A Way Through Failure
Failure itself can be an instrument to convert impossibilities into possibilities. That is, provided you don’t look on failure as final.
Failure is almost the worst experience imaginable. All kinds of feelings rush in on you. Your friends often add to the avalanche of pain:
“You’ve made a fool of yourself.”
“Nobody’s going to trust you again.”
“You’ve finally proved you’re not up to it.”
“Look how much trouble you’ve caused for other people.”
The galling thing is that you don’t even have to fail in a big way to feel bad about it. Forgetting an appointment or spoiling a special meal can be just as devastating as losing a two-million-dollar deal or failing an exam. You can fail just by having bad breath or skin blemishes.
Worse than that, failure accumulates, so that before you know what happened it has turned from something you do into something you are. Eyes are rolled, sighs are let loose, and remarks are passed: “She’s done it again. I suppose we should be used to it by now.” In situations like that, other people’s tolerance is about as helpful as getting a can of hairspray for Christmas when you’re bald. You feel thoroughly and irrevocably humiliated.
Does this strike a chord?
If so, welcome to a crowded and highly illustrious club — because the fact is, everyone fails. And failure is okay.
On December 23, 1988, the United Technologies Corporation published this short prose-poem in The Wall Street Journal:
You’ve failed many times, although you don’t remember.
You fell down the first time you tried to walk.
You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim.
Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat?
Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot.
R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on.
English novelist John Creasey got 743 rejection slips before he published more than 600 books.
Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs. (American baseball)
Don’t worry about failure.
Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.
The point is that success and failure come in the same package.
When we say that someone is successful, we don’t mean he never makes mistakes; we mean that his successes outweigh his failures.
Nobody is a complete success. By the same token, nobody is a complete failure.
You can feel a complete failure of course. And that’s the catch, because feelings not only dominate self-perception but affect performance. They reproduce the conditions that make failure more likely. By this mechanism, failure breeds failure, just as success, in the famous dictum, breeds success.
The first move in implementing the impossible comeback is one of interception.
Control those feelings. Remember: Failure in itself is insignificant — it’s what you do afterward that counts.
Accept failure as a final, absolute, and incontrovertible judgment of your potential, and you consign yourself to failure the rest of your life.
Use failure as a resource and an opportunity. It will open the door to great success.
[To be continued: Where Do You Go From Bottom?]
Where Do You Go From Bottom?
If other people view a particular experience in your life as a failure, but you view it differently, you have stronger inner resources to draw from while swimming against the current.
But if you view failure as just failure, the long-term effects can be devastating.
Whether it’s the six-year-old clinging tightly to a spelling paper dotted with bright red markings and stapled to a note from the teacher, or a mature adult watching as the contents of his business are auctioned off to the loud gavel of bankruptcy, the pain is the same—that lonely, sick feeling that comes uninvited when we know we have failed.
In your lifetime, you will experience both major and minor forms of failure. But to the child of God there is no more life-shaking failure than that which comes from the result of making a decision deliberately out of the will of God. I have a friend who did just that.
Allison, now in her senior years , has spent all her life in writing, music, radio, and television. Most of those years, she has worked for or with various Christian organizations in a creative capacity. She also had her own personal ministry, speaking and singing nationally to churches, conferences, and retreats of all kinds.
Her first marriage, which lasted a good many years, was a difficult one and eventually ended in divorce. As a single parent with two teenage children, she struggled to survive in the Christian world.
Emotionally wrung out, bitter, and angry, she fell too quickly into a new relationship — one she knew from the start could in no way be what God wanted for her life.
Allison was a child of God and had been in ministry all her life. Yet now she found herself allowing her personal needs to far outweigh the importance of God in a major decision of life.
I felt it should be my turn. I had suffered. I had worked hard. Now I wanted to have the things I had always wanted, and so I married him. Even on that day, I remember standing there and knowing I was making a decision deliberately out of the will of God.
What followed that decision would fill another book, but God loves His children, and He does not allow them to make those kinds of decisions unnoticed.
The devastating years that followed are the kinds of behavioral items you read in ladies’ magazines — things that always happen to somebody else.
