Is It A God Thing? When God Gives Success to Others and Not You

disappointment

“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?

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2 Responses to Is It A God Thing? When God Gives Success to Others and Not You

  1. Dorothy Woodruff says:

    Upon reading your writing, It’s a God Thing, I couldn’t I couldn’t help but recognize myself in it. Everybody has different experiences, ups and downs, successes and failures. I never thought of it as a God Thing, but I do like the term. Yes, I lived in absolute hell with my drunk husband as did my children. One can only take so much of hell when they start looking for another way. My first conclusion was ending this life, if this is all life has to offer, I don’t want anymore of it. I had my suicide planned. I knew how and I knew when. Evidently God didn’t agree with my plan because he put before me one phrase that changed my life. In reading self-help books I came upon the phrase, ‘You can’t change the world, but you can change yourself.’ I had always been interested in nursing but didn’t believe I was smart enough to get through college. In desperation I enrolled in Jackson Community College, starting with the one class I knew would prevent me from obtaining my goal, Anatomy and Physiology. I bought the books, but couldn’t read them. The words were words I couldn’t pronounce let alone understand. With that, I tried to drop out of the class before it even started. Again God was with me, I was not allowed to drop the class before I attended it and found it too much. As it worked out, that person who wouldn’t let me drop out was a God Thing. I made it through Jackson Community College with honors and was hired at the University of Michigan. The rest is history, I developed the confidence that I could do anything I wanted to do if I really applied myself. A living wage job made all the difference in the way I dealt with my husband’s alcoholism. It changed the way I dealt with him. I can choose to leave, I don’t need him for support any more. That too, is a God Thing.

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