Dealing with External Obstacles
Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Obstacles come in many different shapes and sizes and there always seems to be one that is just right for us! Many times we begin a ministry/organization/project with illusions of grandeur (and we should!). But it won’t be long before those illusions can be shattered and marked with “obstacles”.
On the plus side . . . obstacles provide opportunities to reframe the situation and find hidden blessings in disguise. They are waiting for those who dare to dip deeper and not quit too soon. The story of Ruth and Naomi is a such a great example – the story is not over!
Here are the realities of obstacles in life:
- We all deal with them.
- No one is immune.
- You are not a bad person or a failure when you encounter them.
- You are not alone.
- We need each other to create solutions together.
One of the many Obstacle Packages is the External Obstacles (those outside our control).
- Budget Cuts (limited resources)
- The Economy
What To Do
Break it Down: Staring at an obstacle and contemplating a solution can be overwhelming. I have to break it down into doable chunks and tackle a little at a time. Nibble on it, don’t try to bite off the entire thing at once. What needs to happen first? What is a first step? Who do you need to enlist the advice or help?
Create a Plan/Schedule: Allow time to work for you. If you are like me (Lisa), you want instant progress and results. I must realize that the harder the obstacle, the more time it will probably take to deal with and overcome. Set some short-term goals for solutions and keep track of the progress (it is a good motivator to keep focused and keep going).
Engage Your Creativity: This can be a great time to engage your creativity and tap into God’s resources! We all have some creative juices (we are a child of the Creator) and obstacles give us the opportunity to let them flow. Sometimes an imposed deadline or lack of resources, time, and funds forces us to think differently and kick into a creative gear and as a result, amazing solutions emerge!
Pray! This seems obvious, but can often be minimized or put on hold. Prayer allows our hearts to soften and takes off the emotionally charged tension that is often evoked as a result of an obstacle. It diffuses frustration and anger and allows us to see more clearly what God is trying to show and teach us through the obstacle (even though we want to resist!). When our hearts are in the right place with God He has our undivided attention and it allows Him to help us deal with the issues and provide the creativity towards solutions!
The same Jesus Who turned water into wine can transform your home, your life, your family, and your future. He is still in the miracle-working business, and His business is the business of transformation. Adrian Rogers
You don’t have control over any thing in this world except for your choices.
- Do you have an obstacle staring you in the face right now? If so, what?
- How do you need to respond or change your response?
- What can your next step be?
Patty Wyatt and Lisa Jernigan