Windows of Opportunity
I have often heard people say that they are waiting for the opportunity to do something great in their lives. To be fair, I've also fallen into this way of thinking. Conversations come and go about the 'big plan', the 'doorway to open', the 'finances to come', the 'moment of being noticed', the 'appreciation of hard work', the 'responsibility of a lifetime', the 'big house', the 'perfect family', the DREAM!
The reality is that even though we will continue to speak about such things, more often than not, they do not come to pass. Some of us even go that one step further by bringing God into these situations. In passing, some unbelievers have stated that if there was a God He would not allow us to struggle in our lives, or that He does not love them, or many other reasons on the same line of thought. Some believers, on the other hand, would state that God has ignored their prayer, or that it was not His will for them to dream that dream or even that they were not good enough to have such an opportunity.
Now before I go into the next part, understand that what I say is my own viewpoint from my own experience. My goal in these blogs are to share encouragement and to bring a perspective that may have been overlooked, unrealised or even ignored.
Let me start by stating that there are seasons of waiting and seasons where we have to get up and move into the unknown in order for those windows of opportunity to reveal themselves. God does not move on a 'one way basis'. He encourages us to step out and move in the things He has promised, to not only wait on Him but move in Him....
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourself. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it - not forgetting what they have heard but doing it - they will be blessed in what they do." - James 1:22-25 (NIVUK).
There is a time where we do need to wait and in waiting we will hear things that we would not have heard if we were constantly on the move. BUT, there is also a time when we need to get up and start putting what we have heard into action. It is like anything in life. Those who have accomplished much did so by first receiving the idea and then putting that idea into practice. Failure inevitably comes but through each failure that person comes one step closer to the finished article.
God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives BUT we cannot just sit around expecting something to happen. We have to be active in stepping out. Windows of opportunity do not come on a plate, they come to the one who seeks them.
This passage in 'James' speaks about not only allowing the Word of God into our hearts and minds but also about about putting that word into practice. By putting into practice that which we first receive, we will see blessings because we moved in faith, trust, and belief that these things will result in a greater outcome.
As I shared at the start, I have fallen into the trap of thinking that an opportunity will present itself in time. However, opportunities show up with different faces. In brief, my everyday used to be going to work, doing my 9-5 job, coming home, socialising here and there, and going to church on Sunday. I had dreams of a better life, a life with more purpose and fulfilment, and I waited for an opportunity to come.
God always makes the first step, but He only goes so far before we have to move. He made the step towards me which resulted in what many would deem a crazy idea of dropping my work to one day a week, volunteering my time to work first in a Bible school, and then again in my local church (where I am now). However, I would not have seen the resulting opportunities or blessings had I stayed where I was!!
By stepping out I have received a blessing far beyond my comprehension. I am now halfway through a degree studying Bible and Theology and am excited to see what is next once I've finished this step. I do not get it right all the time but that one decision I made 5 years ago to follow the idea and desire to step out rather than stay and wait to see whether something would come, was the BEST decision ever.
I know my example for some is extreme but let me encourage you with this final thought. If you are waiting for an opportunity to come but have not seen any sign of that open door, maybe it's because you need to get up and start walking first. You may not know where, how, or by what means you need to go, but start walking and perhaps you'll be surprised by what reveals itself along the way.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." - Matthew 7:7-8 (NIVUK).
If you've been waiting, why not take a step out. This passage gives confident promises that God will answer the requests of those who come to Him, though He will not necessarily answer in just the way they asked. Windows of opportunity are very much present. We just have to be willing to move and get our hands dirty to be able to see those windows come to pass.