Your Failures Don’t Have To Be Final

by Wilson Adams

Are you where you wanted to be by now? 

We make plans, dream big dreams, and set life goals. “By the time I am ______, I plan to…” Then we blow out another candle on the birthday cake and serve ourselves another reminder that we’ve failed and fallen short. So, we stop making wishes and dreaming big. What’s the use? 

We failed in our family goals… 

We failed in our financial goals… 

We failed in our educational goals… 

We failed in our… 

We beat ourselves up because of what we haven’t accomplished. “I thought by now I would… have finished school… be happily married… have kids… have grandkids… be financially independent, be retired,” etc. Sigh. 

If Scripture tells us anything it’s this: make plans, but leave room for God’s plans. You may not be where you thought you would be by now, but maybe He has you right where He wants you in order to take you where He needs you. Be patient and let Him work. After all, He is much more experienced at this than you are.

Moses was 80 years old before God called him to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt. Sarah was a little past her prime when she was enrolled in the redemption story. Caleb was 85 when he finally got the “hill country” he had been promised forty years before. Saul of Tarsus ended up with a life he never envisioned. So did Job and Joseph. And the other Joseph—you know, the one who was set to marry Mary, spend quiet time in his carpentry shop, and live “happily ever after.” God has a way of showing up and changing the life we thought we wanted into one that is beyond our wildest dreams. 

Four Truths to Remember: 

  1. Goals have no expiration dates. Sadly, we allow age to become our excuse for not doing much of anything. Really? It’s never too late to dream, to serve, and to do something amazing. Last I checked, there’s no such thing as retirement from kingdom work. Just be “here I am, send me” available (Isa 6:8). God will do the rest. He has a long history in doing incredible things with people who invite Him in. 
  2. God has perfect timing. “In His time… He makes all things beautiful in His time…” Maybe you aren’t where you thought you’d be by now. Maybe you aren’t because He has something better in mind. Maybe today He is preparing you for tomorrow. Maybe He is growing and strengthening you in ways you aren’t seeing. “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil.2:13). His timing is always impeccable.
  3. Celebrate what you have accomplished. Quit playing the comparison game. “My sister is three years younger than me and she has…” So what? Stop thinking about the stuff you haven’t done or don’t have and learn to be content with what you have done and what you do have. “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Phil 4:11). I’m guessing two things: (1) you and I need to work on that, and (2) you and I have achieved more than we realize. Count your blessings and quit comparing.
  4. Capture the sacred moments of today. They are there, but only if you take time to look. “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psa 118:24). Amazing beauty and blessings surround us each day. Stop and notice. 

Maybe you aren’t where you thought you would be, but neither are you where you used to be. So, give yourself a little grace and remember: “To Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Eph 3:20-21).

You never know what plans God has for you. Or when. Just be available, seeking first “His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matt 6:33). He’s good at taking care of the rest.