Allison’s marriage, which she felt would fill her personal needs, left her a victim of abuse and alcoholism.
“It was a horrible, horrible time,” said Allison. “In the process I lost my job, my career, my income, and my ministry. And I spent a year on the welfare line for food stamps.”
After she hit bottom, Allison couldn’t believe that anyone could use failure as a resource and an opportunity. She knew she couldn’t.
The failure came not just because of her wrong decision, but because she failed both as a person and as a parent. (Tragically, she took her children through that experience with her).
She can never forget the day her adopted son said to her, “Mom, you know, it’s really tough to have three fathers and none of them wants me.”
Some days she couldn’t pray. Some days she felt God would punish her and she would never think again. She couldn’t write. She couldn’t create. She was sick. She was emotionally run-down. If she had not had children, she would never have put her feet on the floor.
The only thing she clung to was the Psalms and the words of David, those words of repentance in Psalm 51:1-3, the tears of “what do I do now, and where do I go from here?”
Today, Allison is again in ministry.
It didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen without struggle. It resulted from two things: Number one, God is powerful enough to forgive; and number two, He is powerful in enabling us to begin to forgive ourselves.
The key to overcoming failure — devastating, life-shaking failure — is allowing God to help you forgive yourself. God chastises those He loves, but He also restores. Allison said:
I’ve managed to fail in every area of my life. And I know God will not go back and reverse the decisions I’ve made. I will live with the ramifications of those decisions. But His grace and His love are helping me to accept this and learn from those mistakes.
By the grace of God, Allison now knows that one can use failure as a resource and an opportunity. It hasn’t been easy for her, but she has turned her impossibility into a possibility and an actuality. Today she is doing freelance writing, producing a Christian drama each week, and preparing to write a book.
[To be continued: The Noble Art of Buck Passing]
The Noble Art of Buck Passing
The TOP (Trust. Organize. Persist.) approach to rectifying failure is general, and you can apply it in a great variety of situations. The fact is that you can fail as a mother, a son, an artist, an athlete, or even a conversationalist. In other words, it’s possible to fail at anything.
This raises a question. Since there are an almost infinite number of ways to fail, isn’t it likely that the failures are too diverse to be turned around with a single program? Shouldn’t we, for example, distinguish between failure caused by personal incompetence and failure caused by external circumstance (for example, flood, fire, pestilence, or economic recession)?
Let me tell you a personal story.
At a particularly low point in my stint as a student pastor, I received a visit from my father. I was almost to the point of resigning my position and quitting the ministry altogether. Dad’s advice has stayed with me: “If you have done poorly in presenting your message, analyze why it was. If the reason lies in your failure to give sufficient preparation, or to undergird it with sufficient prayer, or through any other personal fault, confess it, claim God’s forgiveness, and go forward ready to honor the Lord on your next opportunity. If, on the other hand, the problem is outside yourself, commit that also to the Lord. If anything can be done about it, do it. If not, relax and rejoice that He is more interested in His work than you are.”
Dad saw clearly the difference between personal and circumstantial failure. Yet his advice was, Look to your own heart first. Don’t presume you can blame the circumstances until you’ve exonerated yourself. To put it bluntly, whatever the nature of the failure, the starting point is always the same: you.
Note two vital points here.
First, be willing to assume accountability. It may be that your involvement was indirect—that you were, for example, the boss of the person who actually made the blunder. If so, the temptation will be to pass the buck and act as though it were entirely the other person’s fault. Beware! As a leader you willingly take the credit for the group’s successes, and accordingly you must share the blame for its mistakes. Not to do so will lead to the group’s loss of morale and will threaten future performance.
Second, never delay. In 1969, I discovered that our accountant had forgotten my instructions to pay an airline bill of nearly $50,000 for bringing participants and faculty to the first session of the Haggai Institute. It was a simple mistake—he had paid another set of bills instead. The result was that we had no money left over to pay the airline. At that point I should have confronted the issue and required correction. But I didn’t because I didn’t want to embarrass our account executive. I waited, hoping the shortfall could be covered. It wasn’t. Consequently, by the time I faced the accountant about the mistake, we had lost our airline credit cards and were on the verge of being sued.
