“It’s a God thing,” she stated as she shared her success with her book series. I nodded and smiled. After being in ministry all my life, I think I knew a little something about “God things.” However a voice inside of me wanted to scream: “What about me? Why isn’t God rewarding my efforts?”
It’s easy to see God’s hand in our efforts when we meet success. But what about those times when your efforts are not rewarded with success? Does that mean you aren’t doing what God wants you to do? Did you do something wrong? Is God punishing you?
Fortunately God doesn’t work this way. Sometimes you meet no worldly success in your efforts, and yet that, too, is a God thing. Just look at the prophets that were treated with derision. Just look at Jesus.
As I look at how the past years of my life have unfolded, I can clearly say it was a God thing. I wasn’t ready to retire when laid off from my position as chaplain, but four years later, I’m happy. I doubt I would have been this happy had I remained.
When my position at my church was eliminated, I had worked long enough to receive a pension – not enough to live on but enough to be a contributing member of my household. I married, thereby being able to go on my husband’s health benefits as my own benefits ended. God arranged it for me. 🙂
Most of my life I have dreamed about someday being able to write full-time. God made this possible.
While in church ministry there were so many occasion when I offered a grogram or held a service and only a handful, if that many, people attended. I would look at others that had much greater success and try not to be discouraged. When I would get excited about different programs I wanted to implement, more often than not, I was met with resistance from the many committees that are part of church life. Those ideas were broken before they even got off the ground.
Now as I juggle multiple book ideas, fiction and non-fiction, and pursue self-publishing, I couldn’t be happier. I’m my own boss. I answer to no-one but myself and my God. I’m free to pursue whatever presents itself. Yes, I have people I consult in the process, but ultimately it remains in my own hands. That’s a God thing. I may not be meeting with the sales success of others, but still I know it’s a God thing.
I recently came across this quote by Winston Churchill, “success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Perhaps it’s enough that I finally have that which I dreamed of years ago, the freedom and ability to write full time. Perhaps that’s success enough. And not only that, I’m able to put my writing out to the world, relying on the world to judge its merit.
That too is a God thing!
What about you? How has God been present in your failures as well as successes? How do you define success?