|Jeremiah 29:11 states that God has a plan for us, a plan to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us future and hope. However, I sometimes wonder how much of that plan is affected by our successes and failures?|
David desired to build God's temple, but wasn't allowed because he had too much blood in his hands (See 1 Chron. 22:7) and Moses did not live to enter the promised land because he did not trust God enough (See Numbers 20:12).
Recently, I was given an opportunity to try and contribute to something I have wanted to contribute to for a long time. I asked a lot of help from everyone I know in order to prepare for this opportunity but subsequently failed to make good on the opportunity.
Romans 8:28 stated that all things work out for those who love God. Historically, I can see that where I missed an opportunity, God took me a different route that was perhaps wildly more rewarding and successful than the missed opportunity.
However, I continue to wonder if I'm simply being like the wolf and the sour grape in Aesop's Fables, or if I'm merely exercising a form of positive thinking (as my friends who are not of the same faith as I may attribute it to).
If, for example, a year or two from now, I look back, and think to myself 'wow, God took me through an excellent route after I missed that opportunity I dearly wanted,' is that calling the grape sour? Is that positive thinking? Or is that merely a reflection of the promise that all things work out for the good of those who love God? Is that affirmative proof that I 'love' God?
On the other hand, what if I then think to myself 'Yeah, that was a sorely missed opportunity - things would have worked out much better if I didn't fail it,' is that an affirmative proof that I don't 'love' God? Or does it simply mean that I have not yet moved past my previous failures?
As for me, I have chosen to believe that whenever I missed an opportunity, God has something better in mind for me - all things work out for those who love Him, even if it's construed as mere 'positive thinking.'
So far, although I have both my ups and downs, I feel that I can honestly say that God really has taken me through a route much better than one(s) I would have taken on my own.
However, I do worry that one of these days, I'll make a mistake or fail in a manner that will invalidate me from getting one of my heart's desires (like David and Moses in my examples above). On the other hand, Jesus' disciples have failed plenty, e.g. Peter's 3 consecutive denial of his relationship with Jesus (See Matt. 26:69-74) but did amazing things afterwards when he chose to obey the resurrected Jesus again.
It seems, however, that one way or another, my best course of action is to learn from my mistakes and trust God for a better tomorrow, placing my life, future, dreams, and hope in His hands. This seems to be the only logical conclusion based on my premises (although of course, you may argue and believe that my premises are invalid).
Soapbox message: It would be nice if we can turn back time whenever we fail and have another go at it, but we can't (as far as I know, at least). However, we can take comfort in knowing that failure is almost never final unless we make it so. Learn from your mistakes and plow forward, finding a better way than you previously thought possible. Never let your past failures cheat you out of endless future possibilities. And remember that if you have God on your side, none can prevail against you - so simply put your trust in Him who loves you as His own. Amen.