Lately I am having regular late night chats with a close friend of mine. Conversations about past and present experiences, which usually leads to Spiritual discussions. We know each other for more than 30 years, but we didn’t have much contact most of our adult years.
Friday night was one of those nights, sharing past struggles and blessings, and our thoughts around it. At one point we looked at each other with stretched eyes, as a penny dropped… “What if thé blessing, which I saw as protection, was actually a missed opportunity?” Tears filled our eyes, followed by silence as we thought about it for a while.
In Matthew 19:16-26 we are being told about a rich young man who Jesus told to sell all his belongings and follow Him… The rich young man chose not to heed to the call. We will never know what this young man could’ve become had he followed the instruction, there were no further recordings of the gent. No offence intended against the gent, how many of us would give up everything and follow Jesus?
The first 9 chapters of Deuteronomy Moses recalls Israel’s wandering in the wilderness, of how the “Egypt generation” of Israel had every opportunity to take ownership of the promised land, but because of their refusal of God’s commands, none of the “Egypt generation” would live to see the promised land. God did not go back on His promise, Israel did get the promised land.
My friend is a business owner and he is preparing his business for expansion. We spoke about how God will prepare you to be ready for the “Right place, Right time” moment so that you can take ownership of the opportunity.
He recalled an event that took place 5 years ago… He moved the premises of his business to another workshop, it was a season filled with uncertainty. Alot of things didn’t work out as he thought it would and had alot of obstacles in this process. Even though there were potential to scale his business, in partnership with a strong established business, a few months later he moved back to his previous workshop and the prospected partnership ended. Not long after the this the “partner’s” business was shut down. The thought was that God protected my friend by withdrawing from the partnership that eventually fell apart due to mismanagement.
But… Did God put my friend in a position to take over the business?
Saying it out loud was the “A-HA” moment, followed by thoughts in silence… My friend gave God our PROTECTOR praise, but it could however have been praise to God, our PROVIDER, by being at “The right place, right time” moment, have he decided to stick around for another few months. Was the struggle he had with the “partner” a test of his faith and endurance?
Our lives are filled with “What-if’s” and “If-only’s.” What if the rich young man followed Jesus’ instruction? If only Israel would obey God’s instructions? What if my friend stuck around with the partner, to take over a client base that tripled his current? We will never know, God knows. It did not stop God from blessing, but what was missed?
It led to a conversation of us being limited by our own faith. His missed opportunity didn’t lead him off the rails, he is blessed where he is now, God do provide his every need. The possible “missed” opportunity didn’t make God give up on him, nor him giving up on God. He saw the cup half full as he is thinking back at it now, but what if he looked at the glass half full while he was in the “storm”, where would he have been today? “What-if?”, we don’t know, only God knows.
Yes, I agree, we shouldn’t get caught up with the “What-if’s”, and move on from it, God will bless His children no matter what. I don’t have a solution to it, except for being in touch with what God wants for us, trusting Him and keeping your faith.
In Psalms 23 David wrote… “My cup runneth over…” There are no half measures with God, our faith limits us to half measures. Your cup will overflow, but you decide the size of your cup, whether you come with an espresso cup, or with a venti cup, it will overflow, just don’t move the cup and cause a spill.
The timing and size of our blessing is in the measure of our faith, and our endurance through it. Do I choose to face the storm and press through? Or do I choose to run from it? We need to learn from every storm we face… change your thoughts from “How do I get through this?” to “What should I get from this?”. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that God will not test us above our ability, and that every test will teach us to trust Him more. God places us in situations to test us, to grow us, to build us. He is putting us in situations to reveal to us who He really is. He is not just our Protector, He is also the Lord who will Provide, who will Heal, who will Sanctify, who is Almighty and Righteous, our Most High God.