We've all got one don't we? You, me, neighbor down the street, brother-in-law in California. Got one what Ronnie? A story. You know, the missed opportunity, the one that got away..."Yeah you're story is good but I got one that will top that." Sound familiar? At the water cooler or in the break room we are all "toppers" at one point or another. I was reading the Book of James this week and I came across the familiar passage in the 1st chapter. You know..the one about doubting. Well, as I read that passage I was reminded of "my story." From long ago I relived what might have been.(smile) Before I share my trek down memory lane, the scripture please maestro.
James 1:5-6 (NASB) 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
Some thirty odd years ago I was freshly out of the service and enrolled on the G.I.Bill in a local university. I had just received a tax refund and in one of my few moments of clarity, I decided that rather than spend the money I would invest it. So, I spent the next few days mulling where to invest that large sum($600.00, a good bit back then to a twenty-something) and decided that the stock market was the place to be. I had no earthly idea what company to invest in but by some act of providence I was privy to a "tip." Let me explain. My stepfather worked for Lockheed in those days and had been laid off for quite some time. Lockheed was in a lot of trouble and their stock was dirt cheap. It was also on the "do not touch at any cost" list in the financial publications. However, just as I thought to invest in some other company, my stepfather received a back to work notice. I began to think that if Lockheed was calling him back to work, things might not be as bad as published. Well, after a few more days I was convinced that Lockheed was the place to be and I would make a fortune from a back to work notice.
I marched down to the Merrill Lynch office in Atlanta and asked to see a broker. Dennis was a nice guy and seemed to be very knowledegable and up to date on the happenings in the market. I told him of my desire to buy some Lockheed stock(it was selling for less than two or maybe three dollars a share) and he gave me this "what are you, some kind of moron" look. Well, I'll shorten the story and just say that I walked out of the office that day with NO Lockheed stock. However, I was the proud owner of a South African gold mine. GOOD GRIEF! Blyvoor Gold. Don't know if they are still around. People, over the next few months and years I watched Lockheed stock go from less than either $2 or $3 a share to around $60. I then watched as the stock split and climbed back up to $55-$60. To make my misery complete, the company was bought out a later date by Martin- Marietta at God knows what price. Are you gettin' my drift here? I missed the boat all because I doubted what I knew to be true and let a man talk me out of a blessing designed for me. I don't know about you but I have allowed that on more than one occasion. I must be a glutton for punishment or just plain dumb.(BIG SMILE) At any rate, look at vs.6 again.
James 1:6 (NASB) 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
Among the several meanings for that word doubt, one prominent meaning as it is used in this verse is "to evaluate." Here's how it goes sometimes. Stay with me here.
We encounter some difficulty and don't know what to do. Or how about this. We come to a crossroads in life, job,school,marriage or any of the zillions of decisions we encounter in this life. We seek the advice of our friends and the pastor to get their input. However, neither they nor we can see into the future, so we in faith, lay it out before God seeking His wisdom. Usually after some time, God speaks to us about our situation, giving us His direction. Then, for some unknown reason, all of a sudden we want a "second opinion." We EVALUATE what God has spoken to us, especially if it isn't in line with what we are thinking or expecting. The wheels start turning, we start going over all the options. What about this or what about that. Analyzing every possible scenario. Understand, we have just received instruction from the Creator of the universe but somehow,someway that isn't enough! Amen?
AND, if we aren't careful, we allow human wisdom to divert us from the path that God has chosen. Can I get a witness? No, He isn't going to zap us or forsake us. No,no. Instead,you or me will miss a choice, ripe blessing that He has in tote for us; and, it will be added to the infinitely long list of missed opportunities. Our water fountain topper stories. smile.
Sometimes it is tough to discern God's will in our lives, trust me, I am sorely aware of that fact. But, He has promised in His Word to lead and guide us if we allow Him to. Add to that the constant drone of the enemy about how we have missed it and on and on. Ya feelin' me? At those times we have to do what that verse says to do. We have to take it on faith. Believe and not doubt. Amen?Amen!!
Psalm 119:105 (NASB) 105