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Directionally Challenged

by Sherri Ward  
7/22/2008 / Devotionals

As I sat down to lunch the other day I happened to notice a bug. It was on the inside of the half-open outer screen door. The glass door was closed, and so I was content to watch the bug without the fear it might come inside.

As I watched, it became apparent that the bug was a bit directionally challenged. Of course, the bug was trying to find its way off the screen to the wide-open spaces beyond. The problem it was having was that every time it came to the frame of the open screen, it would turn around and go in another direction. I could see plainly the screen frame was only about an inch in depth, so all the bug had to do was take a short flying leap over it or crawl over it, either way. The bug, however, evidently believed it to be an insurmountable wall. Over and over again, I watched as it came to the "wall" and turned away to try yet another direction. Because it was only a bug I wondered if it would ever realize the only way off the screen was over the wall.

It occurred to me that we Christians are sometimes like that. We pursue every direction but 'over' when we reach an obstacle. When we encounter a difficult circumstance we perceive it to be an insurmountable wall and go in all sorts of directions to try to get around it, not realizing there is no way around.

I believe God allows us to experience difficulties in part because He wants us to learn to get through them with His help. He wants us to "accomplish" the obstacle, not be turned back by it. He promises to be our help, but we have to first recognize there is no "around" to an obstacle placed or allowed by Him. Only He can see the way over and through, but He promises to be our guide when we place our trust in Him.

2 Samuel 22:30 "For by You I can run upon a troop;
By my God I can leap over a wall.

Psalm 18:29 For by You I can run upon a troop;
And by my God I can leap over a wall.

You might be wondering what ever happened to that bug whether it ever did find its way over the screen wall or not. After fifteen minutes or so of watching its futile efforts, I gave up on it and turned to the task of clearing the dishes from the table. After all, it wasn't my problem, and, fascinating as it was, I did have things I needed to do.

A few moments later I looked back at the screen in curiosity only to find the bug gone. And therein, I discovered another insight. Often we focus on problems, whether ours or someone else's, but our focusing on them does nothing to fix them. If we would just give the problems to God, I believe we would often look again later only to find that God has fully resolved them, and that without our help.

1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

[All Scriptures NASB]

Sherri Ward, wife, mother of three grown sons, grandmother to twin girls. Freelance author.
copyright 2008, Sherri Ward

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