How do you define success? Is it a flourishing career, a beautiful home, fancy electronics, lots of “rainy day” money in the bank? Most people would say yes to those things and there is nothing wrong with that. If you work hard and are responsible, why can’t you reap the benefits? That is how success is viewed in today’s society. The more money and shiny things you own, the more successful you are. But what if we look at it from God’s perspective? Do you think we would see things differently?
Recently I was reminded that my success wasn’t what I imagined. I am an educated woman. I have a college degree and several years of experience in my field. The last two years I have tried to get back into the public school system. A few months ago I took a step of faith and left my job. Although I loved my job, the money wasn’t consistent and the gas expense was killing us. I had a few interviews, but no doors opened for me. I began to doubt myself and ask questions. “Why can’t I get hired? Am I not good enough? Is there something wrong with me? Maybe I’m too old?” (Although I don’t feel like 34 is old.) So as the summer began to wind down and my kids started getting ready to go back to school, I knew I needed a plan. Financially, I needed a job. So I began working part-time at my church and trying some “at-home” businesses. Things started to look up financially, but we were still struggling. So again I began to question things, question God. “Is this the life you want for us Lord? Why can’t we catch a break? We try to live right and serve you, yet we still struggle. Why do those around us seem to flourish, especially those who are away from you?” I went from working full-time making $45,000 a year to working part-time making $8 an hour. I was feeling defeated.
Then God tapped me on my shoulder and reminded me of something. He reminded me of Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom and/or work in some kind of ministry. He reminded me that I was working part-time IN a ministry. That I was in a Christian environment meeting lots of new people. That I could take my youngest son Caleb with me and not have the daycare expense. He reminded me that I was home in the mornings to see my family off and I was home in the afternoons when my older kids got home from school. Isn’t that what I always wanted? Maybe He knew that I couldn’t work full-time and maintain my house and take care of my family with my husband working so much, especially with the possibility he would start furthering his education. Right now God has me exactly where he wants me. To some people that doesn’t mean much success. But I will look at success from God’s perspective, 1 Kings 2:3 “Observe the requirements of the Lord your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go.”