Obstacles, Opportunities, and Open Doors.

Dr. Anthony W. Adams
Dr. Anthony W. Adams

Norton Conn in his book, With God All Things Are Possible, asked the questions, “Do you sometimes wonder if the place in life you occupy is really where God wants you to be?  Do you wonder if, perhaps, you have hidden talents and abilities that would fit you for bigger things, more satisfaction and happiness than you now have?”  I believe that many of us can relate to the feelings expressed in these questions.  As we look for opportunities we are faced with what seems to be insurmountable obstacles.

Jesus told the disciples, “Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life…who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? If you can’t do such a small thing, why worry about the rest…If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, how much more will God do for you, you people of weak faith! Don’t chase after what you will eat and what you will drink.  Stop worrying…Your Father knows that you need them.  Instead, desire his kingdom and these things will be given to you as well” (Luke 12:22, 25-26, 28-29, 30b- 31, CEB).  The psalmist said, “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another” (75:6-7, KJV).  What these scriptures teach us is that our help, hope, and opportunities reside in the power and person of Jesus Christ.  This does not mean that we do not have a part to play.  We have to take the initiative to prepare and pursue, but it is God that will ultimately open the door to our opportunities.

Chuck Swindoll said, “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” Dr. Charles Kettering, the famous research scientist, could relate to this.  He is rather impatient with people who speak of insurmountable obstacles.  “It is like the doctors with their incurable diseases,” he says.  “Did you ever stop to think what an incurable disease is?  It is one the doctor doesn’t know how to cure.”  An example of what I am talking about can be seen, years ago, in the lamp division of General Electric.  Engineers were assigned the impossible task, as a joke, of frosting the inside of their light bulbs.  It was kind of a hazing or initiation of sorts.  Each time a new engineer joined the division they would assign them this ridiculous task, and after their failure they would all enjoy a good laugh.  Marvin Pipkin was initiated and he not only found a way to frost bulbs on the inside but he developed an etching acid which gave minutely rounded pits instead of sharp depressions, thus materially strengthening each bulb.  No one had told him it couldn’t be done, and he took it so seriously that he did it.

I want to encourage you to first, trust God and allow Him to lead you.  Second, prepare yourself for the opportunity that will come.  Finally, be resolved to walk through the door that God opens regardless of how difficult it may seem.  Alexander Graham Bell said, “Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open.”

Question: How do we distinguish between an opportunity disguised as a difficulty and a closed door?