March 26, 2017

How Barriers can Protect us Rather than Block Us

None of us like to be stopped from accomplishing our desires. We want healing, promotion, better relationships, and so forth; we want them now. Yet, we can still be consoled by these facts:

  • There’s usually a purpose when things don’t happen in our time and way.
  • Most trials are temporary.

We’re bound to run up against roadblocks many times. Some of them will be little pebbles, and some of them will be huge boulders. Since challenges are a part of life, here are some positive ways to look at them:

Barriers are eventually moved out of our way.

This friend had a supervisor who was continually watchful and critical. She felt pressed down and unappreciated. Recently, Janet was transferred to another building in the same company. She feels relieved.
As is common, I have also worked with several disapproving people. In time, either the co-worker left, or I was able to move on.
We’re stopped for our own good.

The Physical Barrier
A young man walked onto a beach. He planned to surf. He noticed a group of young men standing around on the shore with surfboards. The surfers were agitated, and they were gesturing towards the ocean.
When the newcomer asked what the problem was, the young men pointed to a barrier a ways off in the water. It was keeping the big waves from coming all the way to shore. The reason for the barricade was a mystery. All they knew was that it seemed to be blocking their fun.
These were hard-core athletes. They had travelled far to ride the big waves, not the small ones. Surely, precious time and money had been wasted.
Another man came up to the group. He inquired about the cause of their agitation. When the young men explained the predicament, he silently passed a pair of binoculars around the circle of friends.
Now, each person could see sharks swimming just beyond the barrier. The barricade they thought was holding them back was actually saving them from injury—or even death.
The Store
When I was first married, my husband owned a small store. I also worked there. We were comfortable in our positions. Neither of us appreciates change of any kind. We ignored many warning signs that the business would not last. Finally, it came to the point where we were forced to sell the store. It was only losing money.
We were blocked from continuing to run that business, but we went on to bigger and better opportunities. We have had less stress through the years, since my husband has moved on from being a struggling entrepreneur.
 I’m not preaching against becoming a small business owner. Everyone must make their own choices. I’m just saying that my husband was supposed to move on.
My Conclusion

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal for which God has called me heavenward in Christ. Jesus.”—Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

If you think like me, you dwell on the past. You feel you’ve been stopped from doing what you want. You may even consider that you’ve missed your destiny because of the many obstacles you’ve faced.

On the other hand, we can all clear up our vision. We can focus on moving forward instead of living backward.

It’s important to realize that the purpose of obstacles is not always to annoy us and stop us forever. Sometimes, they protect us. Often, they are temporary.

Please see more on overcoming barriers in my book. Click here: Accept no Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds.

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 How are you progressing despite “barriers”?

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