I prayed as though everything depended on God and worked with the airline as though everything depended on me. It took two and a half years, but, thank God, we finally resolved the problem to the satisfaction of the airline.
[To be continued: Snakes and Ladders]
Snakes and Ladders
Turning around the impossibility of failure begins with self-analysis. Your first reaction, like anybody else’s, will be to protest your innocence. This is why two good rules of thumb are as follows:
1. The failure occurred as a result of decisions for which you were
2. The more you want to deny this fact, the more likely it is to be true.
Don’t be too hasty to let yourself off the hook. If nothing else, genuinely homemade failures have the advantage of being more easily rectifiable than disasters resulting from earthquakes, hurricanes, and unpredictable movement in the Dow-Jones Index and consumer taste.
What are the elements in a good program?
If you want to turn impossibility into possibility after a failure, you’ll need to implement a five-stage program:
1. Survey the damage: How bad is it?
2. Evaluate the error: Why did it happen?
3. Eliminate the causes: Digging out the roots.
4. Salvage what’s left: Saving the wreck.
5. Revise your approach: Reinvent the wheel, if necessary.
How Bad Is It?
I’m no stranger to the unpleasant task of damage assessment. When we first launched the Haggai Institute for Advanced Leadership Training, we took enormous care to pick the right location. The last thing we wanted was for leaders from the developing world to return to their countries under suspicion of being recruited by the American CIA. Therefore, building the center in America was out of the question. But which country qualified as neutral?
Eventually two factors swayed us: A host of leaders from Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America recommended that we choose Switzerland. And we were offered a bargain price for a nearly completed Swiss chalet. It looked like an ideal location.
To cut a long story short, the seller welched on the deal. His own lawyer resigned in disgust. We lost $55,000 in cash. We could have retrieved the money with a court action, since we had an open-and-shut case. But we didn’t want to dishonor God or embarrass God’s people.
What made matters worse was that one of our major donors had borrowed 100,000 dollars to get the sessions started. I would sooner have taken a flogging than tell him of the loss.
“Why don’t you tell me by phone what’s on your mind?” he asked.
I replied, “I’m afraid I must sit in front of you and look you in the eyes.”
I did exactly that. When I had finished, and to my great surprise, his face broke into a broad grin. “John,” he said, “you learned a great lesson by a much cheaper blunder than I did. In our business, we have just lost two million dollars on a bad venture overseas.”
Naturally, it was tempting for me to save face by underestimating the cost. I didn’t, because I believed then, as I believe now, that honesty is the wisest and only honorable choice. Honesty has another advantage, too: It provides a realistic basis for taking whatever action is necessary to contain the damage.
Why Did It Happen?
It was when in Rome, “musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol,” that historian Edward Gibbon decided to analyze one of the greatest failures in the world. The job took him 12 years and produced the classic Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire — six volumes long and rarely surpassed in its accuracy and detail. Unfortunately for the Romans, Gibbon arrived on the scene too late for them to benefit from his wisdom. Still, the book he wrote is an object lesson to anyone in the business of making a comeback: If you want to succeed, be thorough.
Few mistakes are as simple as they seem. Causes are often linked in a chain. You need to ask, “What conditions gave rise to the causes of the mistakes?” or even, “What lay behind the conditions that gave rise to the causes of the mistakes?” And if all of this seems alarmingly complex, let me assure you that the search of causes generally begins in one of only four areas. These are shown in the figure below.
Haggai Institute’s property problem in Switzerland must be classified as an error of judgment.
This is probably less common than poor planning, a typical example of which is the American who took a team of 30 people to evangelize an Asian country. There was nothing wrong with the goal, but he turned up in the middle of the monsoon season, had his operation grounded, and wasted over a hundred thousand dollars. The planning was poor because the leader never sought information on the local climate even though it was readily available.
There are also cases of insufficient information, where data are simply unavailable. In situations like these — for example, the ludicrous attempts at manned flight before the arrival of the Wright Brothers — projects have to be initiated on the basis of inspired guesswork. But even if you have good information, set sensible targets, and plan meticulously, your enterprise can still collapse through defective implementation.
