Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Overcoming Obstacles

At a loss. For words, that is. Ever been there? Some refer to it as 'writer's block.' I prefer to think of it as an obstacle in my path that may require some creativity to overcome, but something that can be tackled, nonetheless. Reminds me of the 'road closed' sign we saw the other day.

We were cutting it a bit close for our daughter, Riley's, senior piano recital. As we approached our destination, we saw it. The sign that stood like a sentinel warning us that exactly one and a half miles up the street, the road was closed to through traffic. We would only be allowed to pass through if we were residents along that stretch of the road, which obviously wasn't the case. How would we reach our destination? We weren't familiar with an alternate route. Fortunately for us, the construction was farther down the road than we needed to travel. We made our turn off the main road and arrived in plenty of time to enjoy Riley's performance. No obstacles.

Most of the time, obstacles prove themselves to be far more of a challenge. I'm thinking of two crafty cousins who love to sneak up on me when I least expect it. They enjoy nothing more than erecting blockades to prevent me from moving forward. Formal introductions aside, meet Fear and his relative, Discouragement. These two love nothing more than to play off one another's antics and cause havoc in my day. No matter the task for the day, when I begin acknowledging Fear's raspy whispers, doubts flow into my mind. Am I really up to the challenge of writing a devotional? There are so many talented writers out there, why would an agent choose to represent my work? I'm already behind on my work in progress, it's probably too late to make my deadline...You get the idea.

Depending on Fear's success, Discouragement wastes no time in adding his two cents worth. Regardless of his words, his objective is to deprive me of hope. Zap my confidence. These close cousins, working in tandem, create a pretty effective duo. But the blockades they erect can be tackled and overcome. God's word to the rescue!

I'm invited to believe the words of God penned by the apostle Paul , "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13; KJV). I can choose to think on the truth and dismiss the lies. I'll never know if I'm able to write a devotional series unless I try. If it's the Lord's will, I'll find the right agent to represent my work, in God's timing. I can't let the failures of yesterday shape my today. Through Christ, I can choose the right attitude for each task He's called me to do.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for who You are. Help me to see obstacles from your perspective - as challenges that can help me grow in my walk with You. Allow me to feast on Your word today, so I can effectively combat the 'road blocks' I encounter. Thank You for the truth of Your word. Amen

What do you do when you encounter an 'obstacle' on your daily path? How does it affect your productivity for the day? How do you overcome the challenges you face? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Maria, thanks for a wonderful post! I like what you said " No matter the task for the day, when I begin acknowledging Fear's raspy whispers, doubts flow into my mind. Am I really up to the challenge..." I am so with you sister! The key, I believe, is in your prayer "Allow me to feast on Your word today, so I can effectively combat the 'road blocks' I encounter." It is vital that God's Word is in us so that we can use it to come against fear and discouragement and other stuff. Beth Moore has a great book out called "Praying God's Word" that gives scripture and prayers on different strongholds.

    Thanks again for sharing! Blessings to you!

  2. Our pastor just spoke about obstacles and overcoming them last evening, and how we will always have challenges. Yet, we have the tools to overcome and grow. As he says, "Jesus is already in our tomorrows." I like that; it is a comfort.

  3. Donna - "Praying God's Word" is one of my favorite books! The combination of faith and God's word is super powerful. We serve a great God who will never leave us nor forsake us! Have a beautiful weekend!

    Karen - I'd love to hear your pastor's message! It is encouraging to know that we do have the tools to overcome and grow. Definitely comforting. Have a great weekend, friend! :)

  4. What an excellent post, Maria! I am blessed by your ability to paint word pictures. Thank you.

    When an obstacle crashes into my plans, I spend a little time fuming, usually. Then I ask the Lord to help me, show me what to do, bring good out of this.

    Thank God for the Holy Spirit in us to teach us God's ways, or we'd be crushed. The Father is so kind and sweet.


  5. I agree--excellent post. I usually pray first and then determine myself that I'll get through it somehow. Yeah, I whine abit first and do the "why me?" stuff until I pull it together and remember everything else God has done for me over the years and that he will see me through this as well.

  6. Oh, I can relate. Yes, writer's block and daunting tasks stir up uglies like fear and discouragement.

    Have you read "Hinds Feet in High Places?" It's an old read, but might be a refreshing drink for your mind and spirit. Beautiful allegory. I'm reminded of it as I read your post today. :)

    Enjoy some sweet rest and quiet this weekend.

  7. Hi Maria -

    I like your analogy. Ah, fear and discouragement. I'm well acquainted with these two cousins and never happy to see them. When they show up at my door, I get the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) out and chase them off. II Timothy 1:7 is particularly effective. :)


  8. Maria, I pray a lot. And I force myself to just "do it." Why are we so hard on ourselves?

  9. Jen - Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement! You are a wise woman to seek the One who can truly help you remove those obstacles. Have a refreshing weekend! :)

    Terri - What would we do without prayer?! Great reminder, too - rehearsing what God has done for you in the past, knowing that He is able to 'do it again' in the present! Thanks for sharing! God bless.

  10. Julie - I appreciate the book recommendation. It'll go on my summer reading list! Working toward the quiet and rest for the weekend. Blessings to you, my sister!

    Susan - It's comforting to know that all of us struggle with obstacles in life at some point or another. The sword of the Spirit, God's word, is probably the single, most powerful tool we can use to route out the enemy! You are a wise woman to pick it up and begin using it at the first hint of a 'visit' from the 'cousins'! Thanks for your encouragement and the reminder of the truth of 2 Tim. 1:7 - great verse. God bless you greatly!

    Jill - Prayer is so vital! I admire your will-power to just 'do it' when you come up against a road-block. Sometimes I'm hard on myself when I slip into erroneous thinking - my self-worth is measured by my accomplishments. Ever been there? The Lord is reminding me once again of the careful balance between achievement and His timetable. Have a blessed weekend!

  11. I do NOT mean to steal away any of your peace this weekend by giving you something to think about ... :) But let me give you something to pray about :) Would you be interested in doing a guest post for Marriage Mondays some time this summer? I would love to hear a "life lesson" that God has shown you in your married years. I hope it's a joy to think and pray over, not a burden. :) Let me know ... Julie

  12. What a timely post for me! Like unwelcome houseguests, I've been stuck with your 2 relatives lately. I love:
    "I can choose to think on the truth and dismiss the lies."
    So true! It's my choice.
    Have you read Hinds Feet on High Places? These relatives of yours are key characters.
    Much love,