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Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “The Best Night Ever”

It’s a fact. If you’ve ever looked forward to anything in your life, you’ve been disappointed at least once.

Certainly that’s the case in this episode. One would argue it should have been the biggest disappointment for the girls in the series. After all, all members of the Mane Six went to the Grand Galloping Gala with plans in mind and high hopes that they were going to have their dreams come true. But those plans quickly went South, things degenerated into disaster, and what should have been a night of fun and opportunity ended up as one colossal disappointment.

And yet, at the end of it, Twilight Sparkle is still able to declare that this disastrous evening was the “best night ever”. How, when every last one of them ended up disappointed and even forced to flee from the Gala when their antics led to disaster?

As it turns out, when they looked past all of their disappointments and, to borrow a phrase from Langston Hughes, “dreams deferred”, the girls realized they still had a free night with each other, and that they could have a good time pretty much doing anything so long as it was together. In the end, they ended up having a much better time just sitting around talking about the evening than they did trying to get their individual dreams and wishes fulfilled; learning that they could have just as good of a time with each other as they could going off on their own to seek out their own “good time”.

While I am by no means suggesting that the answer to every disappointment and failure in life is to substitute fellowship (although I think it certainly helps mitigate the bad times and experiences), there is still a lesson to be learned here. As I said, everyone has disappointments in life. Everyone has things that didn’t go as planned. And for the Christian, that may pertain to things that can be highly discouraging, such as trying out a new ministry or fellowship or some way to be active for God. Sometimes it might be something we’re really excited about too, or hopeful about, or thinking that it’s going to be “my calling” and is going to make a huge difference in the lives of others…only to find out it either doesn’t work out with us personally, financial problems ruin it, injury or debilitation prevents it, or anything else from a multitude of reasons causes the “dream to be deferred”.

But for the Christian who is resolved to follow God and keep searching for his Will, it’s important to note that it’s a fact that failure is never final. God will never shut a door in your life without opening another one. Nor will he allow a difficulty to come into your life that won’t provide growth in a new area. There are always “blessings to be found” even in the most disappointing and dire of circumstances.

Jacob was on the run for his life with nothing to his name when he received the Promise of God that the blessing he gave Abraham would come to life through him. Joseph was not only unjustly in prison when he performed the dream interpretation that eventually led to his ascension in Egypt, but had to wait an additional two years for the man he provided the interpretation for to “remember him” with no word that he’d ever be coming. Moses had fallen from a place of prestige and power in Egypt to being a lowly herder likely feeling he was near the end of his life when he became the one who led the Hebrews out of Egypt. David only attained the throne of Israel after years of living as a fugitive and not only trying to escape being killed by his own countrymen but also trying to fight off Israel’s enemies at the same time. Elijah was alone and fleeing for his own life in the wilderness when the voice of the Lord came to him.

If you prefer more “modern” examples… Henry Ford went broke five times before founding the Ford Motor Company. Akio Morita’s, founder of Sony, first product was a faulty rice cooker that sold less than 100 units. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”. Winston Churchill failed sixth grade and lost numerous elections to public office before finally becoming Prime Minister at 62. Abraham Lincoln infamously went to war as a captain and left demoted to a private. The testing director at MGM said about Fred Astaire at his first screen test: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Theodor Seuss Giesel, better known as “Dr. Seuss”, had his first book, “To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” rejected by 27 publishers. Stephen King had thrown his first big hit, “Carrie”, into the trash after being rejected by 30 publishers, until his wife fished it out and encouraged him to keep trying. (Thanks to 50 Famous People Who Failed at Their First Attempt at Career Success for these.)

Romans 5:3-5 reads: “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” A bit more succinctly, Romans 8:28 states: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” So even in the parts of life where we feel the lowest, most discouraged, most unhappy, or just simply “at the bottom”, we are guaranteed that so long as we continue to pursue God that all things will “work together for good”.

I pray that this won’t merely be an instruction to look for a “silver lining” when we don’t feel very hopeful, but will be a word of encouragement for the future.

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you for your blessed assurance that you will never leave me or forsake me, and that ‘all things will work together for good’ to those who place their hope in you. Please remind me of this when I feel like a failure and help others to see it. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”