Saturday, February 16, 2013

Opportunity or Obstacle?

When I think of the word opportunity, a few things come to mind: a job promotion, an open door to a new venture, or doing something that’s never been done before. But not every new opportunity is a good one. In fact, some might be better off missed.

Years ago, a friend of mine asked me to travel to Chicago to see a talk show. She all but waved the tickets in front of me. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.  Her enthusiasm grew contagious, so I agreed to the trip.

The morning of our departure, I got out of bed, put the coffee on to brew, and made my way to the bathroom to take a shower. As soon as I stepped in front of the tub, my stomach churned. Not in a physical sense, but in the way it’s always done when something’s not right. I pressed my hand to my belly, hoping the feeling would pass.

But it didn't. As time wore on, it felt as though a boulder had lodged in my gut. What is it, Lord?

No sooner had I posed the question, than a knowing filled my soul. I knew I couldn’t go, but I had no idea why.

I picked up the phone to call my friend. She answered on the first ring. “Hey, you about ready? This is going to be great.”
“We’ll stop and eat breakfast first.”
“Listen. I—”
“I’m heading out the door in a few minutes, okay?”
“What’s up?”
I took a deep breath. “I can’t go.”
A sigh traversed the line. “Are you kidding me? Why?”
“I don’t know. I just have a feeling—”
“A feeling? Yeah, right. If you didn’t really want to go in the first place, you should have told me. I can’t believe you’re doing this.”
“Look, I’m sorry, okay?”
“I’ll catch you later.”
She ended up taking her sister instead.
A few days later, her sister phoned me. “It’s a good thing you didn’t go, Deb. I know how you are about God and stuff. You would have crawled under your seat if would have been there.”
“What do you mean?”
“The show was about male strippers. They came out into the audience and everything. One guy walked right in front of me, which is where you would have been sitting, and gyrated his hips in my face.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“Do I sound like I’m kidding?”
I heaved a sigh of relief. “Thank you so much for telling me this.”
My friend didn't call for several days. When she finally did, she asked, “How did you know?”
That was the whole point. I didn’t know anything. God did.
If this ever happens to you, no matter what type of opportunity comes up (and no matter how good it might seem to be), follow what the Spirit of the Lord puts on your heart. It may not make sense at the time, but if you’ll listen, it will save you a whole lot of grief in the process. Like I said before, some "opportunities" are better off missed. 

Note: Today's post is part of the CW blog chain. The topic is "Opportunity". Please check out my sidebar, further down on the right, to see some great posts by other writers.


  1. Wow!! That is awesome. Love how He cares for us, the Shepherd that He is.


    1. It was awesome, Keri. :-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Deborah - I love this story!. Ever since I can remember I get those "gut" feelings I can't explain, but I know somehow whether it's a good thing or not. God still amazes me daily with his protection, care and love. I can't explain this, but I love it... Joy to the world the Lord has come...Let earth receive her King... Peace and Blessings

    1. It's happened to me as far back as I can remember, too, Terrie. Even when I got off track in my life, God still nudged me. Maybe one of these days one of us will be able to put it into words. :-)

      So glad you came by!

  3. Wow--way to follow God's leading.

    What I get a lot of times is God telling me to contact a person at a very specific time. Once it was when her mother died; other times friends' family members were being diagnosed with something horrible. What I've deduced is that God wants me to make sure my friends know that HE IS AWARE of what they're going through and has sent someone (me) to let them know they're being lifted up in prayer. A couple of times I've ignored the leading and--especially when the person was not a believer--I've been painfully aware that I've missed an opportunity to glorify God. Ouch!

    Wonderful post, Deborah. Great take on our theme.

    1. How amazing is that, Carol? I think God uses you that way because you're such an encourager to His people. God's given you that gift, by His Spirit, to lift others up. In fact, that was one of the first things I noticed about you.

      And there have been times I've ignored that "gut" feeling, so I know exactly what you mean by "Ouch!" Thank the Lord for understanding our frame, yet still using us in spite of ourselves. :-)

      Thanks for visiting, girl!

  4. It just cements for me the fact - the closer we walk with the LORD - the easier it is to determine when HE'S moving on our behalf. LOVE how HE cares about the details of our lives - enough to keep us from things like being in place HE doesn't approve of. Thanks for the reminder that even "good" opportunities aren't always the BEST opportunities for us.
    Good for you for standing up against peer pressure. ';)

    1. First, it's so nice to see you here, Joy! Thank you.

      It's funny how you mentioned about us walking closer to the Lord, how it's easier to determine when He's moving on our behalf. I was just talking to one of my best friends about that very thing today.

      The more I stay in His word, the more He reveals himself. I can wake out of a dead sleep, totally incoherent, and the Spirit of the Lord brings specific Bible verses to my mind. And they usually apply for something that might happen that very same day.

      I really appreciate your taking the time to visit. Such a blessing!

  5. Wow, that's crazy! I've had experiences where the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me something but I don't understand it at the time. Very good to hear that He is communicating to you Deborah!!

    1. Isn't it amazing the way He does that, Chris? I often think that's where our trust and faith enter in, especially when we don't know why we're feeling what we're feeling. We have to totally push our logic aside, depend on His Spirit, and take that step in the direction He's leading.

      As always, thanks for stopping. God bless you, brother.