Overcoming Obstacles

March 11, 2013

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Six weeks ago I fractured my elbow.

Yesterday I rode in the largest timed bike event in the world with 35,000 riders. The Cape Argus is a 110km/68 mile bicycle course from Cape Town to the southern most point of Africa, Cape Point. Along the way you ride past both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, circling Table Mountain. It is incredibly beautiful.

When I fell six weeks ago, I thought I would miss out on one of my favorite things to do. Shortly after falling and finding myself needing help at every turn, I would have put my chances at competing at about 1 percent.

Something in me did not want to give up. I told my wife and she gave me one of those “looks”that said, “we will see..”

I was out of the sling in two weeks, but the arm was extremely weak and very tender. Two more weeks of traveling and teaching did little for my training and fitness, but did see the arm strengthened.

Overcoming these obstacles makes competing this year so much sweeter. My expectation of my time was low, so when we did much better than expected, it was all the sweeter.

A bike race is a very small challenge.

Liberals

By:  Kyknoord

It has made me wonder how often we fold in the face of challenge, never seeing dreams through to completion

As I consider the last few generations, I often have a fear. I wonder if we will have what it takes to pioneer new works and ministries.

That may sound harsh, but let me explain.

I have observed a blending of modern culture with our Christianity, especially in the Western world. This culture has decided that comfort is a high value and ease is a sign of success. In the West, people complain about microwaves being too slow or drive-throughs taking too long. Suffering is now defined as having a long wait in a restaurant.

I see believers who receive an idea or a dream from God.

They immediately begin to find ways to make that dream a reality. Then a difficulty comes. Perhaps the results are slow to come. In the past, the ministry pioneers would endure and press in to see the dream accomplished. Today we assume it means God is no longer involved and so we move on to a new revelation from God.

We have allowed the culture of ease and comfort to determine the will of God for us. In this same way we have caved to the pressure from culture which tells us we must become spiritual superheroes. This same culture influences our view on endurance.

Will we pioneer any new things that can stand the test of time and difficulties?

The same is true in our Christian walks. God never promised it would be easy. Salvation often requires great sacrifice and cannot be interpreted through the grid of comfort. Success comes not when trials are removed, but when they are walked through.

Perhaps we need to change our worldview. Sometimes, difficulty in a vision being fulfilled may mean something different. Instead of quitting, perhaps we should be encouraged to endure. Instead of believing this tells us we are in the wrong place, it may actually tell us we are exactly where we should be.

I am so glad I endured and rode the Cape Argus. But much more that a silly bike race, I want my life to be marked by endurance and overcoming obstacles.

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God