How many opportunities have I missed? How many times has the chance to do something, learn something, or grow in some way been given to me and I’ve chosen to squander it through carelessness? Too many to count. 

This makes me so grateful for God’s mercy and grace. It makes me rejoice that He is loving and forgiving and will give me another chance. Perhaps not the same chance, but another, different opportunity to do better.

I also love how God connects His Word to our thoughts bringing about renewal and hope. His Word meets us where we are and leads us to new insights even on well-traveled paths.

“For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12

God will bring His Word into our minds when we begin to focus on Him. For instance, as I was considering all the missed opportunities in my life, God brought the next two passages to my mind along with a new perspective.

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on a journey.”
Matthew 25: 14-15

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?”
Luke 15:8

I’ve talked about the above verses in Matthew in a previous post. In the NKJV the bags of gold are referred to as talents, and I wrote from the perspective of stewarding our talents. But this time the idea of the bags of gold made me think of God handing us bags of opportunities. Chances to do something with a resource He has provided. This could be through a network of human connections, opportunities to learn or improve a skill, or an unexpected chance at a once in a lifetime experience.

Now, if God gave me a literal bag of gold, what would I do if I dropped it and a coin fell out? I certainly wouldn’t toss out the whole bag and say, “Oh, well, so much for that bag!” No, I’d stop and search for that lost coin like the woman in Luke. I’d carefully look for that opportunity and be thankful when I found it. 

And if that coin of opportunity was never found? Again, I wouldn’t throw out the entire bag, I’d be thankful for what was left and learn to take better care of what was entrusted to me. That coin might never return but that doesn’t mean the entire bag is worthless. 

If, like me, you feel like  you’ve squandered God-given opportunities, rejoice in hope. For God did not give us a single coin, but a bag of coins. No matter how many we have misplaced, God has more in the bag for us. Keep learning, keep growing, keep searching for missing coins along the way. 

We may have missed opportunities in the past, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. Let’s be honest and acknowledge our mistakes, learn from them, and grow in our walk with Christ. With His help, we can develop discernment to see these opportunities, understand how to honor God with them, and work as faithful servants who wisely steward His resources.  

May God’s Word remain active in your heart and spark fresh hope for a future full of opportunity.