Unguarded strengths are double weaknesses (Part 2)
The second example is about the search in the past 4 weeks for new premises in Johannesburg for one of our Ear Institutes. We looked at various properties and eventually found the “perfect” property approximately 1 mile from our current premises. We have a number of requirements for a property including:
1. Positioning – preferably on a busy corner / main road with good visibility
2. Must be able to erect proper sign boards that will advertise our business 24/7
3. Easy entrance and exit for our elderly patients with ample safe parking
4. Well maintained property with space for future expansion
This “perfect” property included 3 very spacious apartments / condominiums that we could rent out to corporate clients and the rent of which would pay at least 50% of the monthly bond repayment. One apartment can be used as additional consulting offices. All the points above were met and I was so excited. In my eyes God really blessed us with this fantastic property. I then showed my wife Anita the property as her professional practice will be using the facility and it has to adhere to her specifications.
Big was my disappointment when she was not as excited as I was. Here was an impeccable property, with ample parking, various business models with the apartments and other offices one can rent out and she was negative! Her reasoning was that this property cannot be changed to what she has in mind to run a professional audiological practice and to serve her patients best. The more I tried to explain and reasoned, the more she said “it won’t fit.” Eventually the penny dropped when she said, “I feel that everything is more important than the practice we want to establish,” and I realised that that was the truth. To say I was disappointed is an understatement as I was sure there is not another such property available in the whole of Johannesburg!
The next morning during my quiet time I read from the devotional, Jesus Calling, for October 21st. “When something interferes with your plans or desires, you tend to resent the interference” … boy did I resent this interference! “The best response to losses or thwarted hopes is praise. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Remember that all good things – your possessions, your family and friends. Your health and abilities, your time – are gifts from Me. Instead of entitlement to all these blessings, respond to them with gratitude. Be prepared to let go of anything I take from you, but never let go of My hand!” (Bold print my emphasis).
I then read from Oswald Chambers’ devotional, My Utmost for His Highest (21 October)“There was nothing of the nature of impulsive or thoughtless action about our Lord, but only a calm strength that never got into panic” – Lord, where am I going to get such a wonderful property! …. “Impulsiveness needs to be trained into intuition through discipline…..it is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God – but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people – and this is not learned in five minutes.”
On sharing this with Anita she commented that maybe God has something better for us … far more than what we could think or wish or even ask, a place where we can create a centre of excellence with ample room for all the services we would like to offer, and the ability to expand in the future (which was not possible in my “ideal property”). Suddenly my resentment changed into understanding and my understanding into praise as I would have made another very expensive mistake by forcing my thoughtless action that was not of God – my unguarded strength would have been another double weakness, and a very expensive mistake.
As we look for a new property I need to surrender my will to God every moment and praise God for what He is going to do … “Not my will Lord but thy will be done!” God wants greater glory from this situation and in the process form and build my character. Os Hillman says in his daily devotional TGF Vol. 1 of 22 October “If God has called you to some endeavour and you are frustrated that it has not manifested, know that times of preparation and simmering are required before the vision can be achieved. Seldom does God call and manifest something at the same time. There is preparation. There is testing. There is relationship building between you and God that must take place. Once this is complete, you will see the vision materialize.
I will start afresh, but this time ask God for His guidance, to give us what He thinks is best and be ready to praise Him for it!