Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
—Isaiah 40:31

How can you profit from an intermission in life after you make a mistake? There are several principles to help you maximize your intermission between your failure and your future.

Many times after we have failed we want to move immediately into our second act. I see this all the time. People get apprehensive during an intermission. They think because they’ve been out of work for six months that they will be unemployed the rest of their lives, so they panic and make wrong choices. Or maybe they lose a mate through death or divorce, and they think they’re going to spend the rest of their lives alone, so they make a disastrous choice for a next mate.

Resist the urge to skip your intermission. People who skip intermissions become victims of what my friend Bobb Biehl calls the blizzard effect. In a blizzard, you can’t see anything in front of you. It’s the same way in life. Many times a storm will come into your life–maybe a death, a divorce, or a termination–and it starts blowing everything around. You can’t see clearly to make wise decisions. Just as you would never try to drive in a blizzard, so after a first-act failure you should never try to make an immediate decision. You need to wait until the storm passes so you can see clearly. Don’t skip your intermission.

During your intermission you also need to refresh your physical and emotional batteries. One of my professors, the late Dr. Howard Hendricks, used to say, “Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to take a nap.” Failure can take an exacting toll on your life, emotionally as well as physically. That’s why we need to use any intermission we are given to refresh ourselves.

Your intermission is also a great time to reflect on where you’ve been and visualize where you think God is leading you. Take some time to get alone and ask important questions, such as:

  1. What three things would I like to accomplish before I die?
  2. Am I in the job that I want to be doing ten years from now? If it’s not the job you want to be in, ask God about how to transition to what you believe He is leading you to do.
  3. What do I feel passionate about in life?
  4. What do other people seem to think I’m gifted to do?
  5. Who is the one person who knows me best and loves me most who could give me some wise counsel?

Reflect on where you have been and visualize where God wants you to go.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Enjoy Your Intermission” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.