For as long as I can remember, encountering obstacles would make me crumple up in despair. Without attempting to overcome the blockade, I would remain trapped back where my dream originally began.
Not very productive, I know.
So yesterday, while strolling along the Chattachoochee river and sipping on Haitian coffee, I wasn’t at all surprised when the Lord began to speak to me about this specific issue – my inability to consistently overcome obstacles. Instead of shying away from this holy and paternal insight on my life, I chose to meet Him with enthusiasm and wonder. I wanted to discover how this behavior could be overcome. No longer did I want to regret my yet unrealized dreams.
And this is where it all begins, beloved. With the desire to change.
What is an obstacle?
According to Websters, obstacles are defined as something that impedes (delays) progress or achievement; a barrier, a hindrance, or a blocking.
Even this definition alone makes me annoyed.
But, I challenge you to take a look at what some of our world’s greatest leaders have said concerning this issue of overcoming obstacles.“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein “The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. “History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” – B.C. Forbes “Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.” – Mahatma Gandhi
These leaders were great because they did great things. And they did great things because they simply overcame their obstacles. I want to do this, too.
How about you?
I want to be great through Christ. I want to own a successful company. I want to publish books. I want to speak more languages. I want to impact nations for Christ. I want to be a submissive wife. I want to earn my PhD. I want a Bed ‘n’ Breakfast on a farm to host missionaries. I want to learn to sail. I want an incredible marriage. I want to touch thousands upon thousands of lives (through His grace).
Deep within my core, I know these dreams will require much more than just a vision and good intentions to be realized. I will have to mature in overcoming obstacles in order to experience a life of greatness. And so will you, my friend.
What unrealized dreams do you have waiting at the doorstep of your heart?
Here are three ideas the Lord spoke into my mind yesterday afternoon:
1. Set your eyes on the goal, but don’t overlook the journey. I am a visionary, which means I naturally focus most of my attention on the expected outcome (the goal). Because so much detail and planning goes into the actual vision of the end result, I become incredibly distraught when things don’t go according to plan. Which leads me to the next point…
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
2. Remain flexible and seek alternate solutions. This statement is synonymous with two simple but important words: “problem-solver.” And this is not my forte. The idea of picking myself up (with the aid of Christ), contemplating a myriad of alternate solutions, and failing countless times before encountering success seems noble (yet daunting). But it’d be much easier to just cry and postpone the goal till a more “fit season,” delaying the gratification for another time. Many refer to this more candidly as “procrastination.” However, through the strength of Jesus Christ, we can persevere. The notion is simple: Don’t give up until you find the best solution to meet your goal.
“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” 1 Chronicles 16:11
3. Expect obstacles before reaching the goal. If we ever set out to change our reality by pursuing a dream or a goal, we must expect obstacles. Along with accepting that our plans may need to adapt along the way. Once we confront the obstacle, slow down, and begin problem-solving, then we can then truly determine if the goal is worth the pursuit. This often fuels a deeper sense of enjoyment and fulfillment once we finally obtain the goal or dream. All great things come at a great cost.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
May we press on to reach the goals which are set out before us and may the God Eternal receive all the glory! Know someone who would be encouraged by this article? Please pass it along using any of our social outlets listed below. Thank you for choosing HIs Daily Dose today!
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