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“The race is not to the swift, the battle is not to the strong, bread is not to the mighty, neither yet favour to men of skill”. Most people will agree that this is one of the most difficult statements in the Bible to accept. To hardworking and gifted people, it is especially more painful. I should expect to win the Olympic sprint event if I were an Usain Bolt, steamroller Georgia if I were a Russia or become very rich if I had a very high IQ. But while racing tracks, war fronts or socioeconomic systems may function by the rule of selection by ability, the game of life has an entirely different rule – “time and chance happens to them all”! The secret is in seasons and opportunities.

The life of every person consists of seasons and the opportunities that God brings their way in those seasons. The principle of fairness in God’s dealing with man hinges on the fact that God will always bring opportunities the way of every person in the appointed seasons. There are different types of seasons and each season has a different periodicity, and we do not necessarily know how long there is between one season and another. The difference between a successful person and a failure is not in the quality or frequency of seasons that God brings their way but in the quality of their response to those seasons and opportunities.

The opportunity of a deeper fellowship with God could come in the season of affliction – one person responds by faith and patience and “comes forth as gold”; another responds with murmurings and draws back from the faith. God’s opportunity for prosperity could come in the form of a talent or gifting – one person responds to it as a hobby; another responds to it as the seed of their destiny. An opportunity for success in life may come in a season when God opens up a person to new relationships – one draws back in cynicism because they have been deceived before; another responds with an open heart and that relationship launches them into their destiny.

So we don’t need to be swift, strong, mighty nor even favored in the most natural senses of those words. What we need in life is the wisdom of God to perceive and to respond rightly to the opportunities that God brings our way in the seasons He has appointed. If we have missed them, He will come again in the next period of that cycle until we lay hold of them. The problem with missing them is that we never quite know how long it is between one season and another. May God quicken every instinct of our human natures to be so alive in Him that we can lay hold of His opportunities when they come in their seasons. Amen. – Kelechi E. Nnoaham

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