Have you ever felt this way? Like everyone around you is moving forward in life, kicking over milestones as though they were weightless? Maybe your milestones feel as sturdy as a mountain or, worse, they may seem like an illusion–like you will never meet them. God has not forgotten about you dear one. He has a plan for your life. Here are a few things to remember when we feel “behind” in life.
God’s timing is better than our own. (Ecc. 3:1)
It is our human nature to set a deadline or a time limit for our plans. We believe that if we meet them when we said we will, we are doing things “on time.” But when we don’t meet them when we expect to, we feel as though our feet got stuck in the mud and we’ve stagnated in the race of life. You may think, “What am I doing to not get ahead? I’ve should’ve accomplished this by now…I mean, everyone around me has.” We need to realize that God’s timing is for our own good. There’s a reason you didn’t graduate college when you wanted to. There’s a reason you didn’t marry at 25 years of age. There’s a reason you’re not traveling the world yet. And there’s a reason that business or ministry didn’t establish when you claimed it.
Don’t set deadlines for yourself and feel defeated when you don’t meet them. And stop asking God to do something for you when you want Him to. We are to work on God’s time and will, not our own! We need to stop being so selfish and prideful trying to live self-willed lives when we should be surrendering ourselves to God’s will (James 4:13-15).
God knows what He’s doing with your life. Everything He does with it comes together and brings you to your calling/purpose in life. Trust Him. He will put you through seasons when you’re going to have no idea what He’s doing (John 13:7), but God willing, we will understand in due time.
Celebrate others’ successes and accomplishments and resist the spirit of envy. (Rom. 12:15; 1 Cor. 13:4; James 3:14-16)
Our initial reaction to someone’s accomplishments or successes reflect our true character. How do you initially react when someone you know and follow on social media travels first-class to Europe all by herself? Or when your coworker gets a raise or promotion although you know you’ve worked longer and harder than she has? Or when someone buys a home sooner than you? It strongly displeases God when we envy because it means we don’t appreciate what He’s blessed us with.
It is important for us to genuinely celebrate the success and happiness of others (as long as what makes them happy glorifies God and if they’re doing His will). We can’t just act like we’re happy for them. As believers, shouldn’t we want to see others succeed and live out God’s will for their lives? It makes no sense for us to be bitter about seeing others advancing the Kingdom of God and doing what makes them happy. That should be a reason to celebrate!! Celebrate the fact that God’s grace is still alive and active in other people’s lives. Pray that evil spirit of envy off of you! Learning how to truly rejoice with others diminishes that spirit.
Combine faith with action! (James 2:14-17)
When God reveals His will for us what do we do with it? Do we sit on it and ponder if we can really pull it off? Or do we take action and keep our gaze set forward? It’s great to have mental faith, but it’s insufficient if you’re not putting that faith into action. We say we want to do something great like start a business, a ministry, go on a mission trip, and travel. But what are we doing to accomplish those things? If we just sit and daydream all the time nothing will be accomplished and we wonder why other people are “getting ahead” and living out their purposes.
Sprinkle your faith with a least a little bit of action and watch God work. Take action! I’m not saying this to help you “get ahead” of others, don’t worry about them. But this is to help manifest God’s will for your life.
Never get tired of doing good works (Gal. 6:9).
I know y’all are tired of this verse, but it remains timeless. If you feel like you’ve been giving and giving like crazy and getting nothing in return, stay encouraged! God sees your good works even if man doesn’t. In due season, He will reward you abundantly if your intentions are pure and genuine. You see everyone around you reaping the good that they have sown and you’re still empty. Everyone has a different harvesting season and you will have one too if you just remain patient. Now patience is not only the ability to wait. It’s the ability to withstand trial and stay thankful and joyful while we wait for God’s promises to be fulfilled. But don’t get shortsighted; it’s not all about what we gain in this life, it’s about what we gain in Eternity.
It is written! We will reap a good harvest if we continue to sew good and never give up.
We don’t live by societal expectations, but God’s expectations (Rom. 12:2)
This world has a standard of how we’re “supposed” to live: move out when you’re 18, obtain your license and a car when you turn 16. Graduate college with a Master’s Degree by the time you’re 25, and find a career. Get married and start a family by the time you’re 30. Phew!! Right?! It’s good when you reach milestones “on time” but they’re so enforced by the world that if we don’t meet them when we’re expected to, we feel “behind.”
People, in fact, are so hooked on societal standards and how we’re “supposed” to live that they have a tendency to pass judgement on anyone who hasn’t reached a certain milestone yet. “What do you mean you’re 30 and still haven’t brought a home yet?” “Girl, you should’ve been gotten your license!” And these are normally those who did everything “on time” because maybe they had more resources. There’s nothing to feel bad about. Everyone’s life happens at a different pace and perhaps it wasn’t God’s will for some of us to do everything “on time.” Know that everything He does is for our protection.
Keep this in mind, dear one, we are not created to please man and be everyone’s friend. We are here to glorify and worship a God who will not reject us for not meeting worldly standards of living. Focus on doing what God called you to do the best way you can! He will give you everything you need as long as you keep your eyes on His Kingdom and seek Him above all things (Matt. 6:33). Don’t worry about meeting societal standards, work on pleasing God!
Be content with what you have. Where you are in life is NOT a mistake.
Just because you didn’t learn to drive when you were sixteen or just because it’s taking you several years to graduate college does not mean that God made a mistake! Please allow me to repeat myself: “God’s rejection is our protection!” Be grateful where God put you in life right now because you know it’s all apart of His glorious will. No matter where you are in life, it is no surprise to God. He wrote His plan for your life before you were even born (Psalm 139:16)! No need to worry about your future; just put your full trust in God because with Him there is eternity, fulfillment, and joy.
Life is a journey, NOT a competition.
We were not put here to be “better” than anyone. We are here to serve God, bring others to Him by sharing the Gospel, and live out His purpose for our lives. There is no such thing as being “behind” in life. That’s just something the world creates. We are right where we are supposed to be in God’s eyes even if we do feel behind. There is a time to be still and a time to get up and move. Listen carefully to the voice of God and get to know His voice because He is definitely speaking to you. When God says, “Be still,” be still and watch Him work! But when He says, “Get up and move,” take the required action! Don’t second guess or procrastinate because that comes from the enemy.
Lastly, stop comparing yourself to others and letting the devil take your joy and contentment. Stop trying to please man with your life. And don’t rush God’s timing by trying to get “ahead” in life. Stay in your lane! Even God tells us to do this:
“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” ~Galatians 6:4
I pray in Jesus mighty name that this article helped clarify some things in your life 🙂