The aeronautical industry has its own term for this: pilot error.
[To be continued: Digging Out The Roots]
Digging Out the Roots
Losing the first property in Switzerland didn’t stop us from conducting the first two training sessions there. It soon became apparent, however, that the country itself was unsuitable. Five defects in planning came to light.
First, at that time, hijacking had reached epidemic proportions. We could not bring in participants from the East without subjecting them to a nerve-racking refueling stop at a Middle Eastern airfield where a Boeing 747 had been blown up.
Second, the Swiss climate and cuisine were unsuitable for visitors from the Developing World. For instance, I noticed that, without rice, a participant from East Asia often felt hungry even on three square meals a day.
Third, although the leaders coming to Switzerland all spoke English, few spoke German. So if any difficulties arose with airline connections, they could not contact us. Most of them couldn’t even ask for an English-speaking phone operator.
Fourth, the facility we were using lay 2½ hours from the Zurich Airport. Just getting participants there and back was a logistical nightmare.
Fifth, Switzerland simply had the wrong image. To most prospective donors, Switzerland suggested numbered bank accounts, tax avoidance, and expensive ski holidays. To many people it looked extravagant to bring Third World leaders there for a training session.
It was considerations like these that prompted Haggai Institute’s decision to move to Singapore in 1971. It wasn’t an easy transition, but it did eliminate the causes of these multiple minor failures brought on by locating in Switzerland.
Singapore is racially mixed; its climate and cuisine are amenable to Developing World tastes; it is 85 percent English-speaking and is independent, neutral, and within 3,000 miles of half the world’s population.
Saving the Wreck
What would you do with several hundred thousand fly swatters?
No, “swat flies” isn’t the answer I’m looking for!
Years ago a company manufactured more swatters than it could sell. The mistakes had come at the planning stage — flyswatters enjoyed a sizable market, but it was by no means as large as the sales team had supposed. So the company was saddled with the expense of storing a product for which there was insufficient demand.
One option at this stage would have been to cut losses and destroy the swatters. Instead, the company took the risk of engaging one of the world’s leading persuaders. It cost them a fortune, but the gamble paid off.
The expert, who spent considerable time examining the unfortunate swatters, came up with the line “These flyswatters are square, so you can swat flies in the corners!”
Within weeks, the company sold every swatter.
In the business of salvage, this story represents something of a coup, though not every failure can be redeemed so triumphantly. Nevertheless, the principle of gathering what remains in the aftermath of failure must be grasped firmly if you are to make a successful comeback. I don’t believe there is such a thing as complete, out-and-out disaster. You can ruin a relationship, destroy a business, flunk a test, or be fired. You can, like Job, lose everything that’s dear to you. But you will never leave any failure behind without carrying with you the wisdom of experience. Take my word for it — that’s worth having!
[To be continued: Reinvent the Wheel]
Reinvent the Wheel If Necessary
[I wrote the illustration below before ubiquitous mobile phones and GPS devices. Although current options differ, I think you will still understand the point of the story.]
However bad the failure, you can still turn impossibilities to possibilities. But you will need to learn from mistakes.
Consider this somewhat oversimplified story of a comeback. A woman going to a speaking engagement in a remote country area gets into her car.
$1· Mistakenly believing the route to be well sign-posted (insufficient information),
$1· she deliberately leaves the map behind (an error of judgment).
$1· Not having consulted the map beforehand (poor planning),
$1· she soon takes a wrong turn (defective implementation).
$1· Being hopelessly lost, she realizes she will be late for the meeting if she does not do something (she surveys the damage).
$1· She admits it was a mistake to set out with no sure knowledge of the route (she evaluates the error),
$1· and determines to find out where she is (thus eliminating the causes),
$1· while she still has time (salvaging what is left).
She pulls in at a small-town cafe. Here, it turns out, she has two ways of revising her approach — she can ask the waitress how to get to the meeting place, or she can buy a map.
Which would you do?
Clearly, since the waitress herself may be unsure of the route, asking her advice could turn out to be another error of judgment. The more reliable alternative is to buy a road map. That way the woman will not only get there, but also get back.
