NOTE: Over the last few weeks, we have been publishing some old 'classics' by Bryan Hupperts - one of the most consistently insightful writers that we have published over the years. Here is the next installment - originally published in June 2001: "In the Beginning, Again" -by Bryan Hupperts. Some of the greatest business disasters of the 20th century eventually yielded some of the world's greatest business leaders. There is one Fortune 500 company executive who will not hire senior management members for his firm who do not have at least one major crash and burn, Titanic proportion disaster shaming their resume. The reason behind such non-Harvard Business School thinking is that it takes more grace to fail and remain standing than it does to merely succeed. Perhaps I am coming out of a kind of spiritual hibernation; that is a season of life where there is little fruit produced, and all of the growth is hidden from superficial view. It is in winter that a tree's roots grow deeper, breaking through the hard earth. When winter passes, the now stronger roots are able to better support the tree, strengthening the branches so that it can yield even more fruit. It is those times for barrenness, those times of haunting failure, which God uses to prepare you for greater purpose and higher calling. While driving recently from St. Louis to Cape Girardeau, MO, very unexpectedly the heavens opened. I was not worshiping, praying, or doing anything remotely spiritual. Honestly, I have been feeling like most miserable failure on the planet. In an instant, the Spirit showed me the whole of Creation. I could see everything from God's perspective, the entire Cosmos in a blink of an eye, and understood that it was created good! Yet, when the Spirit spoke, it was in a quiet anguish. As I looked, I could see what appeared to be a kind of cancer spreading through Creation. There was a fetid decay spreading, and it seemed as if the very universe was poising to collapse in upon itself. In lamentation, I felt the Lord whisper, "My beautiful Creation is dying." The Scripture says, in Romans 8:22, " For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together " How is it possible to see all of Creation in a moment of time? Luke 4:5, "Then the devil, taking Him (Jesus) up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time." If the devil could reveal the kingdoms of the earth in such a moment of time, could not the Living God reveal his entire creation as effortlessly? Anyway, while gazing on the wonder of the universe, I felt the Lord ask me a question. "Child, my Creation is dying. Sin is paying its wages in death. Now, will you judge me a failure because my first plans have seemed to have failed?" My hearts' answer was, "Of course, not, Lord!" And then I understood that He wasn't judging me as a failure, either. Many of the ministry and life plans I have made have crashed and burned in an anguished pyre of dead ends and futility. What a shock to realize that a similar thing has also happened to God. I felt the Lord whisper this promise into the recesses of my being, as if he were planting an unidentified seed in the ground that will produce a new kind of fruit in due season. "Neither the anger of men, nor the scheming of demons, can keep me from fulfilling my ultimate purposes in your life if only you will not quit, and you will walk with me." He began to breathe into my soul, and I felt delightfully refreshed. God's purposes in Creation were momentarily derailed by rebellion, the Fall, and the entrance of sin into the Cosmos. Right now the Lord is running a kind of salvage operation rescuing and redeeming any human wreckage who will honestly say, "Yes, come and save me from this Cosmologic train wreck before I utterly perish." Will his ultimate purposes of creating a universe and populating it with little replicas of Himself be thwarted? No! 2 Peter 3:13, "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." If you have stumbled, or have failed, fallen, derailed, crashed and burned, pick a metaphor for failing, as long as you will endure and not quit on God, his ultimate purposes for your life will be fulfilled, even if he has to roll up his sleeves, and start all over again. He calls it Redemption. The only way to fail in God is to quit. In the beginning, again, God said, "Let there be " ----------------------------------------- -Bryan Hupperts © 2001 SheepTrax Media.