Today is Mission Monday. On Mission Mondays, I write about my imperfect understanding of God’s perfect love. I am fulfilling my mission to spread the word of God by writing about the strategies and battle plans of the Greatest Conqueror who ever lived – Jesus Christ.
God’s Word: John 20: 1-9
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.
When All Signs Point to Failure
An empty tomb.
During the time of Jesus, the only proof some people had of His resurrection was an empty tomb. Perhaps, many people during that time were thinking, "Maybe the disciples just took away His body so people would believe."
Yet, 2,000 years after, here we all are, believing in His resurrection, His victory over sin and death.
Where Do the Signs in Your Life Point to?
In the countless books I've read, I have yet to read about a successful person who knew he was going to become a success. There were no signs that they were going to become successes. In fact, what they had were failures after failures after failures.
You have probably seen this collage of famous failures:
How long do you think it took them to have their breakthroughs? How many YEARS do you think did they endure humiliation, rejections, and ridicule? I was not employed when my first website got hacked. Believe me, looking at myself in front of the mirror was a struggle, no matter how pogi (handsome) I am. Kidding. But, feeling like a failure was terrible! I hated myself!
It's easy to look back now and say, "They are so successful." But, we did not see how many times they probably thought of giving up. We did not see how many times they were feeling like us, failures.
We did not see when they felt that all failures were signs for them to give their dreams up. Just imagine the thousand plus failures of Colonel Sanders! He probably felt that they were a thousand signs that he should give up.
How about you? How long have you been suffering? How many times have you failed? How many times have you been rejected? Where do the signs in your life point to?
How Will You Believe the Empty Tomb?
For the non-believers, they believed that the empty tomb was a desperate attempt of the followers of Jesus to make people believe in Him. They saw the empty tomb as a sign of failure. They were seeking a more "concrete" sign, a more conclusive evidence, that Jesus was alive.
But, for the followers of Christ, no matter how foolish, how impossible, and how inconclusive it seemed, they believed that the empty tomb was a sign that Jesus was victorious.
We are fortunate to live in today’s time because it is easier to believe in the resurrection now that other people first believed. I always ask myself, if I were living during the time of Jesus, would I have believed?
For the most successful "failures" in the world, they saw their failures not as a sign that they were failures. They saw each failure as a sign that they were a lesson wiser and a step closer to their success.
How about you? How do you believe the empty tomb? How do you see your failures?
I have not yet experienced any significant success in my life to be very credible. What I have experienced are hundreds of days failures, trials, and sufferings. But, I believe that I am hundreds of days closer to my breakthrough. I believe that the empty tomb means Jesus has risen from the grave.
Friend, failures are inevitable. What separates the successful from the unsuccessful is how they respond to them.
Never give up. Learn from your failures. You are failures closer to your success.
"Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” — John 20:29
Believe in your coming success.
PS. Happy Easter!