Unbearable Obstacles

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

If you are familiar with this movie, Here Comes The Boom, you know that Kevin James’ character is a school teacher that decides to prize-fight to keep the arts/music program in the school where he teaches. In this scene we see that Kevin James’ character is being pushed to his physical limits.

In life, there are times when we are pushed to our physical limits and are faced of what we think are unbearable obstacles. Within these moments we hear, “follow my voice, you can’t give up”.  Then there are other voices telling us that enough is enough and to give up. We are pushed to the point that life becomes blurry.

life blurry

It is in that blurred moment where we have two choices. We can follow The Voice ( God) and take a moment to sit down and allow him to help us continue. Or, we can listen to all the other voices of the world and Satan tell us it is no use and at to just give up and throw the towel in the ring.

Kevin James Here Comes The Boom

It is in the most unbearable obstacles where we can be someone else’s inspiration. Just as Henry Winkler’s character pointed out how Kevin’s character had already been an inspiration to the students. He saw an obstacle and he was determined to remove that obstacle. He was determined that the sound of music from the orchestra room would still fill the halls. Thus, teaching the students there is nothing in life too hard to fight for that is worth fighting for.

There have been moments in my life time where I have sat on the sidelines and watched someone go through what seems to be an unbearable obstacle. It is in my observation that I stand amazed of how they kept going. They live life as nothing wrong is going down. Yet, they continue to take punch after punch.  They seek the voice that says; “follow my voice.” In other words, they keep their eye  on the prize, Christ Jesus. These people have inspired and taught me to stay focused in my times of unbearable obstacles.

signs of obstacles

Personally, the above video clip speaks to me. In the last couple of months, life has handed some things to me that I viewed as unbearable obstacles. I won’t mention the nature of these obstacles. Yet,  I will say that as punch after punch took place, I heard that still quiet voice within me telling me to follow His voice. It is sitting down at His feet to rest in the midst of the fight where He shows me the blessings that have already taken place. He assures me that no matter the outcome He will still be with me.

prize fighter

In between the rounds of a fight/boxing match, the fighter goes to his/her corner. As they sit on the stool to allow their team to take care of them, a towel or blanket of some sort is placed over them until the bell rings for the next round to start. A couple of weeks ago something similar happened to me.

 I went to my small group for the first time in several weeks.  There was no denying that I had come battle worn and life was getting a little blurry.  For me, this was my corner that I went to and go to when I need to catch my breath in between the punches life has and/or throws at me and to gain my focus back on the true prize, Christ Jesus.

prayer holy spirit

 On this particular morning as the meeting came to a close, my small group friends surrounded me and draped a prayer shawl around my shoulders. They knew I was battle worn and yet when I left there were still going to be rounds I had to face. As they draped this shawl around me, they began to lay hands on me and prayed for me and my family. It was a sacred moment and I did not just feel their hands around me but I felt one hundred times more than what were actually there. It is without a doubt the Holy Spirit and all of God’s angels were surrounding me at that moment. It was in that moment that the unbearable obstacles became bearable. And, just as Kevin James does in the movie, I got back up and re-entered the ring to continue the fight.

There are many of you right now facing unbearable obstacles. Some may be dealing with a family with a terminal illness such as cancer, some it may be caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, loss of job or it may be a troubled relationship. No matter what the situation is at the moment, know that it does not have to be an unbearable obstacle.  Instead, use these moments to sit at the feet of Jesus when you need renewal, allow the Holy Spirit to drape around you and fill you up with what you need. Make the choice to follow The Voice and block out the voices of the world that are telling you to give up and it’s no use. It is in doing this that your unbearable obstacles  become bearable. 

Last but not least, know it is in following the voice of Jesus Christ and keeping our eye on the prize that we become an inspiration to others.

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Don’t Give Up! Finish The Race!

Finish Line

Image by deltaMike via Flickr

On October 10, 2010, our son Drew, ran the Chicago Marathon. Though Drew has been running track, cross country and road races ever since he was in seventh  grade, this was his first marathon.  His dad and I were excited and worried at the same time of him taking on this endeavor.   Jim and I were not able to be up there physically to see him run but we were there every mile of the way in spirit.  We received a report on how he was doing mid-way through the race and then we got word when he had completed it.   Drew was in pain but he had finished!  He completed another goal on his ‘bucket list’ of things to do in life.

Each of us runs a race 24/7. This race is called life.  Though we don’t physically see our heavenly father cheering us on,  He is there always in spirit to cheer us on, pick us up when we fall and encouraging us as we run each mile on our journey.  The most wonderful thing about running the race called life is that when we reach our finish line, He will be there to give us a high five and the angels will be there giving us a standing ovation.  Incredieble to think about isn’t it?

The most beautiful way to demonstrate what I am trying to share today is through the video below. It is from the 1992 Olympics when Derek Redmond encountered  a hamstring tear just before reaching the finish line. As you watch this video, remember that when you ask Jesus Christ into your heart,  He is going to be there to cheer you on,  and to help you up when you fall  on the course of life. When you don’t think you can quite make it to the finish line, Jesus will be there  assisting your every step to the finish line.  Watch the video and you will see in the words of Paul Harvey, the rest of the story………….

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus had given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

 Acts 20:24 NIV

PS Did you notice on Derek’s dad’s hat that it had the Nike slogan ‘Just Do it’? Why don’t you ‘Just Do It’ and ask Christ into your heart if you haven’t already.