Life is filled with ups and downs. If we are going through a patch of rough time, if failure is what we are experiencing right now, do not give up. Many great men of old have been labelled “Failures”, “Losers”, “Hopeless” etc. If they had believed what others think and said about them, they would really be living up to the expectations of these people. But they became “Great” because they didn’t give up. Look at some of these great men:
When Peter J. Daniel was in the fourth grade, his teacher, Mrs. Phillips, constantly said, “Peter J. Daniel, you’re no good, you’re a bad apple and you’re never going to amount to anything.” Peter was totally illiterate until he was 26. A friend stayed up with him all night and read him a copy of Think and Grow Rich. Now he owns the street corners he used to fight on and just published his latest book: Mrs. Phillips, You Were Wrong.
Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him hopeless as a composer.
The parents of the famous opera singer Enrico Caruso wanted him to be an engineer. His teachers said he had no voice at all and could not sing.
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of ideas. Walt Disney also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.
Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was too stupid to learn anything.
Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four years old and didn’t read until he was seven. His teacher described him as “mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in his foolish dreams.” He was expelled and refused admittance to Zurich Polytechnic School.
Louis Pasteur was only a mediocre pupil in undergraduate studies and ranked 15 out of 22 in chemistry.
Isaac Newton did very poorly in grade school.
Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace, flunked out of college. He was described as “both unable and unwilling to learn.
Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded.
Winston Churchill failed sixth grade. He did not become Prime Minister of England until he was 62, and then only after a lifetime of defeats and setbacks. His greatest contributions came when he was a “senior citizen.”
Eighteen publishers turned down Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull, before Macmillan finally published it in 1970. By 1975 it had sold more than seven million copies in the U.S. alone.
From these numerous examples of “failures” dare we give up on ourselves when we face temporal setbacks? If we do, then we will truly become failures. Did not our Lord promise to go through life with us and help us in time of need?
Did we not as children of God have the privilege to pray for help? We must never give up but hold on to the end, even as we have the Lord to go through life with us.
(Jos 1:9) Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. God has promised that we are not left as orphans without help and without love. (Eph 3:20) “Our God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Heb 4:16) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
If all the world were broad and flat
How dull the scene would be!
We’d wish instead for hills and vales
With changing views to see.
If all of life were free from care,
Devoid of tears and pain,
There’d be no failure or success —
No summits to attain.
But life is filled with ups and downs,
With happiness and woe.
Our joys are like the mountaintops;
Our sorrows lie below.
The Lord who made the lofty peaks
Designed the valleys too.
And He is there at every turn
To guide our passage through.
by Amy Clarke Ellis