Friday, June 20, 2014

Bouncing Back

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. (Jeremiah 18:4 NKJ)

Bouncing Back
At the age of 22, Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first television job as co-anchor for weekday news on one of Baltimore’s stations because she was deemed “unfit for TV” after the show received low ratings. Winfrey called it the “first and worst failure of her TV career.” But she rebounded and became the undisputed queen of television talk shows before amassing a media empire, according to articles at BusinessInsider.com. 

Stories of failures to success fascinate many people, and we sometimes wish we are like the heroes of such stories. At the core of these stories, however, is the question all of us must answer, “Do we get back up stronger after we encounter setbacks?”

Not all of us are quick to recover from a setback. Some of us might find it too difficult to continue or call it quits. Of the many attributes rebounders are expected to have are the ability to accept failure, desire to take action, open mind for new ideas, ability to be comfortable with discomfort, and motivating passion, according to an article at USAToday.com.

The apostle Peter is a good example of someone who grew stronger after a setback. He was not perfect, but he did fairly well as a follower of Christ and fisher of men. After he denied Jesus three times, he was heartbroken and for a little while went back to be a fisherman. With the Lord’s forgiveness, he rebounded and turned his love for Jesus into a driving passion that got him all fired up for action. He found comfort in the Lord amid discomfort of trials and persecution, and was opened to receiving new ideas from the Lord, guided by the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:16-18; Luke 22:55-62; John 21:3, 15-19; Acts 10:13-20).

Are we like Peter or like those who find it difficult to get back on our feet after a failure? Are we fearful of more setbacks awaiting us? Do we easily give up or do we shine taking up new challenges? Are we growing stronger and wiser learning from our past mistakes?

As disciples of the Lord, we need to buildup and grow our bouncebackability, so we might not give up easily. We ought not to be surprised with failures or setbacks in life, for they are lessons we learn and accept along our journey moving forward. Like clay in the potter’s hands, let us allow God to mold us to become useful vessels for His purpose as we find comfort and joy amid discomfort during trials and difficult times. With fervent passion, let our minds open up to new ideas for action and pay close attention to the Holy Spirit who guides us, so as not to confine God to man’s ways or thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9; 64:8; Jeremiah 18:3-4; James 1:2-3; 1 Peter 1:6-7).

Dear Lord, thank You for helping us grow our resilience to accepting setbacks and failures in life as part and parcel of lessons we need to learn in order to become stronger and move forward. Grant us the motivating passion to carry on amid discomfort or facing new challenges. Continue to mold us to become useful vessels for Your purpose as we open up to accept new ideas and changes.

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