how our failures can turn into victory

Snow and sunshine make for a beautiful Monday

“And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.” (Matthew 10:1-4)

That day, I was stuck on a name. So often there are those days, when something in a verse catches our eyes and sticks with us — a phrase, a meaning, a word, a name. Reading the gospel of Matthew, I skimmed through the list of these familiar names, these twelve apostles, though I always remember only 11 of them. But that name, my heart beat on the note of a name, this grace not quite understood. Because in between of these names and describing these people by their family name, by their relations or where they come from, is the humble admittance of the writer himself.

“Matthew the tax collector.”

Tax collectors, generally looked down by the people because of their greedy ways of stealing from the taxes to themselves. In the gospel of Mark, we see tax collectors put there right on the same line with sinners, the ones it was easy to place ones anger and hatred on.

Like these stories that God puts together so often, this line of Scripture did not fall without a cause, without a purpose. Because that day, my friend, I faced a major failure of my own — the one, when told to people, could have them look down on me just because these failures are not accepted in this society of ours, that strives on success and perfections, that calls for accepting everything while striking down anything not perfect, not in line with ones dreams of perfection.

I was not proud of this — never proud of my weaknesses and failures, never not shamed and completely wrecked by my shortcomings. But the knowledge of having to admit failure, is that brick walls built on your chest that steals the air from around you, makes it impossible to breathe and you know that this wall lets everyone see how the ground beneath is crumbling, how you are grumbling right there.

But there is the name, the example whispered soft to your heart because you know, you know that there is purpose beyond the pain and even now, on your knees with your expectations crushed, is where your heart bows right down low and something new can build roots.

The pain is there, this unstoppable circle of life that cannot be run away from, this slow unfurling of a hurt that rings deep. But it is never the end.

Because the soft whisper of a name — Matthew the tax collector — tells the story of a man hated and despised, of a man whose life changed by the simple phrase “Follow Me” and who knew, that to be identified by ones mistakes and failures, shortcomings and weaknesses? Is never the end, not in these stories written by our God. Because when God had called His twelve disciples to Him — the tax collectors and sinners, friends who would deny and betray, friends who would sleep through the hardest of His trials — He “gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.”

To speak out loud of your failures, to be identified by your mistakes — might not spell out brave in this broken world turned dark. But in God’s perspective, our confessed failures turn into victories won and our weakness only makes us strong.

Linking up: Grace & Truth, Essential Fridays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, A Little R & R WednesdaysWise Woman Link-up, Coffee & Conversation, Works For Me Wednesday, WholeHearted WednesdayWord Filled WednesdayFrom House to Home, Shine Blog Hop, Growing in Grace, Grace at Home

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  1. I’m reminded of 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
    What a wonderful promise!

  2. What a great word, Ronja!

    I love this line, “But in God’s perspective, our confessed failures turn into victories won and our weakness only makes us strong.” Aren’t we blessed to have an awesome God who can turn our messes into ministries!

    I came over on SHINE today to find your post.
    Hope you have a blessed day~

    1. Thank you so much, Melanie! I at least find myself so often in awe of our God, who keeps taking all my mistakes and messes and turning them into something that has purpose. He is so good to us, isn’t He. 🙂 Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to comment here, Melanie! God bless you!

  3. Hello Ronja. Great post! I also love this line: “But in God’s perspective, our confessed failures turn into victories won and our weakness only makes us strong.” When I read it this verse popped in my mind: 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” It’s nice to meet you. Visiting from Dance With Jesus.

    1. Kelly, it is so interesting that you would mention that verse — because 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 has been on my mind constantly these past few weeks. It’s also one of my favorite verses, and one that I carry close to my heart all the time. Thank you so much for visiting here, Kelly! Blessings to you!

  4. This is so lovely.

    The heart of Jesus shows in who He invited to follow him. He didn’t go to the synagogue or to the “holiest” of people – he went to everyday people and sinners and their lives were transformed… and really, doesn’t it make you want to follow Him more. This demonstrated that our God came for us – all of us! That we are ALL worthy of his redeeming grace.


    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.

    1. Amen! He truly is a good and gracious God. 🙂 Thank you so much for your visit and these kind words! Blessings to you!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this on Coffee & Conversation, Ronja! (LOVE your name!) It was a much-needed reminder that my weaknesses are nothing to complain about…but something to lift up and leave with my Savior <3 <3

    1. Praise the Lord! I’m so happy that you shared this with me, Pat. 🙂 Our God is a faithful God to use both our weaknesses and strengths for growth – ours and others. He truly is so good to us! God bless you!

  6. This is a fantastic post, beautifully written and reflected upon. Thank you so much for sharing it with us at Grace & Truth! I will featuring this tomorrow for our next round in the link-up!

  7. What a lovely post Ronja and such a beautiful picture! I am so thankful that God loves me in spite of my failures and weakness. I am learning to trust Him more each day as I seek to do His will. It’s amazing how God continues to reveal Himself to us as week seek Him. I found you on Grace & Truth. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and have wonderful weekend! God bless.

    1. Thank you Horace! It truly is amazing how His love covers everything – every part of us, our past and our future. Thank you for taking the time to comment on here! God bless you!

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