As Christmas approaches and stresses seem to increase, one of the tensions is having enough time to do what we need to do. So in keeping with the theme of our last several posts, let me give you a story of the third principle (from a previous post): An opportunity is not necessarily God’s open door.
Years ago as I was trying to put this principle into practice, I was invited to the re-organizational meeting of a ministry at the church I was attending. I knew the Lord didn’t want me to take on any responsibilities like that, but I couldn’t say “no” to going to the meeting. As the needs for leadership were outlined at the meeting, I was mentally sitting on my hands because I knew I would be tempted to volunteer for something. But this “opportunity” wasn’t God’s open door so somehow I was able to walk out of the meeting without volunteering to help with anything.
But I walked away with a heavy heart because no one else volunteered to take on any of the positions. I figured that was the end of that ministry at our church.
Within two weeks, I talked with the women’s ministry director of our church and she asked me if I’d like to start teaching a parenting class. My parenting book had just come out and I knew this indeed was the opportunity that was His open door. I said yes! (And I continued teaching that class for many years).
After I said “yes,” I realized that if I’d volunteered for a position with the other ministry, I wouldn’t now be able to agree to the parenting class which was what God really wanted me to do. Or I would have done both and had too much to do. Then my family would have suffered. I was thrilled to see how the Lord had led me.
Several weeks after that, I heard that a group of women had stepped forward to take over the leadership positions of the first ministry. They hadn’t even been at the meeting and so that ministry continued for many years. God had opened His doors to who He wanted to be involved. Thankfully, no one at the meeting felt pressured to take on something God didn’t intend for them. And God had faithfully continued the ministry that He desired to continue.
As you face this Christmas season and it may sometimes feel like you have too much to do, remember this principle: an opportunity is not necessarily God’s open door. Don’t feel pressured to take on responsibilities God doesn’t want for you. Only do those things God wants you to do. He knows what is best for you and your schedule. Trust Him with it. He won’t lead you wrong.