• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Don't Miss An Opportunity

The doctor said, “this is going to be the hardest year of your life.” And he was right. He told me I would have the most aggressive chemotherapy they make, the maximum amount of radiation allowed, a six hour surgery that three surgeons would tag team on, where I came out with 13 incisions and more surgeries to follow. I do not like to share this because this is not my identity. I have been healed. But there are times that I share to show what God has done with that bump in the road filled with many blessings. The book I think about writing is called, “The Blessings Of Breast Cancer: Finding God, Grace and Giggles”. In retrospect I would have hated to miss that opportunity because the blessings have far outweighed the tough time! Let’s remember this as we go through an uncertain time in our world right now.


As we discussed in our Lenten study last week, let’s not miss an opportunity for God! While going through such painful events, I experienced God’s richest blessings. I came out of that season with a stronger faith, a deeper love for God than I had ever known, a closer walk with Him than I had ever felt and a peace that truly surpassed all understanding. Philippians 4: 7, “...and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Those trials enriched my faith in ways that abundance or prosperity never could! And that is why we will have tribulation in our life. John 16: 33, “"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."


God’s Word tells us when we are blessed. Matthew 5: 3-4, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5: 10-11, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” James 1: 12, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” Most blessings are connected with trials in our lives.

Luke 11: 28, “But He said, ‘More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’” When we have a relationship with God we can be fully satisfied in Him even in the times of tribulation. We see blessings as a gift of His grace, feeling His hand on our life, feeling His presence with us, feeling helped, strengthened and enabled.


Sometimes the blessings are hard to see - they are disguised. That is when we have to look for the blessings every day. They are there - you have to look. During this season of uncertainty with the Corona Virus there are blessings. Maybe it is that we have a little more time to listen to God. Maybe it is that we can slow down the busyness. Maybe it is a time to reprioritize. Maybe we realize our idols were sporting events - keeping many people and even families from church. Maybe this is when we really learn how to trust God. And this one is hard for me - maybe it is time to “be still”. Maybe it is a time for us to reach out to those who are scared and share hope with them. In retrospect we will see God’s loving Hand giving us guidance and direction. We will see where we were enriched, enabled and strengthened. We are blessed just knowing that no matter what our circumstances, God is in control! Even when we do not understand what is going on, we must trust God. Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”


Sunday, we read Genesis 12: 2, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great,a n d you will be a blessing.” God blesses us so we can bless others. Ask God to bring to mind the name of someone who needs encouragement today. Don’t miss this opportunity! God will not waste this time of social distancing in our lives and neither should we. Don’t miss this opportunity!

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