Here we are once more with Edward Gibbon and his lesson in thoroughness: Effective revision of your system must go all the way down — so far down, in fact, that it reveals not just your efficiency but your integrity. After all, the most penetrating question for any goals program (in personal life as well as in organization and finance) must concern ethics.
What is the story of the Tower of Babel about if not the ethical orientation of cooperative enterprise? “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered” (Genesis 11:4).
William Goei of Singapore went through a chastening experience along these lines. In 1981, he owned a million square feet of office and shopping space, a beautiful family home, and a fleet of five Rolls Royces. But a local stock market collapse undermined his empire. His cash flow dried up.
In 1986, the bank called in a receiver because Bill Goei was unable to meet his capital repayments and interest. During the next year, he fought a losing battle to free his assets. Finally, with a court hearing only two weeks away, he woke up at 3:00 a.m. and decided to pray. This wasn’t unusual; he had been praying over the last years for some specific direction in his business affairs. But this time he was desperate. He asked the Holy Spirit to speak to him. He then opened his Bible.
The passage staring at him was this: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24, RSV). The scales fell from his eyes. His motive in going to court had been financial. Now, he determined (even though it went against his instincts as a businessman) to accept a settlement out of court.
The deeds were signed, and with mixed feelings of relief and restlessness at the settlement, William Goei planned a holiday with his wife. It was during the takeoff to South America that he read about the October crash on Wall Street. Suddenly he realized the wisdom of settling out of court. With the crash, his net worth would have plummeted even lower, and he would have been financially ruined. He revised his approach just in time.
The TOP Renovator
TRUST. Failure doesn’t have to be forever. But if you’re going to stage the impossible comeback you will need to adopt what salesmen call a “winning attitude.” Failure is only terminal if you allow it to be; otherwise it is a very useful form of education. In other words, trust yourself to get the combination right the next time around. As George Lorimer wrote, “While doubt stands still, confidence can erect a skyscraper.” Bill Goei’s confidence came from his trust in God’s direction.
ORGANIZE. In terms of organization, turning impossibility to possibility in failure means maximizing your performance in six areas. First, and most important, you must acknowledge both the failure itself and the part you played in bringing it about. Second, make an objective survey of the damage it has caused. Third, evaluate thoroughly the errors responsible for failure. Fourth, eliminate the causes. Fifth, salvage whatever you can. Sixth, revise your approach to ensure that the same failure does not happen again.
PERSIST. “The course of true anything,” said Samuel Butler, “never does run smooth.” You will fail more than once. The more often you fail, the greater your chance to learn. The more you learn, the surer your chance of overcoming the impossible. Your success will be in direct proportion to your failures.
[To be continued: Womanhood with Respect]
Womanhood with Respect
Ever since she was a child, Joy had dreamed of flying. It was always her secret passion to soar with the eagles and tangle with the clouds.
Right from the start, though, turning this impossibility into a possibility was tough. Even her family and close friends didn’t think she could do it. Some smiled knowing smiles while others made fun of her.
“A woman pilot? Women aren’t safe on the roads, let alone in the air!”
Only her fiancé took her ambition seriously. “Okay,” he said, “if you’re smart enough, I dare you to do it.”
Joy ran to Linden Airport to take her first Cessna Discovery flight. The moment the instructor let her take the controls, she knew there was no turning back.
Shortly after this, she married and moved to Florida. Her flying plans were delayed, and she wondered whether she could gather up the courage to start over again with a different instructor.
A week after she had settled in her new home, Joy prayed that the Lord would be with her and then timidly set out for Boca Raton Airport. To her surprise, Joy was greeted by a woman who introduced herself as Roberta.
“You give lessons?”
“I’m the FAA examiner here. I’ve been flying since I was 16.” Joy must have looked surprised, because Roberta went on: “Yeah, I know there aren’t many women pilots. In the ’50s, I was discouraged from working with the FAA myself. But women have made great strides in aviation since then.”
Joy’s first landing was a bit rough, but she made it. A few lessons later they came down, and Roberta climbed out of the plane. “It’s all yours, kid. Bring it around to land three times.”
