love.
When you learn the love of the Father and stop processing failure or difficulty on your own, you've moved yourself into a location and that location is physical, and it's called the love of God! You can be actually perfected in the love of God, do you understand me?

You can be brought to maturity in the place of the love of God. God can work on things in your life if you're IN His love. I still haven't gotten the Words across to get across what I'm trying to say.

Many of us are trying to be perfected in performance. What I'm saying is, you can depart from the place of “perform on your own” and enter the place of the love of the Father. He says, “in the place of my love, I will perfect you.”

What I'm trying to communicate to you is if I give you a hard Word, and you process it on your own, instead of if necessary, weeping before the Father and allowing Him into that place, then you have not yet learned to operate in the place of being perfected in the context of His love.

You  don't need to be perfected in performance. Go get into His love and allow that to perfect you!

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