Obstacles or Opportunities?

When my wife and I are on  a road trip, we will often encounter unexpected delays. These may be caused by construction, a disabled vehicle, weather, or, worst case, an accident. Sometimes these delays add a few minutes to our travel. Sometimes far more. And if you have done any amount of travel by car, you know exactly what I am talking about. 

These experiences remind me of life.  As we journey through this world, we often encounter obstacles.  Many of these, like the delays I mentioned above, are both unexpected and unwelcome. Our first reaction is to gripe and complain.  We don’t like obstacles.  We hate to be inconvenienced in any way!  But the Bible has a different “take” on obstacles. We see this in a story from the Old Testament (Numbers 13-14).  When Moses was leading the people of Israel to the Promised Land, he sent twelve spies to spy out the land.  When they came back they gave two reports: a majority and a minority report (politics were alive and well way back then!).  The majority (ten of the twelve spies) said, “Let’s go back to Egypt!”  Why?  Because they saw obstacles in their path of settling in the Promised Land.  Giants and well-fortified cities were there, making it much too difficult a task to settle there.  But the two spies who gave the minority report wanted to go in and “take the Land.”  But wait! Didn’t these two see the giants and the well fortified cities?  Yes.  SO what was the difference between these two and the rest?  The ten who wanted to flee back to Egypt saw the obstacles and that is where their vision stopped.  The other two, however, saw the obstacles but also looked beyond to the God who had promised Israel the Land.  So in their thinking, the obstacles were only opportunities for God to work!  Wow!  How about YOU?  When you are confronted with obstacles, are you like the ten spies who see only the obstacles?  Or are you like the two who instead of an obstacle see an opportunity for your God to work?  

Oh, and by the way, can you name any one of the ten spies who gave the majority report?  Don’t worry if you can’t, because their names are not mentioned.  But how about the two who saw the obstacles as opportunities for God to work and show Himself strong – can you name them?  I hope so.  Their names are preserved for us in the Bible.  They were none other than Caleb and Joshua.  Let me challenge you to follow in their sandals.  When obstacles hinder your forward progress – stop and thank that here is an opportunity for Him to work.  Then trust Him to do so (Psalm 37:5)!

Thanks for stopping by . . . and don't forget to SEIZE THE DAY! 

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