Obstacles that block my path are a pain. Pain that keeps me from doing what I want to get done is a real hinderance. Paul called his “a thorn in his side” and even though no one has ever figured out what his issue was, we all have one… or some.
Recently I suffered from a dangerous eye malady called schleritis (very painful!). All is well now, but we have no answers as to why or how I got this…. or if it will return. Soon after magical medication started working to clear the problem, I had a nasty fall while running down a dirt road. Sitting with my grapefruit-shaped ankle propped up, I began to think hard on hinderance, thorns and irritants. I felt God speak to my heart, ” It’s in the hinderances that you keep close to Me. The (so called) curse is My blessing because it draws you nearer and forces you see your own vulnerability, neediness, lack of strength. Without these ‘thorns’ some may not come or seek at all. In pain you can see clearly the ridiculousness of pride and realize just how thirsty your soul truly is.”
What a beautiful word. I’ve heard countless stories and many songs on the radio that say the very same thing, but somehow I think of “their” obstacles being bigger than whatever I’m facing today. I’m amazed to realize afresh… God uses everything! Every little pain or irritant for my good. He calls and draws me closer with it. He offers me strength and Grace through it. When my weakness is proved yet again, my dependence on those everlasting arms is guaranteed! Ah, the contentment in knowing He cares and He’s never out of control. Big ankle or ugly eye, I can rest assured He is blessing me. The point being (I always like for there to be a point!) He has promised to complete me.
“When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.” Jms 1:2-4
God, thank You for the hindrances that come every day into my life. Big or small, I love that You always have a plan and a point! I can’t imagine the task of trying to mature and complete me. Thank You for taking that on and for never giving up. I love You, Anna”