The Milestone That Wasn’t

In Genesis 27, we read about a milestone that should have been, but wasn’t.

Imagine what Esau looked forward to the day his dying father told him to get ready to receive the blessing. Esau, Isaac’s older son, had been expecting to receive this blessing from his father for his whole life. It was an important milestone in an oldest sons’ life.

The blessing would signify his stature, outline his inheritance, and seal his glorious future before the Lord. While Esau was preparing for the big moment, his brother Jacob tricked Isaac and took the blessing, robbing Esau. The oldest son’s long awaited milestone never came to pass. 

The younger son likewise prepared for a milestone that didn’t come as expected. He fell in love with a woman named Rachel. For seven years he worked for her father in order to marry her. On his wedding day, Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah instead. His long-awaited wedding was a time of deceit and disappointment.

Can you imagine the milestones Job was awaiting when suddenly his life was plagued, torn apart, and brought to a place of misery? Or the disappoint of Ruth, as she got married, looking forward to years of love and many children, only to lose her husband and end up in a strange land caring for her mother in law in poverty?

Mary prepared herself for Godly marriage only to discover God’s plans actually involved being pregnant out of worldly wedlock.

Paul is a great example, too. He was a zealous Jew, well-known for his “great” work persecuting Christians. Surely he looked forward to a life of upstanding religious reputation and power. Then, he was struck blind on a road, transformed by Jesus Christ, and joined the ranks of the persecuted.


The Bible holds no shortage of examples of people whose expected and desired “milestone moments” weren’t what they hoped for.

Who among us hasn’t also had grand plans and dreams that haven’t come true or weren’t what we expected? There are plenty of milestones we look forward to that never happen. Or, that occur, but are tainted by sin or are altogether not what we anticipated.

We struggle with dreams as Christians. Often we struggle because we put our hope, oh so humanly, in things, ideas, and plans instead of in the Lord. Surely He knows His plans for us, and His plans are for our good and His glory.

Disappointment comes when what we expected isn’t found or isn’t what we thought. But our strength is renewed when we look to our true hope –our Lord.

“Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength. –Isaiah 40:27-31

Looking back at Biblical examples of expected milestones dashed to bits, we see how God lines the walk of faith with unmet milestones.

God had plans for each of the people mentioned- and His plans turned disappointment into God-appointments.

We have the same privilege of witnessing God working in our disappointments today.

{This post was originally published on My Faith Radio}

This post may also be shared on: #MomentsofHope #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #Heart Ecnouragement, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup, Faith-Filled Friday, Sitting Among Friends, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

0 Replies to “The Milestone That Wasn’t

  1. “God at work in our disappointments.”
    This truth is important for this time of year in which we are encouraged to “climb every mountain, ford every stream” with abandon.
    The truth that things don’t always go as we envision is certainly supported in Scripture, and I appreciate this clear-eyed reminder that God is in the business of redeeming failure and strengthening us for the daily climb.

    1. Me too, Michele. This is an old one revived from a different site, and I was grateful to find it and be reminded again by what the Lord taught me then. I can remember what milestones I thought would happen (but didn’t) back when I wrote this- and it’s refreshing now to reread it with new disappointments, but also the sight of seeing how God worked through those past disappointments too! We serve an ALMIGHTY God.

  2. This is so true. Not everything we pray for, hope for or want will be realized. Sometimes we pray for something that may not be good for us, but we do not realize it. But God in His infinite wisdom, always knows what is best for us. Even when things come our way, they do not always come in the way we envision them. Again, God knows what He is doing. We may not understand the reasons, but God knows. I leave it up to God. I know He will give that which I need in due season. Kind of reminds me of that old 50s TV show, “Father Knows Best”. Our Father really does know BEST!

    Thank you for this wonderful article which has made me think and maybe understand somewhat.

    God bless you.

    1. Elaine, He really does!! So many milestones I can say He has brought me to that would have been missed if I’d clung to the ones I was disappointed by or never received. So thankful our Lord is as patient, sure, and kind as He is to us, even when we aren’t getting what we want. God bless you, too! Thank you for encouraging and sharing with me!

  3. So true, Bethany. We can’t expect a certain milestone to occur in the way that we imagine. Surely that would be a disaster. And since God is God–His ways must be higher than our own, thus remaining a mystery to us, at least in part. I recently studied about how Jacob stole Esau’s birthright, so this has a very relevant and current message to me. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Yes! I’m really grateful for much of the mystery in God’s ways- keeps me from feeling like I ought to be judging His way!! So glad this was relevant to you, too : )

  4. It’s hard for us to see God as one who is in our joy and disappointments. Your Bible references create a picture of important characters who missed out on milestone moments but if we read their stories to the end, we learn that they gained so much more.

    Thank you for these words today. Glad to be your neighbor at Testimony Tuesday.

    1. So true, Mary! God’s milestones for them were so much more than those they missed. I’m so glad disappoints are worked for good by God! Thank you!

  5. The scripture from Isaiah is speaking volumes to me today. I’m so thankful you posted this, Bethany. This is a good piece, ministry for certain. Visiting via #raralinkup.

  6. I never thought of it in terms of milestones, but that’s a great way to look at it – that God is in charge of our plans and days, and if they don’t go like we planned, maybe they’re going like He planned. Visiting today from Testimony Tuesday.

  7. What God can do with our disappointments is amazing. I often look forward to those milestone moments and I think they can become idols. It is so important to be living every day for Christ and in doing so, we can experience joy no matter what comes our way!

    1. So true, Nicole! I’ve idolized milestones too- both those that came to pass and those that didn’t. Never as joyful or peaceful as when my eyes are on Christ instead!

  8. Love this, Bethany…”His plans turned disappointment into God-appointments.” Such great encouragement to look into His word and see so many whose lives didn’t go as planned, but yet are examples to us of faithfulness and perseverance. Thanks for sharing your insight!

  9. Disappointment is such a universal experience, and one that often causes us to shrink back or fall away from God. Thanks for your insights here. Disappointments turned into God appointments. Yes, indeed. I want those God appointments, but sometimes I don’t want to go through the disappointment that precedes it. 🙂

    1. Isn’t that the truth, Betsy- I don’t approach the preceding part of much of the hard preliminaries for God-appointments with joy. Listened to a great sermon yesterday on this subject! Praying that we would be so trusting of Him that even the disappointments can be embraced with His peace!

  10. You wrote: Disappointment comes when what we expected isn’t found or isn’t what we thought. But our strength is renewed when we look to our true hope –our Lord.

    Isn’t that little word “but” so important?!

    Thank you!

  11. Great thoughts here, Bethany! Reminds me of Hebrews 11:13 “All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it.” We focus forward on the goal … which truly, is Jesus!

  12. I so resonated with this Bethany–one of the most difficult aspects of trusting God on the journey is the in between part–when we realize we won’t reach those milestones that we think God was promising us but we are not far enough along to see his protection or the even better plans He has for us. Your words are encouraging!

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