Joy’s jaw nearly hit the floor of the cockpit. This was to be her first solo flight. She taxied to the end of Runway 4 and prayed, “Dear Lord, please don’t let me mess up. Please don’t let the engine fail, and please stay with me.”
But her three landings went perfectly, and following the custom of most flight schools, she proudly hung a piece of cloth from her ripped T-shirt next to those of all the other soloed pilots.
From then on, Joy’s capabilities steadily increased. She went to ground school — the only woman in a class of 13. It was several weeks before she could get the men to talk flying with her. Still, her confidence increased, and she began to feel that if she put in her hours, she would always come down safely.
Then one evening, she was preflighting her plane for her first night flight, watching another airplane take the runway.
Roberta threw a glance at the speeding plane. “Chuck,” she said. “Boy, that guy knows how to fly.” But then she looked again. With alarm she exclaimed, “That engine’s not right!”
Two seconds later, the sound cut out. In an eerie silence, they watched the fully fueled airplane drift and fall. There was a burst of glass and metal as it hit the ground, followed quickly by a powerful explosion.
The image of that crash haunted Joy. For days afterward she couldn’t close her eyes at night without seeing it again. Flying, she suddenly realized, could be a nightmare as well as a dream. Of late she had come to rely on skill — organization — to make her a successful pilot. But skill was no protection against fear. In the wake of the crash she was thrown back on her trust in God, and on her will to persist and complete what she had started.
Persist she did. The day finally came when she climbed into the cockpit with her FAA examiner. It was a fabulous day. The test, though long, seemed almost effortless compared with her training. Driving back home with her signed-off logbook, she felt a jubilation she had never known before. She had gained in confidence and tenacity. She had matured in faith. Most of all, though, she had gone for her childhood goal — and reached it.
Which Woman Are You?
One of the wonderful things about Joy is the way she has defied other people’s expectations and done what was in her heart to do. She is constantly becoming what God has made her.
Sadly, as I look around the world today, I don’t see any women enjoying that freedom. Instead, they’re under pressure to become what other people want. By “other people” here, I don’t mean just men. I mean the whole of society. We have a number of roles for women to play, and those roles together define our understanding of “womanhood.”
Full-time homemakers, for example, often feel they have more to offer the world than their services as a babysitter and domestic servant. It’s exactly the sentiment expressed by Gail Sheehy in Passages:
If women had wives to keep house for them, to stay home with vomiting children, to get the car fixed, fight with the painters, run to the supermarket , reconcile the bank statements, listen to everyone’s problems, cater the dinner parties, and nourish the spirit each night, just imagine the possibilities for expansion — the number of books that would be written, companies started, professorships filled, political offices that would be held, by women.
Professionals, on the other hand (who may be reacting against the homemaking role), often feel pressured to assume unfeminine characteristics in the drive to success against male colleagues. Not only that, but, ironically, professionals also feel the most pressure to flaunt sexuality as females as a means of gaining preferential treatment.
All these roles are valid expressions of womanhood. Frustration arises either because a single role is allowed to predominate or because a woman feels she must occupy every role fully, thereby creating the most impossible role of all: superwoman. She cooks, she cleans, she brings up the kids, she supplements the family income with a full-time job — and she is expected to look ravishing dawn to dusk.
The Will of God
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all you ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
Dr. Baker James Cauthen resigned from the faculty of Southwestern Seminary and the pastorate of Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Ft. Worth to take his family to China in 1939, in the midst of war. His explanation was simple: the safest place in all the world to be is the center of the will of God.
Before he left for China, Dr. Cauthen said to his friend Bill Howse: "Bill, many people are making a lot out of what we are trying to do, but for us it's simply the will of God. It's such a good feeling that I can say that if our ship is bombed in Hong Kong harbor and we never set foot on Chinese soil, I will have a sense of completeness because I will have been doing the will of God for me."
Remember. The Will of God will never take you...
Where the grace of God cannot keep you,
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.
Where the power of God cannot endow you.
The will of God will never take you...
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
The will of God will never take you...
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercy of God cannot sustain you,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.
The will of God will never take you...
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.