An Encouragement for Failure

by Carol


I stared into the blue water of the pool, then down at my flip-flops. I lifted a wary eyebrow towards my brother. His eyes wide, he nodded, encouraging me to take a step.

“You’ll walk on water – just like Jesus,” Jay told me. I had completely dried from our summer dip in the pool and stood wrapped in my faded Kodak towel my mom got for sending off the UPC codes from film boxes. Kneeling down beside the pool, I removed a flip-flop and gently placed it on the water.

To my seven-year-old delight, it floated.

My brother, almost three years older and wiser, stood smug beside me. “I told you it would. Now try walking.” My cousin, Glen, joined in, trying to convince me.

I stretched my foot over the water, dropping my towel to the ground. Slowly I rested my foot on the water and felt the slight buoyancy of my rubber shoe. I leaned forward with my weight to take a step – and sunk with a plop.

I burst from the water to the cackles of my brother and cousin. “You believed it! I can’t believe you did it.” They held their sides from laughter.

Soaking wet, I emerged from the water. But I didn’t wonder whether or not I could walk on water. I didn’t walk away questioning myself, wishing I’d given it a try.

I tried. And failed. But there is always a lesson in failure.

Flip-flops float, but won’t hold you up in water – only Jesus can do that.

What is that one thing in your life that you’ve wondered if you could do? Perhaps you’ve never even uttered your dream aloud to a friend. Maybe you have walked to the edge of the water, but turned away discouraged.

I’m encouraging you to risk failure. Because in failure, you can be proud you tried – and learn what not to do next time.

But you never know. There’s always the chance you’ll find success. With one shaky first step and then another, you will walk on water. And isn’t that worth it?

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. Matthew 14:28-29 ESV

Email Author    |    Website About Carol

Carol is a sassy southern mama who loves Jesus and isn’t afraid to shout it. Ask her why she loves the Lord and be prepared to sit a spell. Carol encourages women to live out Matthew 25:40 by serving the "least of these." Learn more about becoming the Everyday Missionary at her blog Sheep to the Right or connect with her on Twitter.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dawn February 19, 2013 at 9:39 am

This is a great message. It made me smile. Sweet!


2 Carol February 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Thanks, Dawn. 🙂


3 Kimberly February 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Love it! I have long been one to shy away from anything that held the possibility of failure or embarrassment. So thankful the Lord has been encouraging me not to be afraid to get my feet (or every inch of me!!!) wet. 🙂 Thanks for being a part of His sweet encouragement to step out more than ever this year.

Much Love,
Your flip-flop wearin’ friend, Kimberly


4 Carol February 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Girl – put on your flip flops and start walking!! 🙂 I love you and your shy flip flops! 😉


5 Susie Klein February 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm

OMGoodness, I love this illustration so much. I could see and feel her tension and desire! It also comes at a perfect moment for me and I am going to go for it! Thank you.


6 Carol February 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Thanks, Susie. I could totally feel how awesome it was going to be to walk all the way across the pool – until I hit the bottom. LOL. But that’s the way it goes sometimes. Hope God gives you the courage to step out on your dreams. 🙂


7 Missy February 19, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Yes, please! This kind of encouragement is such a gift. I can feel myself eyeballing that flip-flop, myself!


8 Carol February 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Awesome Missy! 🙂 We can flip flop together – whether walking on water or flailing in the deep end. Blessings!


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