“Have I Ever Failed You?”

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I was leaning back in my chair at 6 AM in our spare bedroom that doubled as an office. And I was telling God how dissatisfied I was with how things were going.

I was in seminary preparing for missions. It was my second year; I loved my classes. We had spent an awesome summer in New Zealand teaching at a Bible School.

But the finances for continuing weren’t there.

I had started a painting business to earn enough money to pay the bills and to get me back into school. But I was behind on house payments and at that point was having to drop out of school.

I was not a happy camper.

And as I leaned back in my chair, telling God how dissatisfied I was, the “thought” crossed my mind, “Have I ever failed you?”

Uh, well…

I spent the next 15 minutes thinking back through my life and the various situations we had walked through getting to this point.

We now had three kids, had been through a couple years of college. I had spent four years in the Air Force in special electronics. I’d completed Bible School. I’d been active in four different churches along the way.

There had been stretching times. And there had been great times. We’d seen times of want, waiting on God to provide.

And not always comfortable.

“Have I ever failed you?”

Hmm. I finally had to say “No, you haven’t.”

Wherever I’d been given the details for before and after, no, it was clear, he had never failed us.

He had always provided and guided. Not always what I expected, not always comfortable. But, yeah, it had been for good, and it had been for our good.

Did that moment change anything?


I didn’t immediately get back into school. It was still months before I had caught up on our house payments, I still worked long hours and felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. Life just went on.

And I just continued assuming he knew what he was doing.

Eventually, I was back in school and eventually, we headed overseas. Slowly he brought it to pass.


Always there? Yeah.

Always comfortable? No.

Always caring about us? Yeah.

And always stretching and growing us.

At that point, I had to pause and say, “God, you really have been abundantly good to us!”

Oh, and then I remembered a time in high school, on a particular Sunday morning. I’d specifically prayed, “Lord, teach me what faith is about”.

Slowly but surely, he was doing that.


Global veteran David Armstrong has set foot in 15 countries, and confesses that Crepes and Waffles in Bogota, Colombia is one of his favorite restaurants.

Catch his ideas here on How to Build Community as a Missionary Overseas.

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