Catching the Golden Moment
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My wife is really a gifted photographer. Honestly, she has missed some memorable photographs because of her husband. See, I was in too much of a hurry to stop. The scenario goes something like this, "Honey, look at that picture!" Well, I don't see what she sees. But there is one there, and it's usually some beautiful scene somewhere we're driving. And on several occasions I've said, "Hey, you know we'll be back this way a little later. Why don't we get it then?" Somehow the same picture isn't there later. The same objects are usually there, but the lighting, shadows, the mood; the magic moment has changed. I remember one time we were driving along in New England, and there was this cabin nestled back in the woods in this little valley, and a beautiful rainbow over that. And I said...Now, here was a smart guy, "Honey, listen, we'll be back in just a few minutes." Well, you know that picture wasn't there a few minutes later. It's amazing how there's this brief...I guess you'd call it a window during which you can capture the scene, and then it's gone. It might be the same players and the same setting, but the golden moment is gone.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from John 9:4. And Jesus here is in contact with a man who's been blind from birth. He's discussing how this man's blindness is going to provide an opportunity for the power of God to be displayed. And then Jesus says in these well-known words, "As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent Me. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Jesus is describing here what I like to call the work of God window. It's a brief opening during which you can accomplish a spiritual objective. And then just like those photo opportunities that we've missed, the golden moment passes...maybe forever. Jesus refers to it as the time during which it is day, before the night comes.
There's a special timing in God's work, and we need to be able to see it. We need to be able to tell what time it is in our lives and other people's lives and God's timetable in some person's life. When the window opens to get a job done for Him, you drop everything and you work like mad. Now the work of God window might be a teachable moment that suddenly arises in the life of a friend, or a family member, or one of your children. Jump on that moment.
Oh, we usually want to teach them when we want to teach them. But the wise believer waits for that opening that comes in their life through some circumstances - some incident. And you say, "Whoa! This is the time to talk about it, isn't it?" Someone who's been closed perhaps to the message of Christ is suddenly needing what you can give. So you drop your scheduled agenda, and you seize the moment.
These ministry windows come in the lives of individuals that we know, they come in churches, they come in Christian ministries, and they come in the lives of our children. Suddenly there's this unexpected season of opportunity. Jesus said, "Grab it while it's there." A circle of friends may be, for just a short time, suddenly open to hearing God's perspective. Or maybe a team you're on, or a workplace you're in, or maybe in a dorm. Maybe God is moving in your life and getting you to a place of greater usefulness for Him. Take that opportunity right now. Maybe that door will never be open like this again.
Our mission is to wake up in the morning and begin looking for the window that that day may hold. And it might be a surprise! When spiritual opportunity opens up, respond even if it means you have to drop your plans or change your plans. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you that nudge and listen to those Spirit promptings. Like a farmer racing the harvest, work hard 'til it's dark...'til the window closes. The picture may never look like this again, and it won't look like this for long. So, grab this golden moment.