Have You Missed the Opportunities?
Is your life seen as one that takes advantage of the opportunities presented? Are you living life to the fullest? There is an ancient quote by an unknown source that reads; Live for today as tomorrow may never come. Our lives are much like the story of the nobleman, who had a lovely floral garden. The gardener, who tended the garden, took great pains to make the estate an overwhelming paradise. One morning, he went into the garden to inspect his favorite flowers. To his dismay, he discovered one of his choice beauties,Â cut from its stem. Soon he saw that the most magnificent flowers from each bed were missing. Filled with anxiety and anger, he hurried to his fellow employees and demanded, ”Who stole my treasures?” One of his helpers replied, ”The nobleman came into his garden this morning and picked those flowers himself, and took them into his house. I guess he wanted to enjoy their beauty.” The gardener then realized that he had no reason to be concerned, because it was perfectly right for his master to pick some of his own prize blossoms.
Many people’s lives are much like beautiful flowers. We mayÂ enjoy those around us until they are gone, but we must realize that God has the right to take each of us as He wills. He has placed us all here and He will choose to ”pick” us from earth when He is ready.Â This past week, my family unexpectedly lost a treasured bloom; he was a son, a brother, nephew, brother-in-law, uncle, and friend. This week as we look to our focus verse, it is very right that I take the opportunity to share with you, the words of my husband, as he spoke about his brother.
I found it interesting while pondering on my brother’s passing, that the verse I was lead to choose on the same day of his death, for our weekly focus verse, was Ephesians 5:16.
Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Ephesians 5:16 (NLT)
Upon learning about my brother’s death, I was lead to two reflections I would like to share. The first pertains to my brother’s life. He was an outgoing, charismatic individual, with a dynamic personality; whom people liked. He was lively and seemed to live life to the fullest, but what most people probably recall the most, outside of his 90 mile an hour speech pattern, was his availability to help others.
He made the time or rather took opportunities presented to him, to help others. Maybe it was simply helping a neighbor unload groceries, traveling 500 miles to supervise a deck-building project, or perhaps it was his great gift of creating opportunities to gather loved ones and friends together; for a weekend of festivities. My brother, it seems to me upon reflection, tried to ”make the most of every opportunity”¦” And is that not what Saint Paul, was referring to in this week’s focus verse?
This leads me to my second reflection; what are we to take from my brother’s early death? What are we to gain from this tragedy? I believe God uses all things for our good (Romans 8:28) and my brother’s death is an excellent opportunity for us, all of us, to evaluate ourselves. Are we, ”Making the most of every opportunity in these evil days?” If we look in a contextual perspective to this verse and the preceding, we see Paul telling us to be cautious how we live; ”So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise” Ephesians 5:15 (NLT)
Is this message that Paul gave to the Ephesians almost 2000 years ago, the same for us today? Is this something we all can take away from my brother’s death, and hold onto him in our hearts every day, by simply ”Making the most of our opportunities in these evil days?” My brother’s spiritual gift was the gift of serving others and encouraging us. Romans 12:6 ”“ 8 discusses these gifts and 1 Corinthians 12:7 states; “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” (NLT) We areÂ to use our gifts daily to help each other, which when tied to this week’s verse of Ephesians 5:16, makes a stronger impact of how to make the most of the opportunities presented to us.
Our time here on earth is unknown. We may be here today and gone tomorrow. My brother has gone home to be with our Lord and Savior and this is a joyous occasion. We must remember that our home is not here on this earth, but in heaven, and my brother is with others who have gone before him. Above it all however, is that he is with Jesus Christ enjoying the ultimate love, peace, and acceptance that we all yearn and long for.
For those of us who remain on earth, we still have a purpose, a mission, if you will; as God is not done using us, which is why we continue to grow and have opportunities placed before us. So as we go through the natural process of mourning the loss of a son, a brother, nephew, brother-in-law, uncle, and friend; let us remember to heed Saint Paul’s encouraging words. ”Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” Ephesians 5:16 (NLT)
May God bless you and keep you in all his ways.
Take the Opportunities
It is said, that death is not extinguishing the light from the Christian; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come. We all must recognize that there will come a time, unknown to any of us, in which we will no longer have opportunities available to us on this earth. It is so important that while the opportunities are available, that we make the most of them no matter our circumstances. We must choose the right way, acting in a manner of doing good, everywhere we go. We are to live our life to the fullest with God leading the way.
When faced with the great realization, in the death of a loved one, you come to understand how important life and the relationships you have are. You must make every opportunity to treat these relationships with the utmost respect, in accordance to God’s will. You will not be caught off guard, if you are living life to the fullest, no matter the circumstances; making the most of every relationship that surrounds you.
In the words of Richard L. Evans, ”The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” So in the remaining years, you have on earth, be challenged to live life to the fullest. Be convicted to do good to and for all people and be comforted in knowing that God not only wants and expects you to enjoy life on earth but to anticipate the great things to come when your opportunities on earth should end.
Love in Christ,
Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion
Do you make the most of all the opportunities given to you? Are you living life for the glory of God? Do unbelievers see your life, as one in which opportunities are abundantly utilizedÂ to the fullest? Do you live above your circumstances? Join us in discussion on making the most of the opportunities in life with God leading the way.