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Posts Tagged ‘obstacles’

And it will be said: “Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people” (Isaiah 57:14).

Have you ever watched a bulldozer dig a path? Flat ground and grassy plains can hide rocks just below the surface. Toe jammers. Ones that you can’t see and may make you stumble.

Life is filled with toe jammers at times.  The path seems smooth, but wait. Ouch. Stubbed it again. Didn’t see that coming. Your eyes were on the horizon, on where you thought you should be headed.

Here is a thought. God put them there. Not to be cruel. Not to laugh as you hop and caress your throbbing big toe. Perhaps the half-hidden obstacles are there due to a natural course of time, just as stones can become eroded and buried in the soil. However, if we acknowledge that God is the Creator and knows where our stumbling stones lie, perhaps it will cause us to turn to Him for guidance more often.

My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled (Psalm 17:5).

Jesus called Simon Peter, but first He removed a few obstacles. When Peter and his brothers cast their nets and caught the net-full of fish (Luke 5:1-11), Biblical experts say that made them enough money to feed and clothe their families for three years–the amount of time they’d be traveling with Jesus.  One more bump in the road. Peter’s mother in law was ill. Jesus healed her (Luke 4:38-39).

One more stumbling block- Peter’s zeal often made him impulsive. God didn’t instantly change Peter’s personality, good or bad. He let Peter thump his toe a few times. Throughout his time with Jesus, Peter found himself in situations that our Lord used to mold him into eventually becoming the leader God knew he could be. Several times he stumbled, and it hurt. But in the end, God purposed it.

Two lessons from Simon Peter:

Thank Him for the toe jammers. They are there for a purpose.  Just as they were for Peter.

But also know that if bigger obstacles are in the path He has set for you, He will remove them. Just as He did for Peter so he could follow Jesus.


The internet is a vast mission field. At Campus Crusades of Canada’s  Power to Change, I edit and write for two websites that draw people closer to God:  Issues I Face  and The Life.   Our free articles and devotionals glean a readership of 500,000 plus a month. Some are believers, others don’t know what to believe. All are seeking. We help them know Jesus, one mouse click at a time.
But as with any missionary organization, we are funded solely through the donations of ministry partners. And at this moment, an anonymous beneficiary will match any and all donations up to one hundred thousand dollars. 
Find out more about my work as a writer and editor at  http://www.juliebcosgrove.com/missionary_support.html 

 

 

 

 

 

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I found God moving in my life this week – literally – as He answered two prayers: finances and living conditions.

My doctor says I should not climb stairs again. Hard to do when you are planted in a second floor apartment. The only first floor one available in my complex is $72 more a month! OUCH! The new manager wouldn’t negotiate, so it’s moving time in a few months. (I have to give 60 day notice — she wouldn’t budge on that either.)

After a teary weekend praying and looking online, I found three I could afford. A friend drove me around to each.  Nada. Either no first floor unit or a long waiting list.

We pulled over and prayed, then turned the corner and saw another complex. It looked nice.  Never saw it online, and I’d virtually looked at 62 listings of available apartments in my city over the weekend. Even so, we both felt a strong urge to go check it out.

Sure enough, a unit on the first floor had  become available that day, scheduled to be ready for occupancy on the very day I am released from my old lease in 60 days! Thank you, Jesus!

Ready for this? There is a handicap ramp and parking space right at the front doorway. I will be needing that for quite sometime yet.

It get’s better. It is $84 less than I am paying now.  That’s a utility or cable bill difference.  When you are on fixed income, that is HUGE! Prayer number 2…answered.

Yep, I cried again as we drove away, this time in gratitude. God is so amazingly awesome, I cannot begin to describe His wondrous power.  But this is just a hint of what He has planned for those who trust and believe in Him.

Sure, I will basically be sequestered in my second story apartment a while longer. Gives me lots of time to slowly pack! (If you live in Fort Worth and want to help for an hour or so in early March…)

Whatever you are going through, whatever obstacles loom in front of you casting a shadow of gloom, our Lord knows about them and has a plan to explode them into tiny pieces you can kick aside. Or He will offer you a way around them.  No, not a way — the best way. Just keep on praying. His timing is always perfect.

God definitely “moves” in mysterious ways. If you are not planted where you are supposed to be, He will make arrangements to move you — just as He has for me.

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A local Christian radio personality relayed how she was driving down the road when a cop flashed his lights and motioned her to pull over.  She admitted her blood pressure rose and her teeth clenched because she wasn’t speeding. How dare he?!

Then he told her that around the blind curve was a huge obstacle in the road and the road was very poorly lit. At highway speeds, she’d have careened into it. Other policemen were removing it now. Would she mind waiting about ten  minutes.

After she sputtered and nodded, the officer jumped in his car, and with lights flashing, swirled around to block the road for the oncoming vehicles behind her. She publicly thanked the policeman on the radio and apologized for her initial reaction.

It made me wonder how often God blocks my path and I MP900444553[1]grouse about it. How often does He detour me from danger and I complain because things are not happening “my way”? How often were those irritating moments that delayed me –like the cat hacking a furball in my shoe just before I went to slip it on, or a button snapping that I have to quickly repair, or the moving van blocking my exit from my apartment complex for a few minutes– actually work to my advantage without me knowing it?

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Lord, forgive me. Let me publicly say thank you to You for putting obstacles in my path and delays in my day. Thank you for the story on the radio today that stepped on my spiritual toes a bit. Next time, I will try to be more patient and praise You in all circumstances. Through Your Son and by Your Spirit I pray, Amen.

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10307430_10153104667781002_242652077577200201_nA friend posted this photo from knoxville.com on Facebook. It’s making the circuit, so maybe you’ve seen it. At first I laughed…then my mouth formed an “o.”

God spoke to me in volumes about tenacity, strength through adversity, and determination to become the beautiful creation He has in mind for you to be.

That car must have been there long before the tree was little more than a sapling. Yet, somehow, this tenacious little piece of bark pushed through metal, leather, springs and rust to stretch out into the sky.Year after year it struggled to grow, and eventually sprawled out beyond the boundaries that contained it. Limbs shot from its ever-increasing trunk until it overcame what had held it back.

The same God-given weather – rain, sun, cold and heat – that nourished the tree deteriorated it’s captor. Windows, once hardened by glass, shattered. Metal, once molded for strength, crumbled. What was once an obstacle became a pathway to the light, and a container to guide further growth.

If you are facing obstacles right now, I hope this picture of a tree sprouting healthy and strong from an old rusty car gives you hope. Through the struggle,no matter the diversity you face, you will become what God intended you to be if you don’t give up. Anything is possible if you rely on God. Keep stretching, keep reaching for Heaven’s goodness. God will provide.You will overcome any adversity if you turn to Him.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

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