“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.”
We’ve all figuratively kicked ourselves sometimes. I can remember a day when I was totally devastated, and I called myself every name in the book. Why had I come all this way? I had just walked through a door which looked good to me, without consulting God in terms of His best for me.
But I appoligize–I’ve gotten ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning, and tell you everything.
I once met a woman who I had written to, because I wanted to find out more about her ministry. At that time, while I didn’t know it, I was at a dangerous crossroads in my life. A very good friend had just died. I was consumed by the fog of grief, loss and loneliness. So, asking God to bless what I was going to do in token fashion, I stepped out on my own, without waiting to hear from Him.
The woman in question conversed with me on the phone regarding ministry issues, and it seemed that we hit it off after a while. We spent hours talking to each other. Looking back, I must admit it was a great way to lose weight, if nothing else. But if you had told me that then, I would have been furious, since I fancied myself to be in love.
Though it sounds silly now, the loneliness had sucked me in, and we even talked about marriage on these long calls. She lived in Pennsylvania, so I headed out there, spending money that I didn’t have. I also didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but again I only gave God a cursory nod. As it turned out, God, in His grace, gave me just enough rope to go my own way, but not enough to hang myself.
While I didn’t know it then, the day before our wedding was to take place would turn out to be one of the best days of my life. I say “one of the best” because it seemed like anything but good at the time. But through the clouds, though, God had a blessing up His sleve for me.
Without going into details, we broke up moments before marriage, and of course this was painful. But later, I would exchange pain for praise, and loneliness for true love. After all these years, I am still not sure why, but God has blessed me with a woman who far surpassed my dreams.
By the way, aside from discovering a formula for weight loss, God has a course in which He is asking all of us who know Him to enroll. He wants me to tell you about it, as it will help you avoid life’s pitfalls.
The title is “Waiting on God 101”, and the only prerequisite is being His follower. A lifetime course in distance education, it is tuition-free, and it is repeated by all. Failures along the way are merely counted as object lessons, while successes are celebrated.
Graduation is a splendid affair. As His Word tells us, we will walk before God in robes that He has purchased for the occasion. Instead of giving them a perishable diploma, He encourages His students by telling them they’ve done a good job, and ushers them into a banquet where they will feast with Him for eternity.
I really look forward to that day, and while making sure I’ve heard from God rather than being presumptuous is a challenge, I would like to pass on some thoughts.
First, Jesus told His disciples to watch and pray, but we are only able to do this as we depend upon Him. Watch in life by keeping one eye on your circumstances and one eye on the Word. If something looks great but doesn’t line up with the Word, scrap it.
This can be difficult, and that is why we need God’s strength. His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, giving us direction in a dark world.
Make Jesus your best friend today. Talk to Him about everything, but don’t forget to take the time to listen.
Have you ever been around a person who can’t stop talking? They might ask for advice, but before you can respond they are on another subject. That’s what our prayers must sound like to God at times.
Lastly, it is important to follow the example of Jesus, and ask for The Father’s will in everything. Opportunities that may look good to us will inevitably come, but we need to ask God to close those doors if they are not of Him.
In other words, good doors aren’t always God doors, and God wants to guide you along the best path–a path which He has uniquely constructed for you. Open your heart to Him today, and come to know Him as the best friend you will ever have.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 6:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.