opportunity: why it pays to wait and discern the way ahead

It is said that opportunity rarely knocks twice. So what do you do when presented with several offers at once? I tend to prevaricate and panic a bit, especially when there’s a deadline looming, though a writing opportunity is rarely dismissed.

How in the world do we know what to choose from and what to let slip? It isn’t always clear-cut, though those who are offering us opportunity often suggest we would be an idiot to pass up this particular thing.

While I was waiting for clear guidance to come, it got me thinking: who (or what) are we listening to—what is framing our thinking? Are we listening more to feelings than faith?

Who (or what) are we listening to—what is framing our thinking? Click To Tweet

Who are we listening to?

Online voices issue an imperative:

Buy now! Be big! Get the gifts! Don’t miss out! 

Time limited offer! You need this!!

My mind swirls with intrusive sounds

with seeds of inadequacy

with an ache to learn and grow

with a desire to come up higher

with a fear of being sidelined

with paralysing indecision

Because on the inside? I remain

a wary, wounded child, curled small

invisible to all, except those who

want to take precious gifts from me

No offer comes risk-free, without

strings attached, to leave a dangling 

girl feeling severed from herself

So now I try to breathe, pause and pray,

hear whispered words above the fray

as worldly noise rings loud inside

my head, and time passes slowly

as I unwind my troubled mind, try to

listen to God’s wisdom voice instead



Recently, a bombardment of writing/blogging resource opportunities have come my way. They initially provoked interest, then left me flagging as I tried to identify which (if any) were pointers of God’s specific will for me.

Temptation was strong, because I could use a helping hand from the experts as such. Who wouldn’t want to take courses at vastly reduced prices, learn how to grow your blog, reach your intended audience, discover neat time-saving writing tips and strengthen your online presence? Hmm… me, maybe?

Something sat uneasily within as the clock ticked and gentle pressure was applied by seemingly trustworthy sources.

I long for the wisdom, discernment and peace which only God can impart Click To Tweet

So I stilled my soul, seeking a heavenly perspective. I long for the wisdom, discernment and peace which only God can impart. Here’s what I sensed….

10 ways to help you discern a writing opportunity

  • Sometimes a good thing for everyone else isn’t necessarily a good thing for us
  • God has an individual plan for our lives away from the crowd’s pressing choices
  • Our reputation is safe in His hands — we don’t have to do more/be more/buy more
  • Being asked to stay put or be small is not a punishment
  • We are already known, loved and treasured completely by God
  • He will bring us the audience our words are intended for
  • We need to trust in God’s timing—a no for now could be a yes later on
  • We can trust in His inspiration, equipping and strengthening
  • We’re to answer primarily to God’s voice alone
  • We need to listen to God before the clamour of the world

I hope some of these pointers will help you, too, as you aim to stay true to your individual calling and follow God’s will above all things.

What helps you to make wise choices when opportunity presents itself? I’d love to hear in the comments below.  🙂


12 thoughts on “opportunity: why it pays to wait and discern the way ahead”

  1. Not only a writing opportunity but these are excellent words of wisdom for any uncertainty. They sure did minister to me this morning, as an answer to a recent prayer. God used you right where you are. Thank you.

    1. Oh that’s good to hear! I’d hoped they might be more generally applicable too. Thank you, Lynn. I’m so pleased this post was timely for you. Bless you, friend. <3

  2. Dear Joy,
    Oh yes, I wholeheartedly concur with you! These are echoing so strongly in my own heart today:

    “Being asked to stay put or be small is not a punishment
    We are already known, loved and treasured completely by God
    He will bring us the audience our words are intended for”

    The bombardment of “More!” is always shouting so loudly, while the “Less” of Jesus goes against our fleshly desires. I pray that He would keep me listening to His still, small voice even when my own thoughts grow impatient. He does have the perfect path set before us! Thank you so much for speaking this comfort from HIS Holy Spirit today. Love, hugs, and blessings to you! xoxo

