Handling Life's Second Bests
Julie BarrierDr. Julie Barrier, along with her pastor-husband, Dr. Roger Barrier, have taught conferences on marriage and ministry in 35 countries. The Barriers are founders and directors of Preach It, Teach It www.preachitteachit.org, providing free resources in 10 languages to 5 million visitors in 229 countries. The Barriers pastored 35 years at Casas Church in Arizona, Julie has served as a worship minister, concert artist and adjunct professor at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. She has authored or composed of over 500 published works.
- 2012 Nov 07
Dashed hopes. Devastating news. Divorce. Disillusionment over current events. Perhaps, like Job, everything in your life seems to be falling apart and you are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. You wanted a dream job and ended up with a dead-end job. You anticipated holding a healthy baby and now you rock a handicapped one. (Or a dead one, in my case).
My husband is the best preacher I’ve ever heard. (I’m incredibly prejudiced, of course). But he’s lived with a weak heart his entire life. One of his high school buddies was vice president of a booming Fortune 500 company. The business went belly-up, and now he’s a Walmart greeter making minimum wage.
Americans hate settling for second best, silver medals, or plan B. But God often takes the rubble of our broken lives and does His best work with our “second bests.” Let me give you a single Bible example. Missionary Paul is chomping at the bit to share the gospel in ritzy Bithynia, a cosmopolitan trade center in Asia Minor. To reach such an influential hub of culture and clout would be a feather in his Christian cap. However, God had other ideas. The Holy Spirit said “no, no, you don’t go” and slammed the door in Paul’s face. Read Acts 16: 6-10 below:
“They went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either. Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas.
That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map.We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia. All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.” The Message
In Troas the door was opened to the preeminent ministry of his career. Paul rendered his most significant service in the leftovers of a broken plan. All of us have times spent in barrenness in low tides when we feel shelved or set aside, not used, or virtually unusable.
Let me encourage you. That is often the hand of a sovereign God who has closed the door. The Bible teaches that those rock-bottom days, those hard times are God's perfect arrangements to prepare us for some of his best works.
Here are some helpful hints for times of disappointment, for “second best” days:
When doors close...
1). Don't run. Be patient and wait for God's blessing.
2). Don't always assume that an open door is from God. Satan also opens doors.
3). God will lead you by speaking in your spirit. Listen for His voice and call there.
4.) When God shuts off one path He inveriably opens a better one. It's only a matter of time.
“This is the message from the one who is holy and true. He has the key that belonged to David, and when HE opens a door, no one can close it, and when HE closes it, no one can open it. I know what you do; I know that you have a little power; you have followed my teaching and have been faithful to me. I have opened a door in front of you, which no one can close." GNT