Sunday, March 22, 2009

Words of LIFE: "Opportunities" with Victoria Osteen

This devotional comes from Victoria's book:
Love Your Life

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on….” (Philippians 3:13-14)

When I look back over my life, I can see where I’ve missed out on some God-given opportunities. Maybe you are saying the same thing. If so, I want to encourage you: Don’t live in regret. Don’t let lost opportunities make you feel disappointed and discouraged. God is bigger than your lost opportunities. He can still get you where you need to go in life.

Everyone has missed opportunities to do something good, help somebody or go to the next level in one’s career. For one reason or another, we’ve allowed that opportunity to slip through our fingers. But let bygones be bygones; don’t get trapped in the past. Don’t allow yourself to focus on the things you’ve missed or could have done better. Allow Him to bring back any opportunities that you may have missed.

Joel’s sister, Lisa, and her husband, Kevin, tried for years to have children, but Lisa was not able to conceive. She went through all the fertility treatments and even several surgeries, but still…no baby. Finally the doctor told Lisa there was nothing more he could do; they weren’t going to be able to have children. Lisa and Kevin were devastated. It looked like their dreams had died, but God always has a plan. One day out of the blue Lisa received a call from Nancy Alcorn of Mercy Ministries, a home for at-risk young women based in Nashville.

“Lisa, I normally wouldn’t do this,” Nancy said, “but we have a young woman who is about to give birth to twin girls and we were wondering if you and Kevin might be interested in adopting them.”

Lisa and Kevin had not yet considered adoption since they were still hoping to have children naturally, but suddenly Lisa’s interest was piqued.

“There’s only one problem,” Nancy said. “I know you and Kevin have most of the qualifications that the birth mother wants for the adoptive parents, but she also has a stipulation that her babies should be placed in a family with twins in their background.”

Nancy had no idea that Kevin had a twin sister, and as soon as she said that, something inside Lisa’s heart confirmed this was a “God opportunity.” A few months later, Lisa and Kevin adopted those twin baby girls and then, three years later, they adopted another “Mercy” baby boy.

God gave Lisa and Kevin three children they could not have naturally. Their hearts were open for what God wanted to do in their lives even though it wasn’t the way they first anticipated. God gave them another opportunity to be the parents they desired to be. They could have just as easily given up and closed their minds, but they didn’t. They remained open and God brought back that opportunity in a different way.

You may be thinking you’ve wasted years of your life in the wrong career or associating with the wrong people. You may think that it has been too long, you’ve been through too much, and you’re never going to see those new seasons of increase. But I believe God is saying to us today, “I can restore the years that you’ve lost.” (Joel 2:25)

The same God who gave Lisa and Kevin three beautiful children can make up for your lost time. He may not always do so in the way you are expecting, but open your heart and mind to the possibilities. Be ready to embrace the opportunities that God will bring across your path. As you do, you’ll rise higher and higher and you will love your life the way God intends.

This Week
Ask God to give you back every opportunity that you’ve missed. Focus on God’s ability to restore dreams, plans and goals.

Prayer
“Lord, I know you can resurrect dead dreams and that you have a way to bring them about. Thank you for restoring those dreams and desires to me. Thank you for working a restoration in my life as I walk in faith in you.”

(Reproduction of this devotional is used with written consent from Life Outreach International.)