Pastor asked the congregation to define the word, “obstacle”. With a few seconds of think time, answers started to be spoken. My brain swirled into the creative mode as I played with words in my head to develop my definition. “Obstacle” in my own words would mean “something that gets in your way” but then as I went to raise my hand I had another thought.
The word obstacle tends to have a negative feel and sound yet some of the “obstacles” God placed in my life were my saving grace. My modified definition is, “an obstacle is something or someone placed in my path to change my current direction and/or mindset.” While some of the obstacles might seem negative at first, I have learned if God didn’t place a specific someone or something in my path…I would be a different person today.
With our definitions verbalized, Pastor shared Webster’s definition: “something that impedes progress or achievement.” With our paraphrases and Webster’s definitions molded into one we could all visualize Pastor posed a question to us, “What obstacles do you have in your life?” Hmm…this required more thought than the definition, not because I couldn’t think of one but because I had a list growing in my head and wasn’t sure what direction he wanted us to be thinking.
As I skimmed the list in my head from top to bottom and the side notes scribbled on the side I realized many of my obstacles have a common attribute – fear. Many view me as a “toes hanging over the edge, ready for the next challenge” type of a person. This is true in many aspects of my life yet when it comes to safety, life, and my walk with Jesus – I take these seriously and “think” a lot, sometimes too much. I voiced this aloud with my church family.
As I listened to others share, I realized I had another commonality – an unwillingness to walk through the door God has opened. An unwillingness usually due to fear and the not knowing. I like to plan, schedule, and organize. To step out in faith risks losing control of these things and opens the doors for unforeseen obstacles.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.”
Pastor’s next question drove the point in and left my mind to race, “What obstacles do you have in your life that keep you from being more like Jesus?” As I thought again, this time I zoned in on the obstacles that might be more enjoyable in life yet are the very ones preventing a closer walk with the very God who gave His One and Only Son to suffer and die for my sins, and yours!
Will I allow the obstacles in my life to keep me from the intimate and powerful relationship with Jesus for the sake of being human and living in the modern world? I pray not!
The next time someone asks, “What do you do?” I pray to answer “to serve and love God with all I say, do, write, speak, and receive.” As my writing and speaking career move forward there are gentle tugs on my heart strings…it’s time to look at the schedule and decide what obstacles will keep me from serving and which will keep me on course. Only through the communication of prayer will I know.
What obstacles do you have in your life today? Which of these obstacles keep you on course? Which steer you away from the loving, healing, and powerful relationship open to you with Jesus Christ? I encourage you to share in a post below.
This will help you to admit the obstacle while letting others know how they can pray for you. Have a great week everyone!
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid,
but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
Who is going to harm you
if you are eager to do good?
But even if you should suffer
for what is right, you are blessed.
“Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”
1 Peter 3:13-14
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323