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Mistakes Can Be Wonderful!


Have you had a “fail” lately? A moment that just did not work and made you feel like your plan went awash?

If you’re like me, those kind of moments happen more often than you’d like. Erma Bombeck listed her occupation on her driver’s license as “Rewriter.” I love that. As a writer, I have paragraphs, pages and sometimes entire posts or articles that I chunk in the proverbial trash.

But mistakes can reap harvests of brilliance and beauty.

Let me give you a couple of examples:

A naval engineer named Richard Jones was trying to make a meter to monitor power on naval battleships. As he was working with tension springs one of them fell to the ground and it kept bouncing from place to place.

He took that moment and invented the slinky.

George Crum was a chef in Saratoga Springs and became really angry when a customer kept asking for his fried potatoes to be more fried and thinner. Crum furiously cut the potatoes insanely thin and fried them until they were hard as a rock. The customer loved them.

Potato chips were born.

I’ve found that as I write and throw away those sentences, (well pages) if I am paying attention, I will find jewels among the trash.

Within our failures, immense victories can be born.

As I wrote on this blog last week, in February of 2003, I left my husband and began the worst year of my life. So much pain and so much misery.

Now both John and I thank God for that year and for those difficult times. Without the mistakes we both made, our lives would be totally different now.

Like a slinky, potato chips and a great line in a novel, God has invented a great marriage with a purpose in the Iobst home.

After many years of praying and talking, we are about to finish a book about our marriage called Caught. We wrote it in three parts – 1) Caught in Denial talks about our first seven years of marriage and how we were both dishonest and delusional about our relationship. 2) Caught in the Act tells how I left John and we began a year of counselling and step by step reconciliation. And 3) Caught in the Arms of a Loving God gives the ten habits we practice to keep our marriage strong.

From our book, our lives and from God’s prodding we are beginning a ministry to married couples called Caught In His Arms.

Exciting and scary. But what an adventure God has put in front of us. The slinky became a household toy. I absolutely love Ruffles potato chips. Out of our mistakes, God has led us to a way in which we can minister to couples and give them the hope God gave us.

What Satan meant to be a spring on the floor or a burnt potato, God used to change the world. (Yep, I mean that. No exaggeration.) 

John 10:10 says “The enemy does not come accept to kill, steal and destroy. But I (Jesus) have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Bring on His Abundance!! Look at this week and recall a mistake – how can God create something beautiful out of it? Has He? Will you allow Him permission to do just that? 


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