Before I was diagnosed with late stage cancer in 2009, I really thought I was living a life of success. I had recently remarried, had five wonderful and talented children, had a great paying career, always drove a new car, and had a lot of friends. My wife and I would travel and explore life together, spend time with our family, and party with our friends. We struggled from time to time, but we were doing better than most so I thought all was good. I was bringing home a bigger paycheck than most of my friends and I really thought I was living a good life. A life of success. But, what does success really mean?
noun suc·cess \ sək-ˈses \
: degree or measure of succeeding
How do you measure success? Does the amount of money you have compared to others mean you’re a success? Does living in a very large house determine success? Does having a more expensive car than any others around you mean you’re a success?
These may be worldly or short-term measures of success, but they’re not Godly or eternal measures of success.
Success is not a comparison of how you rank among others. And it’s not necessarily the accumulation of wealth. Success is fulfilling what God created you to do. Fulfilling it day by day, season by season, challenge by challenge, blessing by blessing. We are all in the process of whom we will become.
When we’re faced with a difficult situation or life challenge, we often try to push it aside, dump it on someone else, or get through it as quickly as possible. Then we seek to get back to our lives and try our best to put the challenge behind us and forget about it as quickly as possible. In doing so, we’re missing out on what could be our most important life lessons.
Instead, we need to embrace our setbacks, disappointments, and delays. Know that they’re a valuable part of success. Challenges don’t happen to you, they happen for you. Each challenge we’re faced with only prepares us for the next. No matter where you are along your path of life, if you had attempted to be here earlier, you wouldn’t have been prepared. All of your life experiences, both challenges and blessings, are part of God’s plan to get you prepared for what’s next. Never forget this!
Having the courage to be the person God created you to be and fearlessly going wherever God sends you = SUCCESS.
Do you have an inspirational story of how faith helped you move through a setback without fear? Let me know in the comment section below, we’d all love to hear your story.