Have you noticed we spend many of our days simultaneously celebrating blessings but also experiencing grief? Child graduating from high school? Praise God! Child graduating and moving out? Grief. New job offer? Yay, Jesus! New job that requires relocation? Grief. New marriage? Yay! New marriage that requires adjustment to a blended family? Happiness and sadness mingled together.
On a recent flight, I was talking to the Lord about this and specifically about a few disappointments in my personal life. As I poured out my heart to the Savior, I wrote down the following thoughts that flooded my mind. . .
Do not frame your life and its losses within the context of your finite existence on earth. Frame them within the context of an infinite eternal existence filled with everything good. Then what has disappointed you won’t pain you so. Don’t you see? You haven’t permanently lost anything. I will make all things new! Because you haven’t truly lost anything, life is only filled with opportunities.
In Me, your best life in eternity is yet to come! When you keep your eyes on Me, you will see that the trouble you experience now will be eclipsed by the wondrous joy of heaven. All you have now are opportunities to love, to make a difference for Me, and to glorify Me every moment.
As I pondered these truths days later, the thought came to mind: Every challenge and every loss brings opportunity.
If you are unemployed, you have an opportunity to glorify God by how you trust Him. You have an opportunity to spend more intimate moments with Him, to develop greater compassion for others, or to start that new business that has always interested you.
If you have lost a loved one, you have an opportunity to grow in your faith, or maybe to develop a new foundation to help others like you.
If you are part of a blended family, you have the opportunity to glorify God and make an eternal impact.
In describing the challenges that he and his companions had while spreading the gospel, Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9:
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened [so] that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. . .”
For Paul, the trouble in Asia ushered in an opportunity: “. . . [so] that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. . .”
Every challenge and every loss brings opportunity.
Today I was speaking with a friend who told me about a problem at work. “It’s troubling,” she said. “I can see that,” I responded. Then I said, “Every difficulty brings opportunity. Is this an opportunity to take a risk to empower others? To work to change the culture? To develop perseverance? What’s your opportunity?”