When You Think You Missed Your Opportunity, God's Not Done

The Los Angeles Dodgers had just lost to the San Diego Padres and as my husband and I gathered our belongings we hugged the friends around us who were leaving the stadium and headed down to the field for fireworks.

I came prepared.

We double checked to make sure that our picnic blanket was with us and we followed the crowds toward the gates-this would be my first time on a professional baseball field!

Except the husband had to make a quick potty break.

So I waited patiently, people-watching.

That's when I spotted her. My junior high and 10th grade English teacher was striding beside her husband towards the field. I called out to her and rushed over.

The evening had already been filled with fun and fellowship so to get to see this influential teacher who had been the first person in my life to recognize that I was good at something, was the most wonderful icing on the cake. She had inspired me to become an English teacher-truly someone who set the course of my life.

We stood huddled near the gate chatting and catching up-it did my heart good.

And then a groan started passing through the crowd. We were just a couple of feet away from the entrance to the field and a row of imposing police officers was shutting the fences.

The field was full!!

What had been such a happy moment was suddenly a let down. I had been looking forward to these fireworks for months! We threw our hands up in the air with an “Oh, well!” and resigned ourselves to missing the show.

A few minutes of visiting continued and then a loud blast jolted us around.

There, right in front of us from where we stood in the parking lot was the launching point of the fireworks. They shattered through the night and fell in arches of beauty right over our heads.

We had the best view in the house.

And just like that God whispered to my heart as I stood in awe with shards of light scattering down around me. “Amber, what you sometimes perceive as a missed boat or a disappointment is often an opportunity for Me to prove My faithfulness.” I needed that truth from Him at this time in my life when loss has been a real and present part of my daily life.

The tears leaked out, try as I might to contain them. Everyone in that stadium must have thought the show was for them but I knew that God had something special in mind just for us-those of us who felt that we had been diverted from something good when in reality we had been re-positioned for something great.

Is that you? Are you reading this today from the perspective of standing outside the massive stadium, feet shuffling, peering over the fences, and feeling left out?

Then you are in a very good place indeed. You are perfectly planted right where our Sovereign God wants you. You can pass off the decisions you have made and chalk them up to lessons learned-like not stopping for a potty break on Fireworks night at Dodger Stadium-but don't ever believe that disappointments can't be redeemed into desires come true.

Trust God enough to believe in your heart that whatever you have to let go of is making room for something better.

That's just like God. He comes to us when our nets are empty after a long night of fishing and tells us to cast our nets on the other side, just one more time. He stands before the stone of a tomb and tells us to roll it away so our Lazarus can walk out. He forces us before the Red Sea and tells us to walk on through it. He jolts us around on our heels and reveals a night-time display of blazing beauty for a young mom and her mentor.

He loves a good surprise, and nothing is too hard for Him. Allow Him to take whatever night you are wading through and illuminate it with His goodness, as he did for me. Turn around and stand in awe at the way He orchestrates your life, and allow the light to shower you with His goodness in His perfect time.

For with God, nothing is ever a missed opportunity.

YOUR TURN! Have you experienced a time when God's plans were better than your own? Are you struggling with God's path for you? How can I pray for you?