1. Obstacle Is the Way?
In the book The Obstacle is the Way, writer Ryan Holiday quotes “The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”
Almost all the life stories of extraordinary men and women in history are stories of overcoming obstacles. The key, of course, is in having the right attitude towards overcoming the obstacles instead of giving up or merely being resentful.
2. Obstacles Serving God’s Purposes?
We see in God’s dealings with people, that in almost all cases, God uses the obstacles/difficulties and overcoming them, as a means to inculcate great character in people and to prepare them and use them for great purposes.
Many times, we wonder about God’s purpose in our lives. I think, often it is quite simple. All we need to do is to look at the obstacles and problems in our lives and those around us. God’s purpose in our lives might just be that we solve, overcome and thrive despite our circumstances – and help others do the same. All this, while being in alignment with God (through constant prayer and communication with God) and His purposes for the Kingdom of God.
3. Why Do You Cry to Me?
In the book of Exodus, we see that the people of Israel had to go through slavery, had a very tense way out, had to go through harsh conditions traveling in a desert for years, got punished for complaining (with poisonous snakes, etc).
One would have hoped that the all-powerful God would just bring them out of slavery at the blink of an eye without anyone going through such suffering (or there be no suffering in the first place). That misses the point that we are still in a fallen world where there are things to overcome. Faced with a calamity in Exodus 14, people cry out to God, and God says: “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.”.
Why did God say “Why do you cry to Me?” Arent we supposed to pray and seek help? It seems to me that God is saying that prayer and communication with God is something we should be doing all the time (not just when there is a calamity) and with that such constant help/alignment with God, we should always have an attitude of never giving up, and always moving forward, fulfilling God’s purposes for our lives.
4. I Have Overcome the World
Jesus faced a lot of obstacles, particularly from people who are into religion for all the wrong reasons – the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the tares/weeds in the field of good wheat. Jesus kept moving forward, even to the physical death, and the resurrection.
Jesus said in John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”.
The promise and the hope we have is not so much about being without trouble in this world, but that we can overcome the right way, just as Jesus did.