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Responses to Unseen Obstacles

Have you ever had a significant task at hand, but you suddenly hit an obstacle? Try as you might, you just couldn’t seem to make any progress. It seemed the ability to obtain the needed outcome was temporarily beyond your control.

When that happens, there’s a choice to be made. A choice regarding response. In frustration, someone can either become angry, or look to the Lord for patience, while doing those things that can be done until the breakthrough comes.

Balaam comes to mind.

When Balaam couldn’t control his donkey, he got angry and struck it (Nu 22:26). What he couldn’t see was the divinely appointed “obstacle” keeping him from going against the will of God. God first opened the donkey’s mouth (Nu 22:26), then He opened Balaam’s eyes (Nu 22:31). Balaam’s response? “He bowed and fell on his face.”

Of course, there is a whole lot more to this biblical account. And there is a wide chasm of difference in circumstances. But the one point that does strike me is the sovereign hand of God.

We don’t always “see” the ways and will of God. And we don’t always have answers to the obstacles we face. But we do have a choice in how we respond to them. And, when we blow it, we can also do as Balaam. He confessed the error of his ways (Nu 22:34). And, in the end (after much drama and seven messages later), God’s will to bless His people through Balaam was done.

I have learned: when progress has stalled, and time is on your hands, weigh your response. Use the lull to calm yourself before the Lord to seek His will. It’s a better response than lashing out in anger . . . and offending God in the process.

Weigh responses when stubborn obstacles present themselves—for an unseen blessing from the Lord might be the delay.

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