Saturday, May 16, 2015

Fall 2012 Obstacles

It seems there have been many obstacles in my life. I forget about them generally. Sometimes I think I haven't got a care in the world. Then the pain hits and I think "Oh yeah, that thing." Or someone reminds me about the past hardships in my life. Oh yeah. That stuff. I was gifted with a very optimistic spirit, I think. The kind of person who rounds the corner, screams when she sees a monster, then merrily runs around the next corner thinking that perhaps something marvelous might be waiting!

But I was reading and doing a bible study this week and something struck me. I am charged with not being an obstacle to anyone else. Me? Am I an obstacle? You bet I am. I've been an obstacle to many, I'm sure, throughout my life. The times when I was hard and cold, when I was superior, when I let hurt feelings get in the way of listening.

And now God has put me here, living with my mom again at age 40 with my husband and children, sick and hurting, homeless, somewhere I certainly did not want to be at this point in my life. And God is telling me not to be an obstacle. To let bygones be gone, to truly forgive, to walk away from hurtful behavior but not away from the person. To let hurtful remarks slip by unremarked upon. To be an example of selflessness for my children, husband and mother. I am to stand aside from myself and let Christ work.

Wow. Am I strong enough? A better question is can I be weak enough, I suppose. And I am doing it - very imperfectly, but it is happening. God used all those hardships in my life to heal parts of me. Things that broke me can begin to be healed through me. Or at least through God in me! I am more aware every day of how miserably broken I am - how able I am to hurt others. And every new awareness brings a new awareness of Christ - what He has done, what He is enabling me to do. And I take a deep breath, cling to Him with my continuous prayer, and walk forward in my new life - learning not to be obstacle.

1 Corinthians 8:7-13
However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

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