Do We See the Open Door?

When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.

Alexander Graham Bell

One of the hardest things we face is to look at the bright side of life when the sun has set on our dreams. Human nature causes us to stop and lick our wounds when we have seemingly been crushed by defeat, but we need to resist that impulse. The reason we need to do this is found in the observation by Alexander Graham Bell: If we spend too much time stressing over that which cannot be, we will fail to see the possibilities that God provides for us in the things that can.

Have you ever heard the principle of "opportunity cost"? The theory behind opportunity cost is that every important decision we make will cost us the opportunity of doing something else. For example, the opportunity cost of getting married is the forfeiting of the chance of marrying anybody else. The opportunity cost of taking one full time job is the giving up on accepting all other full time endeavors. This is why, in the big things of life, we need to choose wisely.

Having said that, isn't it sad how many people will miss out on one job and think that their careers are over. In fact, their career paths are now wide open. It's the same in our relationships. While no one wants to break up with the one that they love, it does have a way of opening up opportunities to new and interesting people.

It's sad that so many people fail to see this. Often, something doesn't work out for them and they are cast down into the depths of despair. This is only human, but we must resist these impulses to wallow in self pity, for the closing of one door always leads to the opening of many others.

This is especially true when we pray for God's help, but then don't get what we want. When this happens, isn't it more that just a bit possible that our loving Father has saved us from a big mistake, while at the same time opening the door for the path that He knows will bring us lasting joy? It's something to think about... if we will just open our eyes and hearts to the infinite possibilities that God has provided for each of us in this wonderful life.

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things... Psalms 119:18, NIV

Worry-Free Finances

Money is a good servant but a bad master. Bacon

It was around 1989 and I owned an appraisal company. We lived in a nice neighborhood in a nice house with a nice two-car garage with two nice cars. Carolyn and I even had two nice children. Everything seemed "nice" but beneath the surface, it was anything but. We had a mortgage, a second mortgage, a new car loan and credit cards that were maxed-out.

To complicate matters, the real estate market that we depended on for our income slowed down and business came to a near halt. We were in trouble! We tried to sell our home, but had no takers. If things kept going in the same direction, we would lose our nice house in the nice neighborhood. What could we possibly do? I was, to say the least, worried. What happened next was to have a significant impact, not only for my life at that particular moment, but for the rest of my life...I humbled myself in prayer.

I was walking through the basement of our home, thinking of all our financial woes, and it dawned on me: God was still in control! This might seem obvious to you but for me, at that time, it was an epiphany. So I turned my problem over to God. I can remember praying to God that I would work as hard as I could, if I had work to do, but it was His will I needed. And, it was slowly dawning on me, the only thing that mattered was His will. Within a year from that moment we had every bill other than our first mortgage paid off. We even paid off a family loan of over $10,000 that we had all but given up on.

Now, if you were to think that the point of all of this is that if we pray to God we will get what we want, you would be wrong. The critical factor was that for the first time in a long time, I not only prayed for God's will, but I actually longed for God's will - even if it wasn't what I had in mind. And life changed. It happened when I finally realized that God, not money, was my master. Could this help your life?

So do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 6:31-33, NIV