My times are in Your hand.
—Psalm 31:15

Financial advisers often talk about a person’s “time horizon.” They say if you’re in your 20s, you can afford to make risky investments because if they turn out badly, you have time to recover. But if you’re in your 60s and make a bad investment, it can spell real trouble.

That same idea applies to the mistakes we all make in life. Knowing your time horizon can help you place your failures in proper perspective. If you make a major mistake in your 20s, you’re more likely to have decades to recover from that mistake. However, if that mistake occurs in your 60s, the results can be devastating . . . or so it seems.

The single most liberating truth I have discovered about recovering from failures is this: your time horizon for recovering from your mistake is not 10 years or 20 years; it is eternity. God has given us an eternal time horizon. If you are a Christian, God has given you eternal life, and that means your time horizon is forever.

Bruce Wilkinson uses an illustration about the dot and the line. He encourages people to take a pen and put a dot on a piece of paper and then draw a line all the way to the end of the page. He says that dot represents the 70 or 80 years God has given us here on earth. The line represents our existence after we die that goes on and on and on and on. He said most Christians make the mistake of only living for those 70 or 80 years–the dot–rather than thinking about the endless line of eternity.

Here’s how that reality applies to recovering from failure. Let’s say that, like Moses, you make a big mistake when you are 40. You think that horrible choice will be the defining event in your life. Your one mistake has seemingly negated all the good things in your life up to that point. You wonder, “Do I have time to recover from this?” Remember, the time horizon for your second act is not 10 or 20 years–it is eternity. It goes on forever and ever and ever.

When you understand that your time frame is not limited to your few years on earth, it changes your perspective about your failure. God has given you an eternal time horizon. Your second act goes one and on, making your first act only a prelude to the real show.

The duration of our role is much longer than we suppose.

***

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Prepare for Your Grand Finale!” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Bruce Wilkinson, “A Life God Rewards” (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2012), 28-29.

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