Chance of a Lifetime
"Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near."- Isaiah 55:6
Last Friday evening I had just arrived home from watching our son's high school basketball game and was planning to return to the varsity game later that night, when an exciting text message came to my cell phone. Isaac sent me a note saying that a former NBA player was at the JV game to watch his son play. Knowing the quality of this player's career and the fact that he is a devoted Christian (he even is a pastor in his church), made me all the more intrigued to get back to the school gymnasium earlier than I originally planned. So, with this "new" news I quickly consumed my dinner and was off to my destination with a renewed sense of expectation. I am glad to say that I did arrive on time to see the former star and to watch the varsity game. That is what you call the ultimate win-win scenario!
If only all of life's pursuits and desires were this much of a slam dunk. Far too often we experience delays, disappointments, closed doors, and missed opportunities that have us feeling totally left out. When life does not go our way it is easy cry and complain about the ball not bouncing our way. How many of us have been completely bewildered by:
Being the last person in the family to hear the big announcement
Missing out on the promotion at work
Our offer on the "dream house" being rejected
Not being the person to have the winning numbers for last week's Power ball
Not seeing a prayer answered for needed breakthrough in a timely manner
In the face of the very real misses you may have experienced and endured, I have good news and even better news for you. Which would you like first? The good news is that you do not have to go to Chino Hills to buy a lottery ticket, you don't need to tap the phones of family members in order to have inside information, and you don't need to camp out overnight at a property for sale in order to stake claim on making an offer. The better news for you is that Lord by His Spirit wants you to know "You will not miss the new and wonderful things He desires to accomplish in your life." Each of us needs to be reminded that the Lord is near as we call upon Him, trust in Him, and walk through the ever twisting and sometimes daunting paths of life. Romans 10:8 confirms this amazing truth, "The word is near you: it is in your mouth and in your heart,' that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim."
In this new year may you experience a new sense of confidence and hope in the Lord that brings you to new places of fulfillment and new dimensions of growth. My this be the year you see God's hand working in the prayers you have been offering. May this be the year that God's open door trumps every closed door that has slammed in your face the last twelve months. May this be the year that God's presence is so real and close to you that your faith, strength, and joy levels are off the charts. May this be the year that God's grace and mercy meets you on a daily basis so that the season of waiting does not render you diminished or defeated. May this be the year that God's promise is announced so that you heart is enlivened with fresh vision and eager expectation. Romans 8:24-25 brings us this encouragement to stand upon and look ahead to, "But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."
My dear friend, you are rich in the Lord even when your numbers weren't chosen. Your are loved by the Lord, even when others seem to be getting all the breaks. And you are not forgotten by the Lord, even when it seems like you are the last one waiting for your name to be called. The Lord is with you and is about to do wonderful things in your midst! May this promise from centuries ago in Jeremiah 33:3 be yours right now, "Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."