winter lake

The other night I was thinking about a particular season I had gone through. As I thought about it and pondered it in my mind, the Lord spoke to me and said ‘you didn’t embrace that season.’

It was a gentle rebuke but a rebuke nevertheless. Let me share a little about that season. It was several years ago, I was helping a minister who had been a friend for several years. She was speaking each week at a location in my town. I was setting up the meeting for her, opening the meeting and taking care of all the little details. It went great for a while, people were being blessed. Then something changed. The minister started not showing up due to some personal issues, and what was worse, she would have her daughter call me to tell me an hour before service was to begin. I was finding out one hour before a service started that I had to speak that night, and I wasn’t prepared. This happened over and over.

I was so frustrated with this person and was disappointed for the people. I felt they were coming to see her not me and that they were disappointed each night that she didn’t show. They were always kind to me, but I could still see the disappointment.

God began to speak to me and tell me that He was taking that time and trying to get me to see it as an opportunity instead of a huge disappointment. All I could see was that she wasn’t showing up, I wasn’t seeing that there were people who were so hungry for God that they continued to come out each week. I should have seen that and made sure I was prepared to feed them from the table of God each week. I did not embrace that season, instead I complained about it. What was even worse, in my opinion, is that I didn’t even realize it, I did not recognize that God was in it at all, even though I know He promises us that He will take what is meant for harm and turn it for good. Knowing that…I still didn’t perceive that He could be in what was happening.

The Bible says ‘I will do a new thing…will you recognize it?’ So many times all we can see is what is NOT working out. We only see what is going wrong or what other people are doing wrong, we don’t often take the time to stop and pray and say ‘okay God, where are you in this? Is this an opportunity? If so, don’t let me miss it.’ Many times we only see the enemy at work…but what God showed me is that sometimes…just sometimes…if the enemy were not at work, we would never be pushed where we are destined to be.

Remember the children of Israel? They had been delivered from Pharoah and his army, they were on their way to the promises of God. When they came to the Red Sea, they had no intention of crossing it, I am certain it never entered their mind that they could possibly cross that Sea, with or without water in it. Then the enemy came crashing upon them. Now…they had no choice, they would cross the Red Sea of they would either die or be put back into bondage. I realize God parted the Sea but still it had to be very hard to look up and see a wall of water and still walk between those walls of water.

The ONLY reason they crossed the Red Sea was because the enemy was at their heels. The ONLY reason they made it to the other side was because the enemy was right on their trail.

Friends, we have to learn to perceive the hand of God in EVERY situation. We have to stop complaining and seeing only what the enemy is doing and learn to recognize the hand of God in it. It wasn’t God trying to attack them…but it was God that gave them an opportunity of escape. Just as it wasn’t God that the minister wasn’t showing up for the people…but it was God giving me an opportunity to minister to His people in love. How many opportunities have we missed by not recognizing it as an opportunity? How many opportunities have we missed by only seeing the bad in the situation?

God is doing a new thing…will you recognize it?