Obstacles & Assurance

overcoming obstacles

As I sit at my desk and wonder what I should write all I can think about is the numerous people that I have visited with who talk about the same thing; “obstacles they are facing and a hope for peace.” I’ve talked with people who are going through financial hardships and about to lose a house. People who are going through marital problems and have no sense of direction. People who are dealing with loss of loved ones and are doing all they can to survive one day at a time. People who have asked for prayer of a friend’s grandmother who has been diagnosed as having a brain tumor and is coping with all types of emotions. Even I have struggled over the past 48 hours in trying to understand things that just don’t make a ton of sense to me or things that I wish would be different. What is it about obstacles that make them so hard to face? Is hoping for peace even realistic?

Many people think that in order to live a peaceful life they have to make all the right decisions every single day. They feel there is no room for mistakes and they have to be perfect. Others think they need approval of those around them and give up what is in their heart or important to them to please others. Some people think that obstacles exist because they have done something wrong and so they push forward thinking “if I do everything right then bigger problems won’t find me.”

Is that even possible? I believe we can’t avoid obstacles. They will always exist. No matter how hard we try and how hard we work at things, we really never know what tomorrow may bring. So many different things can change for the better or for the worse. That unknown is tough to accept. It gets in the way of hope and peace.

Rest assured that God has something spectacular in store for you and your life. We see this in Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Hold onto this for hope and peace. You may ask, “But how do I face the obstacles that arise in my life?” You have choices: remove the obstacle, go a different direction, or stop and do nothing. I think the first two are the only true choices. In John 16:33 it says, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” I hear scripture clearly telling us to be of good cheer. Grow from the obstacles in your life.

What obstacles are you facing? Are you living in peace? Don’t let these things stop you. Live in today! Love one another like it’s your last chance. Laugh, smile, and enjoy the day that the Lord has made. Hug your child. Help those around you. Do what’s in your heart, not what others want you to do. Do what makes you happy today!

Written by: Joel McKinnon,
Cypress UMC Director of Children’s Ministry

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