Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Life: It's An Obstacle Course

It's an obstacle course. 

We can remind ourselves that life is full of obstacles and there will be many hurdles to overcome. We must remind ourselves of this so as not to become discouraged.

I discovered the show Ninja Warrior a couple years ago and I have become transfixed by this show. It originally aired in Japan in 1997 and then began airing in the states in 2007. It consists of four stages in which competitors compete and attempt to overcome many hurdles in an obstacle course.

There are water hurdles, hurdles of height, hurdles of agility...  all hurdles that must be met with endurance.  Just like in life we have obstacles we can power through despite the fatigue and stress that threatens to overcome us.  How often are we tempted to just resign in our weakest moments? We pray for strength and we are thankfully fueled with more strength by God and are able to continue in life despite the hardships and trials... God is using these to discipline us because His job and ultimate goal in discipline toward us is holiness.

Often when we suffer through hardships we are merely being disciplined. We are not being condemned. We can remind ourselves that God is teaching us, correcting us, so that we do not repeat the sins we've already committed or to prevent us from future sin. We are being taught to become more humble, to become less selfish, to become more loving, to become more empathetic and understanding... in essence we are growing.

So when we face a new obstacle we can say to God:

"Okay.... I know you haven't turned your back on me. I know you haven't forsaken me. I know you love me. Now I am asking.... please show me why I am facing this obstacle... please show me what you are trying to teach me, Lord. Because I know no matter how painful or aggravating it may be... it's for my greater good and you will be there through it all."

It's easy when we become overwhelmed by obstacles to just sink into the water and moan:

"Oh, my God.... I can't do this.... I can't get through it... please, please make it stop!" 

Or to respond in anger and lash out:

"God, I'm not doing this! It's not fair! Fix it RIGHT NOW!" 

But the problem with those two reactions (even though we may all have been guilty of either of those... or both, eek!) is that be assured...  we will have to face the obstacle again at a later date. God wants us to lean on Him and not sink into the depths of despair or fury when we face trials and hardships.

God wants to mold 
us into agility that
 adapts and ultimately
 conforms to Him. 

We can remind ourselves that God loves us enough to want to discipline us when needed and help us through the obstacles in life. The discipline He gives us comes from a positive place... love. He wants to not only help us through our obstacles, but He is cheering us on, giving us encouragement and strength to power through. In the end... 

God will be there at the finish line
 ready to celebrate with you in 
joyous victory. 

I have said these things to you, 
that in me you may have peace. 
In the world you will have tribulation.
 But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 

- John 16:33 (ESV)

© ~ 2013

Thank you for reading! 

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