UV 2237/10000 The Obstacle is The Path
For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.
2 Samuel 22 v 30
One needs the help of God to overcome the many obstacles we face in life. David was helped by God to overcome a lion and a bear as a shepherd, to overcome the mighty Goliath, overcome the envy of his own brothers, overcome the hostility, jealousy and conspiracies of the powerful king of Israel Saul, overcome many enemies among the tribes of Israel and among neighbouring kingdoms and principalities, overcome the guilt of his own sin of adultery and virtual murder of his loyal soldier Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, overcome the wickedness and conspiracies hatched by his own sons to take over his throne. David was often besieged by problems but he was helped by the Lord to overcome each one of these. Any reliance on only his natural strength, ability or wisdom would have certainly seen him defeated and destroyed. After experiencing all of these tough challenges, David was able to compose a song of praise which includes this uni-verse.
In New Testament times, St Paul, formerly Saul also experienced great deliverances from the venom of a deadly snake, from shipwreck, from Roman prison, from violent mobs rearing to lynch him, from kings and rulers wanting to sentence him to a cruel death. Paul wrote after these experiences, “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The Lord takes us through many obstacles and tough experiences so that we are better and not bitter. He gives us the way of escape or He gives us the strength to endure it. He enables us to overcome the strong one, the enemy of our souls as also the agents and servants of the enemy who are sent against us like a troop. God is the force multiplier. He strengthens us so that one of us who believes in Jesus is like a force that can put a thousand spirits to rout and two can send ten thousand scurrying. He acts as our force multiplier. He gives us the saving grace or power to negotiate any obstacle in our lives, by either going around it or going through it or by removing the obstacle. In the case of the ancient Israelites fleeing from slavery in Egypt, the Lord took them through the Red Sea. The Red Sea that so easily parted for the Israelites became the foil and obstacle that overcame the powerful Egyptian army sent to destroy them. Time and again in biblical history, we find that God chooses to intervene when the odds against us are very heavy or impossible, when no natural remedy or physical or intellectual or financial prowess can count. He leaves no doubt that it is His hand that delivers the weak, vulnerable and powerless against the strong and formidable forces of this world.
There are a variety of obstacles that the Lord helps us overcome: spiritual obstacles, people obstacles, situational obstacles, natural obstacles, medical obstacles, intellectual obstacles, emotional obstacles, financial obstacles, military obstacles, social obstacles, cultural obstacles, psychological obstacles. The obstacles in our path becomes the path for us to recognize the reality of God in our lives. The obstacles in our path becomes the path for discovering our faith, our inner strength, the test of our courage, fortitude, determination and hope. The obstacles or crisis becomes the opportunity for us to realize the purpose and meaning of life. Therefore, instead of running away form or resenting obstacles in our lives, we should learn to relish and enjoy the overcoming of it. It is not that we should take extra efforts to place obstacles in our own path but as these arise from time to time, to muster our faith and inner strength, look to the Lord in prayer and march forward with courage and optimism that “ we shall overcome some day.” Despite the outrageous claims of science, modern education and atheists around the world, the reason why faith continues to thrive is that the huge obstacles people face in everyday life makes them turn to the Lord for help to overcome these enormous challenges. Apparently very strong men and women break down like children when they face the reality of their own mortality when the doctor tells them that they have an incurable form of cancer or some other disease. At these critical junctures, when no one else can give them hope, it is the Lord who revives their strength and gives them the faith that they, too can scale this wall and run through the troop that announces death to them.
Prateep V Philip