Success in God’s Eyes

Eddie, PLEASE, PLEASE, don't take up journalism as a career!

Eddie, PLEASE, PLEASE, don't take up journalism as a career!

Then he prayed, “Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Give me success today. Be kind to my master Abraham.  Genesis 24:12 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

My sophomore year of high school, I applied to become a reporter for our school newspaper. The English teacher serving as the paper’s advisor complained that I couldn’t spell, but she liked the way I strung words together, so I won a spot on staff. My senior year, another English teacher discouraged me from applying to college. Said I wasn’t college material. Same problem, different year. But oh did I have dreams.

Both English teachers were right. NC State looked at my GPS and SAT scores and rejected my application. A few days later I made an appointment with the admissions office. The day of my interview I wore a pair of red and white polyester pants Mom had made for me, a white shirt, and red tie. To the admissions officer I probably looked like a clown, but dreamers see past their faults and reach beyond their potential.

The admissions officer reluctantly admitted me into their Industrial Arts program. I thought that was pretty cool since, to me, Industrial Arts meant I’d be painting buildings. I flunked English 101 twice before passing with a D. Same problems, different school. But oh did I have dreams.

I graduated from State four years later with a degree in English/Journalism and a cumulative GPA of 2.0. I was what I’d always been: average. But oh did I have dreams.

Last month I reached my dream. Zonderkidz, a division of HarperCollins, published the first in a three-book series for boys. I’m not going to mention the name of the book or its series. Doesn’t matter. My point is, I succeeded in becoming a published novelist with a major book publisher.

In our verse today we find Abraham’s servant praying to God for success. What strikes me about this passage is the boldness and humility of Eliezer. First, Eliezer is not named in the story. We have to go all the way back to Genesis 15:2 to learn his name. There, Eliezer is on the verge of inheriting all Abraham owns. By chapter twenty-four Eliezer is a minor player in Abraham’s “success.” Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – not Abraham, Eliezer, and… By chapter twenty-four Eliezer has learned to be content with God’s plans and bold in asking for God’s favor. Oh that more of us were like Eliezer, and that we would be bold enough to ask God for success and humble enough to work in the shadows on behalf of others.

Pray that God will give you success. Pray also for the ability to recognize success and the strength to let it go so God can give you new work in His Kingdom.