Overcoming obstacles is not something I typically set out to do. I am not by nature a risk taker, so my unlikely encounter with a barracuda was not what I expected on my Bahamian vacation.
After sunbathing on the front of our tour boat, my friends and I decided to jump into the crystal clear, blue-green water. Swimming and snorkeling among the fish and coral in the Caribbean Sea, I was in awe of the colorful, surreal surroundings and sunlight gleaming through the surface.
Suddenly one of my friends began to scream, “barracuda, barracuda”!
Overcoming Obstacles can Consume our Focus
At that moment the atmosphere completely changed, and I underestimated what could be causing the disruption. As I peered through my goggles, it quickly became clear. A large barracuda with protruding, sharp teeth swam three feet in front of me.
I instantly lost sight of the wonder around me as I tried to decide how to overcome the obstacle before me.
My emotions jumped into high gear. I suddenly felt completely alone and began to swim away. Our experienced tour guide quickly pulled me back into the boat and thrust his spear into the fish.
In disbelief, we all watched the calmness and efficiency the guide demonstrated eliminating something that seemed so threatening moments before.
Barracuda’s can be frightening, but usually don’t cross our paths, however, we are guaranteed to face our own obstacles or problems that disrupt our life and impede our ability to abide in Christ.
Obstacles take on many forms and can include fear, chronic illness, toxic relationships, social media, big decisions, family and unmet expectations. In many situations, we can not swim around our issues, but must learn skills to help us overcome obstacles and not feel defeated.
God is Revealed as we Learn to Overcome our Obstacles
My prayers are often focused on the removal of an obstacle, which is natural. However, I am frequently required to stay in the water and face them head on.
In life we don’t usually have a skilled guide who removes problems for us, although strong community can make a big difference in how we face them.
Overcoming obstacles often requires a reliance on our own courage and strength which is enforced by our relationship with Christ.
When I cling to God and pray for Him to be revealed through a circumstance, I find peace. My faith and trust in God deepen, and I witness what He is doing in me through the obstacle.
We don’t have to go through the obstacle course of life without a connection to God and the comfort He offers. God’s Word is full of wisdom and hope that can help us face obstacles calmly and peacefully with God by our side.
We may not always understand why
We can overcome our emotions and make rational decisions
We can seek wise counsel about our situation and lift the burden of carrying it alone
We can always pray and cry out to God. Our obstacle may not move or change but our courage and faith will grow.
Whatever obstacles you are facing today, remember to look around for a glimmer of light peering through…a hint of hope and God’s love for you.
For further reading on God’s faithfulness:How to Calm Down when stressed
“God is strong, and he wants you strong. So, take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours.” Ephesians 6:12 MSG
“If God hadn’t been there for me, I never would have made it. The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,” your love, God, took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up.” Psalm 94:17-19 MSG
“But God, dear Lord, I only have eyes for you. Since I’ve run for dear life to you, take good care of me.” Psalm 141:8 MSG
For further study on growing while overcoming obstacles: No More Excuses by Tony Evans.
Mary Rooney Armand loves to write about inspiring faith based stories. She focuses on helping others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their personal relationships. Mary lives in New Orleans with her husband Cory and four children. Besides writing, she teaches Bible Studies and leads small groups. In 2020 she developed ButterflyLiving and a Bible Study titled “Identity” which is available on Amazon. To learn more visit maryarmand.com.