Monday, February 4, 2013

Missed Opportunities, Willing Heart

Does opportunity only knock once? Did you miss its knock this week?

Don’t you love days when you awake and don’t feel groggy? You feel content, and your body believes you got the perfect amount of sleep. Last year, I visited my brother in California, and he introduced me to a memory foam pillow. Best sleep I’ve gotten in years! So I bought one and wow, I fall asleep much sooner!

So anyway, I felt unusually rested this morning. And because I’m the type who sets his alarm extra early so he can have the pleasure of hitting the snooze button four or five times before actually getting out of bed, I laid there and reflected on this blog idea for a while.

Have you ever had an interaction with someone, and a few hours or days later, it hits you: I missed an opportunity!

You’ve had desires on your heart but don’t know your next step. The person you talked to seemed to have a desire that matched yours, or perhaps your desire and theirs could have enhanced each other. But it didn’t hit you until later. And in retrospect, it looked like such a missed opportunity—one that will never come around again. At least not with that person.

That person might not be the type you would ever cross paths with again. And because you’re not the type who uses people, you’re busy trying to build them up. It isn’t your M.O. to be on the lookout for how people can serve you.

I wonder if all those missed opportunities were truly opportunities at all.

Maybe God wasn’t setting up an opportunity for us there. Maybe He was just testing the willingness in our hearts instead.

God knows everything. He knew everything from eternity past. And He tells us He mapped out our lives before we were born:

“Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them” (Psalm 139:16 NASB).

Personally, that Bible verse brings such relief to me when I feel like I’ve missed a chance. And it gives me peace about my future, a calm confidence that everything will work out fine.

We’re not robots. God gives us free will. But God also knew our days and knew all our actions from eternity past. That tells me He knew from eternity past how to factor our actions into His perfect plan. In other words, He knew we weren’t going to take action on that so-called opportunity.

So perhaps He wanted to see if we were willing to take hold of something He wanted to give us.

God loves His kids. Maybe He just wanted to take pleasure in seeing what’s in our hearts.

Maybe He just wanted to hear that heart’s response, “God, I would’ve done it. God, I want to step out into what You have planned for me. Please help me not to miss out on Your plan.”

Maybe He wanted to strengthen our resolve for the genuine opportunity when it arrives—so we won’t miss out on it. After all, His perspective is much farther-reaching than ours.

If you do receive an opportunity, seize it! Be on the lookout for those God-given provisions. I’m a big believer in that, and yes, we each have a responsibility to do our part. But worrying about so-called missed opportunities—or even worrying about genuine missed opportunities—seems overrated.

Our only option is to move forward.

And if God was big enough to give us that first “opportunity,” then He’s big enough to do it again.

With God on your side, the One who knew your misses in advance and made provision for them, you have a huge advantage. Your chances are much better than 50/50.

For some reason I can’t fathom, God values each one of us. And He wants us as partners in His plan. If we’ll do the part He gives us, our chances are much closer to 100 percent than we realize.

Sometimes it feels like we’re falling behind. In actuality, we’re probably right on schedule.

Never give up!

John Herrick

Today’s Playlist:  Greatest Hits by Shania Twain

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