Obstacles Build Character
My daughter was in a children’s play Saturday. She was a munchkin. Anyway there is a scene in the play where the wicked witch is trying to get the slippers off of Dorothy’s feet. She is grunting as she tries and tries. During this time, the characters are standing around (not helping lol) and the “Good” witch, Glenda, says – “Hold tight, Dorothy!” That’s it- that was all she said and did. Glenda’s not (nor anyone else for that matter) pushing the evil witch out of the way or stepping in her face or anything. She just simply reminded her, “Hold tight.” I think in many ways that is kinda like God. He’s not battling obstacles and jumping in making all the decisions for me when times are tough like maybe I’d like (and that’s probably what my spouse thinks I do with the kids since he sometimes refers to me as a ‘helicopter mom’) haha- no.
So on THURSDAY last week, we heard and talked about a devotional from Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby called “Looking to God.” In one of the points Mr. Blackaby makes he says, “God’s goal is character. He will conform you until you increasingly look like Him.” Hmmm. So how are we ‘conformed’? Well one way is through obstacles. Things that happen in life that if it was up to us to plan things out- we wouldn’t think to write that in our schedule. Why? Probably because I’d like to think I don’t need that extra emphasis. I’m pretty intelligent. I can get it. Well, I SAY that and I KNOW what’s right yet… when things happen sometimes I can get derailed and pretty quickly too. Case in point, right before our meeting last week God showed me how easily I can get off track and off focus on Him. No one is immune. I am so thankful for ways out that we can choose to help us get clarity and encouragement. For me, this week that ‘way out‘ of the anxiousness, indecision, insecurity, and doubt that appeared and blew up out of nowhere came through a Godly friend in Christ that I sought out for advice. Thank you God that you don’t leave us here completely alone. There are many, many resources all around us as well as your people who have the Holy Spirit at work within them. I am reminded that you are always here with us and that you are always at work all around us.
How has God gotten your attention lately?
In the Wizard of Oz, at the end, Glenda says she didn’t tell Dorothy what she had to do to return home (simply click her heels and say the magic words) because she wouldn’t have learned the lessons she learned along the way. Those obstacles and the folks she came across with all their problems helped her (and them) learn a variety of important lessons. God doesn’t give us a blueprint or a script for our everyday trials and tribulations since no one is immune from these things. (I WISH IT WERE THAT EASY SOMETIMES THOUGH!!) But God does, through His Word (and the Holy Spirit), lead and direct us to what we are to do and be and what is important. It seems I DO need these obstacles, even thought I thought I was was ‘good’ without them. Remember His ways are not our ways nor are His thoughts our thoughts… His words do not return empty and His purposes will be fulfilled. (Paraphrase of Isaiah 55:6-11).
This is the cast taking their final bow after Dorothy and her friends successfully overcome their obstacles. I should take a bow too after fijangling with and posting my first .gif!!! Go ME!
P.S. This article talks about trials and tribulations in an easy to understand way… https://www.gotquestions.org/trials-tribulations.html And God’s Word is available through this great resource- YouVersion. This is one of many free resources but it’s available in many different formats (video, audio, text, photos…) accessible in different ways (desktop, Apple, Android, web…). It is a tool that has been helpful for several people I know to get back on track and back into a the rhythm of building a relationship with Him. Check it out!
Yup- we are still meeting, but this opportunity won’t last forever folks! We end mid-August; I hope you will plan to participate when you can this summer on Thursdays at 9:30-11:30 at 4951 Mount Sinai Road Prince George, VA 23875. Thanks!