By Lisa Huddleston
“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. … because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you” (Luke 19:42-44).
Much has been written about the great importance of recording in journals, passing stories on to others, and even building physical monuments that cause us to remember the great movements of God in our lives. The times when He has come, and we have joined Him in His purpose or at least recognized His hand at work around us. And it is good to continue to write about such things. We gain strength from the past, and our confidence grows on the stepping stones of God’s great faithfulness to His people. Yes, it is a very good thing to commemorate the working of our God. But that is not my purpose today. Today I write about the times I have missed His coming, when He hasn’t registered on my radar, even when I have been in opposition to Him. This is a monument to Missed Blessings and an admonition to remind me that I need to know Him more.
How can a record be made of what never took place? Truthfully, only God knows. Only He can clearly state what could have been. But in my heart I feel certain that I have missed quite a lot—often because of my own fear. Fear of failure. Fear that it might not be the voice of God that I heard. Fear that I might hurt someone’s feelings. Fear of not being listened to or understood. Fear of placing my trust in someone else’s hands. Even fear that others might follow me and that I could be wrong. As one pastor once told me, “Lisa, you’re afraid of everything!” They were words that brought the blood to my face at the time, but my ears were open to hear them. And I have not forgotten.
So today I build a monument to my fear, to the blessings I have missed, and to many opportunities in which I have failed to recognize the time of God’s coming to me. It is not a pretty memorial, but it is a necessary one. It is a recognition of God’s power to do all things, and it is a reminder that it was never His faithfulness that failed me. It is my fear that held back what could have been. Sadly, I know that there are good things I have missed, times when I could have walked with Him; but, still I can gladly proclaim that I could not keep Him from accomplishing His will. And this also builds my confidence in Him.
Therefore, let these words be engraved on the stones I place before you: Here lie the great blessings that God prepared for me. If I had known Him better, they would have brought me great peace—but now they are hidden from my eyes. To God be the glory forever—great and perfect things He has done.
As my ears were open to hear my former pastor’s rebuke, as my pride was broken to accept Your gift of grace, and as my heart was crushed to weep over sin, please, Lord Jesus, open my eyes to see and know Your face. Help me never again to miss the time of Your coming, and make me bold enough to follow wherever You desire. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.