The start to another school year always gets me thinking about the possibilities and opportunities ahead. Last month I talked about how God’s possibilities are our opportunities. I shared antics and vulnerabilities, remembering that God’s possibilities are not opportunities to be grabbed, like that “take the shot” moment in a basketball game. They’re not opportunities for our ease and comfort, like that free carpet cleaning that wasn’t so free. They’re also not opportunities that open windows and pave highways for our own personal glory.
No, the best opportunities, the right opportunities, are really God’s possibilities in, through, and around me—in, through, and around all of us.
So what do God’s possibilities look like?
Well, God’s possibilities can be surprising. God’s possibilities can be scary. God’s possibilities are separate from our own agenda, and God’s possibilities always shine His light.
Yes, God’s possibilities are surprising.
Our time together Friday mornings is a surprising example of God’s possibilities.
I’m someone who likes to plan and then I like to micromanage those plans. Every January I create a new vision board with lots of pictures—where I’d like to go, what I’d like to do, the important people in my life.
But you know what? Year after year, God’s possibilities aren’t in the pictures.
Why? Because they’re not what I expected; they’re not what I envisioned. Why? Because God’s visions, God’s possibilities are bigger than my personal hopes and dreams, my own visions. And because of that the pictures on my board have changed.
The first thing you might notice on my board are 10 “His” notes, tags that say His will, His message, His people, His way, His love, His timing, His approval, His pasture, and His grace. You’ll see a picture of my Bible and studies I’d like to explore. They are all small reminders to be open to the possibilities, God’s possibilities, to be ready for adventure, adventure with God—as He works in, through, and around me.
Second, God’s possibilities can feel scary.
I’ve planned my speaking and writing life very carefully. Before Covid, I took almost 5 months to prepare for my last workshop. It was nicely done—a thoughtful message, fun things to do and talk about, great food. I was tickled and thought about the possibilities for the next one.
And then I got a call from a dear lady in Eastern Washington who wasn’t interested in a workshop (oh!) who wanted me to help the women of her community have a conversation (oh!) in two weeks (oh! oh!).
I had no idea where I was going. I had no idea what I was going to do or say. They were asking for a conversation I’d never had before. They were asking to be a light in the fields of challenge that were surrounding them in their small community.
Something we’ve all been trying to do, trying to figure out for—I don’t know—two thousand years! And then in a Sunday morning message, our pastor referenced Titus, chapter 3, a Godly outline for people of faith who want to have a meaningful impact on those people and places around them (uh, huh!). And then discussion questions came to me in a vision (uh, huh!).
Yes, into my fear and uncertainty, God stepped in with everything I needed. His will, His way, His when.
Every part of me wants to map out Morning WOLKs with God—for the next several weeks. But I don’t. I wait on God.
And it’s often scary. “What if I don’t have something to say next week?” “What if the words aren’t there?”
But each week, God steps into my fear and uncertainty, my doubts and concerns with everything I need. Everything! His will, His way, His when.
3) God’s possibilities are separate from our own agenda.
When I start to see God at work, when I’m feeling that somethin’s up, my first reaction is usually, “Oh, God, I’m kinda busy right now. I’m speaking Friday mornings, messages that you’re sharing with me. I’m working on Book 3, stories I’m connecting to Your love and faithfulness. I’m even managing to get some work done at the office—which the Boss loves. Not a good time, God. Really, not a good time.”
But that’s not how God operates. His work is not about our will, our way, our when. It’s about His will, His way, His when.
That’s not to say that God is out to make our lives miserable, like a CS Lewis demon. “Let’s challenge her to…” “Now that she’s got that taken care of, let’s see what she does with this.” No, He’s there with His possibilities, our best opportunities.
Last, God’s possibilities shine His light.
God’s possibilities are not about likes and loves and shares. That’s hard for me. It’s hard for me to admit out loud.
Every part of me craves attention. I want to be noticed. I want to be affirmed. More than that, I want you to think highly of me. I want you to say, “Wow! Nice job, Deanna!”
Every Friday before our time together, I have to have a heart-to-heart with God. “Yes, God, I know I talked to You about this last week and the week before and the week before that and the week before that, but I need help. I still need help. As you know, my ego can overshadow the message and this message need to be about You and not about me. Help me share a message that gives You glory.”
At some point in my prayer, I always ask God to help listeners remember the message, not the speaker, moi. Before clicking “Go Live,” I’ll repeat it.
The psalmist writes in the 115th psalm in the Bible’s Old Testament:
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
God’s possibilities shine his light. God’s possibilities are what He’s able to do in, through, and around us.
And for that, we give God glory because of His love and faithfulness.