There's an old joke about true faith that goes something like this: "A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says "Get in, get in!" The religious man replies, "No, I have faith in God. He will grant me a miracle."
Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and again the driver tells him to get in. He responds that he has faith in God and God will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest level, a third boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again with the words, "God will grant me a miracle."
With the water chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they yell for him to grab on, but mumbling his mantra with water in his mouth, he turns down the request for help for the final time. He arrives at the Gates of Heaven and says to St. Peter, "I thought God would grant me a miracle but He let me down." St. Peter chuckles and responds, "I don't know what you're complaining about. We sent you three boats and a helicopter."
This is a great illustration of asking for a miracle; growth in one's business or family finance; growth in opportunities for success; growth of faith for oneself and one's family; or deliverance from a challenging situation. But when God sends assistance through a person, opportunity, or path - and it's not what we're expecting or the manner or timeline in which we want it to happen - we shrug it aside and turn our backs.
I wish I could remember in the heat of the moment that God doesn't do things in our timeline. He sees the whole picture as only He can. I have turned away from many an open door and I'll tell you the reasons. They were almost always out of stubbornness, insecurity, laziness or pride. (Pride was probably the biggest one!) If I ask God for help, I have to remember to be accepting of the help He sends. Even if it feels embarassing or humbling or offputting to me. He's answering my prayers. So I need to remember to graciously say "thank you" to Him and let Him help me so I can continue to help others.
I hope I don't end up drowning in my sea of excuses before I realize God is saving me every single day! Quick...someone throw me a lifevest! (Or don't because otherwise I won't learn. Doggie paddle all the way...)