    1. Dear Bettie, I totally agree that the “bombardment of ‘More!’ is always shouting so loudly, while the ‘Less’ of Jesus goes against our fleshly desires.” It’s so often our impatience to move on and be seen to be growing that actually stalls us if we fail to listen to God’s still, small voice. Because faith teaches us to trust where we cannot see and keep believing, even when we have no clear evidence before our eyes. The eyes of the heart look at things differently, don’t they? It’s good to know you have found reassurance and comfort here, my friend. Love, hugs and blessings to you too! xoxo

  3. Hi Joy,
    These are thought-provoking tips to consider when faced with any type of decision and I really needed to read them today. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and your wisdom that our words can strike a chord with someone reading, even in a completely different context! I think that’s what’s so amazing about how God uses what little we offer by multiplying it in return! xoxo

    1. Hi Valerie, it’s really good to know these tips have been helpful and timely for you. Would you believe that this post actually sat in draft form for months? But after praying and wondering what to share this week, God reminded me about it. After a quick edit and added images it was ready to be shipped. Praise God for His timing for this tired woman too! I love how He takes our seemingly small and insignificant offerings and makes so much more of them than we could imagine. Bless you for being here, dear friend. xoxo

  4. Joy, I so appreciate your gentle voice in this post. Funny, Jennifer Dukes Lee wrote a very similar post today about waiting for God’s timing in writing opportunities. There is so much noise out there–I loved your encouragement here–it’s a confirmation of what I’ve been hearing, too. Well done.

    1. Jody, I am always awed by how God so often gently nudges us in several small ways at once, knowing we will eventually take the hint and apply the message we are hearing to our lives! Yes, the internet highway is busy, noisy and hectic. It’s sometimes hard to get off the merry-go-round, slow and be true to ourselves and the calling on our lives. I’m grateful if you find this post restful and my voice gentle. There’s enough shouting going on, isn’t there? I try to listen well and write what I hear, hopefully helping and encouraging all who stop by to read my words. Bless you, my friend! xo <3

  5. I love this, Joy. I can second Bettie’s comment. She says it how I feel, too. 🙂 I used to be so swayed by the need to learn more so I could write better. All that about “platform” made me feel so “not enough.” Finally, God showed me that I can remain little, and He will send whom He will to my site. I just need to be concerned about listening to His voice and seeking His wisdom and passing on encouragement to the hurting. It took a load off. But yes, I do still get those insecurity streaks… As we get grounded again in our sufficiency in Him, those lies must keep silent, right? Love and hugs to you!

    1. Oh, me too, Trudy! I have learnt these things the hard way. I was drawn into signing up for an expensive writing course a few years ago and have barely begun, never mind completed it. A waste of money, perhaps, but a needful, salutary lesson in chasing the wrong goals in a moment of weakness. The idea of platform building just doesn’t sit comfortably with me, although many have cheerfully and successfully followed that route.
      It can be hard to discern God’s particular will for us as writers and bloggers, can’t it? There are so many trusted voices calling us to come up higher, though my instincts are saying very similar things to yours, despite those “insecurity streaks” still attacking us from time to time. Yes, those lies of not being enough will eventually get quenched by Holy Love’s reassurance of being God’s Beloved. The key thing is to “get grounded again in our sufficiency in Him”, as you so wisely say. Thank you, dear friend! Love and hugs to you. xo 💜

  6. I love this so much! It would be so easy to say “yes” to everything without discerning our “yes”. God is teaching me how to hear his voice and use that to help when making decisions.

    Your ten ideas to use when discerning writing opportunites are convicting to me. #4 speaks directly to me. It is not a punsihment to stay put or remain small. Yes and thank you! I also relate to #7. God will give us our “yes” and His timing will be perfect.

    Thank you for these prayer points. I am praying for you if there are any other decisions that are still in front of you. Love you friend!

    1. Hello Mary, it warms my heart to hear how this post has helped and encouraged you! Spiritual listening is a key skill in learning to better discern God’s voice and hear personally from Him. I am delighted to see you here, my friend, and grateful if you can relate to the tips I have shared. There are a few things I need to decide on soon, especially with regard to the writing/editing/reviewing aspects of helping other writers. Thank you so much for your prayers. Sending love and hugs to you! xo 💜

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