Maybe It’s Not an Obstacle

No matter your profession, occupation, or interests, your day is filled with obstacles.
Problems. Trials. Difficulties.
Things you don’t want and wouldn’t choose.

I’m a stay at home Mom. I’m incredibly thankful for the four little people I get to mother and teach every day. Yet these little ones I’m 100% grateful for are also the ones who make my job difficult. I mean, they’re people, after all. And all people have problems, me included. So when you mash several people together in a home for, say, 18 – 20 years, well, there are bound to be a few obstacles.

Take yesterday for example: Sunday morning.
My husband was already at church preparing to teach Sunday School. One child was crying because he couldn’t go with Daddy, another child was lying on my lap with a hurting ear, child 3 had just experienced an accident involving wet clothing, child 4 was crying because they wanted more food, and all the while I could hear a scritch-scratching sound of what sounded like a mouse inside my house (which would later prove to be stuck inside my handheld vacuum). Meanwhile, I was sitting at the kitchen table (with one child lying on my lap, remember) looking mostly like I had rolled out of bed and with the clock ticking at 30 minutes and counting until I needed to be walking out of the door clothed and in my right mind (right mind semi-optional, potentially impossible).

Obstacles much?
Yeah, I think so.

And although this scenario will most likely never be duplicated in my life or yours (especially the mouse part), every day is inevitably filled with events that obstruct our goals for the day.

However, I want to encourage you to think of these obstacles in a different way.
Specifically, I want you to think of each difficult event not as an obstacle, but as an arrow.

What If it’s Not an Obstacle?

What if your difficult events today are actually not obstacles, but arrows pointing you back to Jesus? What if they’re not standing in the way of your success for today, but instead reminding you to come to the One who defines true success? What if God actually put those events in your life to remind you that you can’t do this?

Maybe He knew you would start feeling like you had this life thing down.
Maybe He wanted to remind you that you’re needy.
Needy for Him. Needy for others. Needy for grace.

What would happen if you took every difficulty in your life and instead of viewing it as an obstacle you viewed it as a bridge to intimate conversation with Jesus? Maybe instead of viewing that difficulty as simply a problem to overcome, you could view it as an invitation for adventure with God.

Maybe it sounds a little ridiculous. Or a lot.

But consider these questions:

What would your day look like if you viewed every circumstance in this way?
Would you be closer to the Lord?
Would you talk to Him more?
Would you trust in Him for wisdom or lean on your own understanding?

At the end of the day, if I view every circumstance in my life as an arrow pointing me to Jesus instead of an obstacle to my own goal, I guarantee you my conversation with Him will be constant. And as a result my heart will be changed. I guarantee it will change your life. Better than that, He actually guarantees it:

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.


The next difficult situation you encounter, whether it’s something small or life-changing, don’t view it as an obstacle. Instead, think of it as an arrow pointing you back to Jesus. Draw close to Him. Tell Him that you can’t, but you know He can. And may you find yourself closer to Him as a result.


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  1. Diana says:

    Nailed it 🙂 I love this quote from New Morning Mercies along the same lines: “Knowledge of personal weakness is a blessing from God: it lets you seek the help you so desperately need.” (Referencing II Cor 12:9)

    Thinking rightly in the middle of situations where you’re overwhelmed requires a renewing of mind! It’s so helpful to have little phrases to remember for high-stress minutes. “It’s an arrow, it’s an arrow, don’t over-react…” 🙂 Thanks!

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