Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Opposition Leads to Opportunity


I had a conversation with my sister-in-law last night.  We were discussing Thanksgiving Day and where we were going to eat.

It is our family tradition that we all gather at a friend's home.  Our friend opens her home every Thanksgiving to all who have no place to go.  

It has turned into a little bit of a "larger" gathering with Seniors, family members, and friends.  I always love going.

I had hoped this year would turn out differently.  I had hoped to go to David's family Thanksgiving.  I love his family as much as mine, and I enjoy being with them.

But it is now a week away from the holiday, and it looks like that will not be an option this year.  To this date, it has been seven weeks since David walked out and chose his family over our family and it has been (I think) something like three weeks since David has actually answered any of my communications or outreach.

Last night, my sister-in-law said, "It's time.  You need to get out of the house.  You need to move on." I'm not sure I 100% agree with the "moving on" part, as I can see all the mitigating factors that contribute to David's decision.  But, she is right in one regard - I can't control the opposition I am facing.  I can only take advantage of the opportunities opposition is granting.

In the seven weeks since David decided our relationship was not greater than his current home life, I have grown in so many ways.  As is usual in these types of circumstances (i.e., death, divorce, separations, etc.), our prayer life and faith increase.  Most of us even grow more intimate with God, more in tune with our daily activities, thoughts, and decisions.  Without that key person in our life to lean on, we start to lean on God a little bit more heavily.  God lifts us up through our sorrow and grief and lets us see the world is not all dark.  There is still light and hope.

Opposition = Opportunity

We grow closer to family members or friends we may not have reached out to as much before.  We begin to venture out and do things we might not have done before.  We pick up old activities.

We can't stay inside forever and mourn our loss or hope opposition will give up and free the people it has trapped within its walls.

But we can pray.  And yes, Jesus will always represent hope.  But, as in my particular situation, we can't hold on to the opposition and beat it up with the hope it will dissipate.  We can only move forward, leave our requests at God's altar, and let Him take care of the opposition.

Luke 17:1 says, "Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.

Jesus said we are going to stumble - there's no avoiding it.  But - we need to let HIM take care of the opposition.  So if we believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, then that's what we have to do.

We have to move forward and trust God to take care of the opposition.  God has a plan for us and our lives, and we can't hide away waiting for the opposition - the cause of our stumble - to fall away.  God will handle that.  Our job is to keep going.

Jentezen Franklin puts it this way:

Offenses are inevitable. No one is exempt. One way or another, we are all going to get offended, hurt, insulted, betrayed, cheated, shamed, violated, or lose our pride.

Since being offended is a Biblical fact, we must learn how to deal with it.

Opposition can cause you to face things and do things you could not have done without the opposition. Opposition will make you pray. Opposition will make you come running to God. Opposition will make you increase your faith.

You may need to start seeing those who offend or hurt you as an opportunity for God to take you higher.

Right now, the Holy Spirit is pulling into your driveway. He is coming for you. He is swooping into your home with a defibrillator. Charging the paddles with resurrection power, God is ready to press them down on your heart and shock you back to life. He is ready to revive whoever has been dead to you. He is ready to resuscitate your marriage. He is ready to resuscitate your family. He is ready to resuscitate your spirit.

It is time to restart your heart.

God can use the most trying of circumstances to fortify the walls of your marriage, your family, and your relationship with Him.

Did you get that?
"God is ready.  He is ready to resuscitate your spirit.  Start seeing those who offend or hurt you as an opportunity for God to take you higher."

Leave the offender to God's doing.  Leave the attacker to God's hand.  But at the same time, get ready.  God is coming, and He is resuscitating your Spirit.  Look for the opportunities He has provided.  Get ready to go higher.

I know I am going to do that.  I'm not going to keep staring at my phone, my laptop, or even my front door waiting for David to come back, choose US, or fight for our future.

I am leaving the offenders - through whom the stumbling block came - at God's feet and then, I'm walking away.

I'm going to look for the opportunities God is providing that will take me to a higher plane than the one the devil tried to kill and snuff out with his oppositions.

Don't let the devil rob you of your joy.  It is Biblical that in this life we will trip and stumble.  We will get hurt.  But don't give the devil at seat at your table.  Leave that seat open for God.

I will always keep joy and hope alive in my heart, but I will have to "move on" as my sister-in-law told me last night.  The offender may have stolen my future, but he will not keep me locked in his cell.  I choose to restart and embrace joyful opportunities.

* * *

"Dear God, thank you this morning for wise words to guide us.  I pray that the offender will lose its grip on my family and joy will be restored to our home.  I pray that David will be able to channel his inner Warrior and sense of sportsmanship, grasping victory on the playing field.  I pray that you grant him peace, answers, and wisdom today.  And most of all, I pray his fierce sense of competition is revived and resuscitated within him.  Let his leadership and energy used on the playing field transfer over to his personal walk with You and our family restoration.

I pray you keep him safe on the roads of Lumpkin County today, and that he touches everyone he meets.

I pray for all three of my men - David, Tony, & Josh.  That you keep them safe today, that you grant them wisdom and good choices, and that you put great Christian mentors in their lives to teach and and guide them.  I also pray that you circle and surround them with amazing Christian friends and peers that will open Scripture and the world of Christianity to them so that their knowledge and desire for You will grow stronger each day.

Thank you for all the many blessings you bestow upon me each day.  May I never lose sight of what you have given me, and may I never lose sight that it all belongs to you and should be used for your glory.



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