Don't Squander an Opportunity
In March 2018, I had the privilege to go to Israel. Before I left for the trip, I received details about which group I had been assigned to and all the necessary details. While on tour in Israel, there was a day that my group got involved in a minor car accident. We had a bus assigned to us, and it took us to the different tourist attractions. One of the things that all the groups did together was to convene at one place and worship together every evening before everyone went back to their hotel room.
So, we were on our way to an evening service when the accident occurred. A mini sedan made a left turn after the traffic light turned green. It came too close to our bus and somehow got stuck under it. Thank God the driver was uninjured, and we were all safe, but it was still a bit frightening.
As my group sat in the bus waiting for the issue to be resolved, God put a desire in my heart to encourage the group with these words, “I’m never late but always on time.” I even heard Him giving me examples that just like unexpected situations may happen in our lives, and we tend to get into a panic mode, we should trust His perfect timing. He rescues us just at the right time, just like He did with the accident. The other thing I heard was to grab my Bible and open to Psalm 91 and pray that over the group.
I gave God one excuse after another and tried to reason everything out. I told Him English was my second language in case He had forgotten, and I also didn’t know how to speak eloquently, etc. I was too focused on people’s opinions of me more than what God asked me to do. I was too high on that horse, and I wasn’t ready to get down. Sadly, I ignored that still small voice and was disobedient.
As I struggled internally with obedience, I realized we had reached the worship venue, and everyone was getting down. We entered the auditorium, and the groups that arrived earlier had taken the best seats, so we kept walking to find whatever seats were available.
I’ll never forget what was airing on the screen while looking for a seat at the same time. It was Paul Crouch, the founder of TBN, giving a testimony of how God pulled through for him at the last minute when he needed funds to start TBN or buy a studio from another network. It was something of that nature, but the bottom line was that he needed a miracle. At the end of his testimony, he said, “God is never late. He is always on time.” Oh, my heart! Imagine the look on my face when I heard his words. The Holy Spirit had whispered those exact words to me barely an hour ago.
I went back to my room that night very angry at myself. I knew God wanted me to glorify Him before my group because he had saved us from what could have been a terrible accident, but I chose to disobey Him instead. It wasn’t because of our power or strength that had made none of us unharmed in the accident. It was because He was there with us. I had just squandered an opportunity to point others to His beautiful presence.
I'm encouraged by the story of Peter seeing his opportunity in Acts 3:12 and pointing others to Jesus. He let the people gathered there on that day know that it wasn't him or John who had made the lame man walk, but it was because of Jesus. There was a time in the past that Peter had squandered his opportunity three times in a row to point others to Jesus. This time around, he didn’t even wait for them to ask him anything about Jesus. He willingly volunteered to tell them about Him.
Like Peter, the little servant girl who served Naaman’s wife grabbed her opportunity to point her madam to the God of Israel (2 Kings 5:1-19). She honored God’s name in a place that could have been an intimidating environment.
Like Peter, David pointed both the Israelite soldiers and Philistine soldiers to the all-powerful God of Israel. He saw his opportunity to honor God’s name before the Philistine giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17).
My prayer for you and me is that when an opportunity to speak about Him presents itself, we will embrace it with joy and make others aware of His AMAZING presence.