So yesterday I showed you what hindrances look like to me.
They look like big old obstacles that come out of nowhere and get in my way. They impede my progress and they interrupt what I think are God’s best plans for me.
And if I can just get around this one, then maybe I can get on with life. Real life.
But no. There is always another one. And another.
And so, real life…or what I think and imagine real life should look life…evades me continually.
But what I am learning in the study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians from Beth Moore (Children of the Day) is that the hindrance is not the thing that’s stopping me.
You really need to do the whole study, but glean from what I am learning…
It’s not the HINDRANCE….but the HINDERING in the HINDRANCE….that is my problem. For me, the “hindrance” is usually something painful, or frustrating, or inconvenient that brews a storm around the sailboat of my life.
Because I am going to be HINDERED. I need to expect this. I have been warned….
As the study points out from Scripture:
1 Thessalonians 3:3 (NKJV) ….that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves KNOW THAT WE ARE APPOINTED TO THIS.
1 Peter 4:12 (NKJV)….do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you…
I realize that somehow I feel like every set back, every delay, ever inconvenience is to be equated with failure on my part.
Please don’t ask me what psychosis of upbringing or wiring or cultural influence brought me to this place.
But the fact is that every day of my life, I expect things to go smoothly and am sorely disappointed shortly into the day.
Not just disappointed, completely sidelined and undone.
And here’s the deal….When it comes to travel, I live in the Midwest in the heart of the Ag industry.
Grain trucks, farm equipment and trains are going to happen. Every single day. In fact, the days that I DON’T encounter these are few and far between. These are givens in this area of the country.
And in the same way, Christ has already warned me about the road of life.
Surrendering myself to Him every morning, seeking to follow His ways in this world, attempting to mirror His image and be light and salt….are magnets of mayhem.
I am going to run counter to the culture, the forces that work against His Kingdom and the flesh in me that still tries to take back territory purchased by His Blood. Add to this the ups and downs that are just part of living in this fallen world…
And that means hindrances. Hindrances like pain, frustration, alienation, misunderstandings, sorrow, delays, and yes, persecution.
But I don’t have to be hindered by these. Best part of the teaching…I don’t do this alone. I can take the hindrance, whatever it is, and what they bring out in me to the One who made me. He knows already how these things can throw me off.
I am learning this week to ask God to remove the hindering, instead of removing the hindrance. This probably makes better sense if you are doing the study – but read that line a couple of times and hopefully it will make sense!!
I can pray and ask God that the pain….or the inconvenience….or the frustration…or the waiting…or whatever is blocking my plan to NOT hinder me from doing HIs work in a new way.
How about you? Am I alone in this or do you struggle with getting thrown off when things go wrong? Please know that as I type this, I am lifting up anyone who might be nodding “yes” and asking God to help YOU too!
He is able!!
God bless you as you grow in His Word each day!