Small Obstructions

1 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2 CSB)

Boy, what a morning! Those of you who know me understand my obsession with routine. My day always goes better when it is guided by structure. But, not every day has that kind of flow.

This morning, things were moving along nicely and I was getting ready to put on my shirt when I realized that I had forgotten to shave. Back to the bathroom I went to take care of the matter. I returned to the bedroom to put on my pullover shirt and found the process to be burdensome. My head got stuck in the neck of the shirt because I had forgotten to take the shirt off of the hanger! My first thought was to just pull harder and poke my head through whatever clearing was available. No such luck. I just kept getting more entangled as I struggled with the offending obstruction. Even as I sit in my office writing this, I can’t seem to get that hanger unstuck from my right ear! (Just kidding!)

My morning incident reminded me that SMALL obstructions
can cause BIG blockages!

The writer of Hebrews mentions how easy it is to get ensnared in sin that impedes our forward progress. Some translations refer to these obstructions as besetting sins.

Basically, a besetting sin is one that we constantly struggle with and toward which we are naturally inclined.

(Click here to learn more about besetting sins.)

The obvious solution to getting untangled is to remove the obstruction. I backed my arms and head out of the shirt, and removed the hanger from the shirt. The removal of the obstruction created a clear path to the desired goal of getting fully dressed.

      Consider these action steps to moving past an obstruction:

      Remember you are not alone. A large cloud of witnesses is surrounding us. You’re not the first to experience obstructions and you won’t be the last.

      Life is not a sprint–it’s a marathon. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us.

      Jesus will help you! Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.

      PRAYER: Father, I recognize that the atmosphere of a day can change very quickly. Little foxes can cause great damage. Help me to stay focused on the long road; to make the small adjustments that are necessary to move past the obstacles that life throws at me. Help me to grasp the reality that I am not alone. Many others have experienced similar challenges. They survived and so will I. Your help will be sufficient to bring me through and assist me in my battle to remove besetting sins; the obstacles that would temporarily stand in my way. Victory is mine as I focus upon you. Amen.

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