February 23, 2011

Opportunities in Disguise

The other day a friend shared a story from the Bible with me. It’s found in Mark 8:22-26. The story is about a blind man who was brought to Jesus. Jesus spit on the blind man’s eyes, and laid hands on him. But the man could only see partially. He said he saw men, but they looked like trees walking. So Jesus laid his hands on the man’s eyes a second time. This time when he opened his eyes he saw everything clearly.

So why did Jesus have to try twice to heal the blind man? Why couldn’t he just heal him completely the first time? Sometimes, for whatever reason, God chooses to do things in stages, it’s often a process. While we were in the ICU, Nancy and I would talk about the miracles in the Bible. Jesus could just say the words, and people would be healed, immediately. But this blind guy had to go through a process.

There are other times in the Bible when God chooses to use a process instead of instantly saving the day. The leper had to dip himself in the Jordan river, not once or twice, but 7 times (2 Kings 5:14). The Israelites had to march around the city of Jericho 13 times - once a day for 6 days, and 7 times on the seventh day (Joshua 6:15). God does things in stages.

God could have raised Garren miraculously from his bed. He still could. But he chooses to use stages, a process, in order to teach us, and in order to bring glory to Himself.

And God uses these “opportunities in disguise” to prepare us for greater works down the road. I was reading today’s entry in Streams in the Desert today. It talked about opportunities in disguise. David, when he was a shepherd boy, faced and killed a lion and a bear, on two separate occasions. Most of us would flip out at the thought of trying to kill a lion with a slingshot! But David took the opportunity head on. It made him stronger. It prepared him for greater things down the road - like killing a giant, and becoming king of Israel.

“Every difficulty and every temptation that comes our way, if we receive it correctly, is God’s opportunity.” We must learn to recognize difficult times in our lives as opportunities from God. “May the Lord open our eyes to Him, even in temptations, trials, dangers, and misfortunes.”


Anonymous said...

"Every difficulty and every temptation that comes our way, if we receive it correctly, is God's oppuntinity."
WOW!!! I love that.We are in with you "through this process." You are so right that God can heal Garren instantly, but it is my time in the valley,on my knees...no, on my face before that I have really grown closer to our Father! In times when I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel or didn't know which way to turn.
I pray for continued wisdom and strengh during these next couple of days. Lean on Him and KNOW HE IS WITH you and Gareen and that we are praying...still!
<>< t

Anonymous said...

Another day for God to work among us all...let's see what He does,and give Him praise...we love you all...praying daily for Garren...love, Sandy & Russ

Anonymous said...

Great lesson Pastor Geoffrey. My favorite saying used to be "there's no end in sight," and then I'd pray for patience. That was certainly the wrong approach, and while I pray for many things, patience is no longer one of them. It's very difficult as human beings to see the light at the end of the tunnel when we're actually living in the moment of a trial of sorrow or pain, but it's there. There's always an end in sight, even when it may seem unattainable and blurry. We continue to pray that all of you receive the strength you need to make it through these stages. In for the long haul, The Sisk Family

Anonymous said...

I, too, love that every difficulty that comes our way is God's opportunity IF we will allow it to be . . .His ways are higher than our ways and thoughts higher than our thoughts . . . we don't every "arrive" we are all growing and learning to trust God in the difficult circumstances that come into our lives . . .that is why we must stand with each other and encourage one another to keep on keepin on and to keep our eyes on Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, Amen ?! ! ! ! Love to you and your family . . .many of my e-mail friends are contacting me for updates on Garren. Lots of people are praying and standing with you.
Chris & Rich Charpentier

Kitty @ Four Little Toms and a Mom said...

Great devotional, Streams in the Desert. I've read it's wisdom so many times. We keep praying and drawing closer through the process.

Anonymous said...

Well, dear folks, as you settle in after a very busy day, remember, God does not sleep, so this gives to you a chance to get some sleep yourself...Garren is in good hands as our Father is on duty....we love you...praying without stopping....Russ & Sandy

Anonymous said...

You have no idea the thoughts going through my head right now...this devotion hit home for me. We've jus recently decided to turn a 15 year struggle completley over to God. Complete surrender....we chose to say Lord, only you can fix this. And we have chosen to let him be glorified throughout this experience. We've chosen to accept it as his pruning and shaping us to be used for his glory from our trial.
We know that you guys are in for an amazingly long journey. We've said we live in an" instant" society....we want it NOW!! But God has a more beautiful plan for us all and some of us don't get it NOW! He makes us wait, makes us endure, gives us situations that make us get on our faces & cry out to Jesus to take it& fix it! He shapes us, molds us& then he uses us...if we LET him.
Loved this one in particular....thank you for always being so honest....

Love you all,
Ritchie, Donna, Racheal, Katherine, Luke, Madelyn& Brady

LolaandStan said...

Mrs. Cowman's book is a favourite. We're praying.