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Obstacles in Our Way

It's bound to happen. You are on the road of life when a tree falls across, blocking your path. It’s inevitable. We are walking through life and, out of nowhere, bam. Life’s obstacle. It inhibits us, discourages us and we come to the realization that the path of life is not as easy to travel as we expected. We get together with others and discuss what to do. Life is harder than we'd hoped. Don’t we wish we could win the lottery? Life is more unfair than we could have ever imagined. Don’t we wish there were better laws? Even if it is not a single tree striking us, the the road we travel is littered with multiple, mildly irritating imperfections that make us miserable. If trees and litter don’t make it hard to walk, then we only have to look at the international news to see that the world has even worse road conditions than our own.

To walk in faith is to trust who you can’t see, when it is easy to give up based on what you can see.

Our faith is tested as we decide how to walk with the reality that there is terrible obstacle keeping us from moving along the path. We come up with new theological constructs such as (1) I can still walk in faith because it's not God’s fault. Trees happen. (2) I can walk in faith but must change paths. This tree is punishment from God. (3) I can walk in faith but I am gonna take a chainsaw to get through here. (4) I can walk in faith but will cry out "God, if you 'got the whole world in your hands' then why don't you do something??! Move this #@! tree!!"

These are the natural places of challenge for people of faith. Unfortunately, when the tree lands, many often lose faith because they are so mad about the tree. They pick up a chainsaw while resenting God for doing nothing. They live in guilt and shame. Or they walk along and forget about God. Why bother? Faith in God doesn't seem to eliminate the number of setbacks, failures or tragedies that occur.

The parable known as the Wheat and the Tares is one that is great for all who have noticed that world has come apart, the roads are littered, trees have fallen and we find ourselves asking”What should I do?” “Why won't God do something?”

The parable shows us that God’s design was good, but an enemy sowed evil into the fabric of life. God didn’t intend for evil and certainly is not inflicting it as punishment. God, the master in the parable, seems less concerned about the resulting evil because God is in charge. God has a strategy that for us is completely irrational. Wait it out. Don’t rush in with the sickle. Don’t give up either. Wait it out.

As we walk in faith, we learn we must trust that God has already claimed a victory, (that we cannot yet see) when it appears God has lost control (which we can see.) Walk in Faith. Wait in Faith.

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