Setback or Set Up?

disappointmentMy desire to teach suffered a setback. In the last semester of my last year in college, my career plan came to a screeching halt at the hands of a high school Spanish class who cared more about sports and date nites than a foreign language. While I never taught in public schools, the degree did set me up with skills to do what I enjoyed more … lead Bible studies.

My march up the corporate ladder suffered setback when a vice-president rejected my bid for a director role in favor of another. Six months later, that rejection turned into a set up for another opportunity that fit my passions for work to a “T”.

Throughout the years, the same pattern repeated itself. Setbacks became set ups for deeper longings of my heart. While I believed God forgot me, He was preparing the way.

Like He exiled Moses to the desert and prepared him to lead the chosen people out of Egypt and through the wilderness. Or like He shaped David for seventeen years before fulfilling his anointing as the next Israelite king. Or as He orchestrated Esther to the right place with the right people at the right time to save the Israelite nation from death at the hands of a jealous and manipulating prince Haman.

Even the nation of Israel suffered setbacks. When God fell silent for 400 years, His chosen believed He turned His back and forgot them. But God did not forget. He was at work, using those years to silently braid together circumstances and events until the stage was set to send the Savior they longed for.

Setbacks? I look at them differently now. Closed doors, disappointments, and rejections could just be God’s way to reboot and reset my operating system. To free me from the oppression of “ought to’s” and failures and redirect me to the abundant life He created for me. A setback to set me up for my long-awaited Savior.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I put my hope.  (Psalm 130:5, NIV)

©2013 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.


About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
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5 Responses to Setback or Set Up?

  1. So true, Gloria! Gary and I just had a recent conversation on this very thing. Now I don’t worry or fret nearly like I used to. Of course, I may be shocked and disappointed at first, but soon my heart is encouraged when I look at the past blessings He’s supplied as a result of disappointment. Good reminder for all of us!

    • Gloria Ashby says:

      Thank you, Carolyn and Vonda. God delivers on His promise to work all things to good. I may not be happy with current circumstances, but I can always wait with expectation that He is still at work in it.

  2. On target message!
    My setbacks have been real blessings. Now, when there is a setback, I wait in expectations and I’m rarely disappointed.

    Write on!

  3. What a powerful message! I’m thankful for the “setbacks” in my life, for sure! 🙂 Thank you, Gloria!

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