Sunday, May 23, 2010

open up those opportunities

As my husband had been on lay off for almost two years, life gets hard, really hard. You have those days where you just want to hide your head in a like an ostrich. You want to bury yourself in pity and have yourself a party. The only problem with that is no one wants to attend a party where there is no laughter.
I have learned so much in the last two years. I have learned things that I would not have if not for the trials. When we go through trials we also go through a transformation ourselves. I felt like there were so many days I was walking in the dark, but you know, the Lord was trying to shine the light before me, I just wasn't paying attention. I was too focused on my circumstances. So, in that fact, I learned to stop looking at my circumstances and look at the opportunities around me. When we focus on just the circumstance we miss so much around us.

I haven't liked many of the trials I have gone through in the last eight years of life or so, gosh, we could even say ten. But in those trials, within each one, God brought a purpose and plan. He brought me through each one, and is still today bringing me through, paving the way, and shining the light before me. I have figured out when I keep my eyes on the light, I will never get lost and I will never be in the dark alone.

We can get to where we are Johnny Raincloud! Everywhere we go we carry this cloud of doom over us. We think about the coming storms, the winds brewing, and the rains about to fall. When in fact, we should think about the Son, the calmness we find in the shade, and the rainbow after the rains have fallen. Just as there is beauty before the storm, there is beauty after. And if we really have our eyes open and our head up we can find beauty in the storm.

Don't ever sell yourself short but just thinking your life is about the circumstance you are in. Your life is so much more than one circumstance. If we continue to focus on the circumstance, we miss out on the life around us. When we are stuck in the storm, we can get blinded by the rain and miss opportunities to pull over. Life is not about our circumstances, but the opportunities before us! Every day, every moment there is an opportunity for something. We can focus on us, and miss out on so very much. Focus on others and we miss out on what is for us. But focus on the Lord, and we find what He has for us and others around us, just by being a willing vessel.

I can't begin to tell you how much I have missed out on just by having my own pity party. If I would have taken my eyes off my circumstances God only knows what great and mighty things I could have been part of. There is always an opportunity to reach another. There is always an opportunity to serve. As we reach out beyond our circumstances we grow into the person God is creating in us.

I don't know where you are today. You may be just as I was and going through just horrific things. Life may be hard right now, and you may feel as though you are in a rut. There were times I thought nothing is going to change and things are just going to get worse. Well, you know what? Many times situations were made worse because of my focus. I made things so much bigger than what they were. If I would have only trusted in God, He would have shown me the way and things would have turned out much different, but instead I allowed the fear of the situation to grasp my attention and it held me down. Jesus doesn't want that for us. He wants our total trust and in that trust He shows us hope. He shows us there is a different view than from Johnny's point of looking at just the clouds. Beyond that frown lies a smile. Beyond those tears lies laughter. The rains stop eventually, and the sun shines brightly, but even rain showers can be beautiful and give way to amazing days spent doing other things than wishing it wasn't raining.

Don't waste today on just thinking of your circumstances. Allow yourself to see the opportunities God has waiting for you. You cannot define your life by your circumstances. May today be the day you define your circumstances by your life!
When we allow God to open our wings and give us flight the possibilities are limitless! So what are you waiting for? Open the door and see what is beyond your circumstances. There might just be something there so unexpected, you take flight and soar like never before.
Romans 8:35-39 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conqueors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
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