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Aug4TueViewing Obstacles as Opportunities August 4, 2020 Major Darlene Anderson
An old wooden, broken chair; a rustic window frame; a badly tarnished musical instrument; a run down, old house; a tired, tangled garden of weeds.
What do you see?
Items to be discarded, passed by, or hidden jewels to be restored and given new life? Trash or Treasure? Worthless or Priceless? Obstacle or Opportunity? It all depends on your perspective, your vision.
I was truly looking forward to the year 2020. My thoughts were circling around the idea of great opportunities and renewed vision - 20/20 Vision - and what a great theme it would make in life and in ministry. A perfect vision, a perfect year ahead - at least a girl can dream! What a surprise! The obstacles began in January with my mom passing away. March ushered in an unexpected conversation about a ministry move, followed by an unprecedented global pandemic which has turned the world upside down. Life has never been the same on a number of levels.
I have had eyesight challenges most of my life and I know that vision is measured by your ability to focus. For many of us, our lives, our churches, and our world has been thrown into a tailspin, and it is hard to know where to focus. It takes a concerted effort to not focus on the extreme changes to everyday life, the isolation, the losses, the uncertainty, the health risks, the obstacles that seem overwhelming in terms of the future.
Dr. Ben Carson, a public figure and Christian neurosurgeon, wrote, “To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.” Any person who has ever restored an old, tattered item not only sees what it is but truly focuses on what it can become, and then plans to make it happen! Perhaps this is what perfect, 20/20 vision is: seeing the past and present realities but also focusing on the future and the possible outcomes and opportunities it holds.
Even as I write, churches around the world are discussing and planning a way forward, desiring to forge ahead and help people and God’s Kingdom grow, despite the apparent obstacles. Could these obstacles be opportunities in disguise? As women, we need to open our eyes to the possibilities and opportunities for ministry that God will reveal to us if we seek Him and see Him at work in our homes, communities and churches. To some degree, it may be a way we have never known before. However, we need not fear it as we trust in the One who sees the past, present and future. So let’s be excited, make our plans and trust God for the outcomes! As a matter of fact, the Bible encourages us to do so in Proverbs 16:9 Living Bible (TLB): “We should make plans—counting on God to direct us.”
Yes, we will need to be open to change and our methods may look different, but our mission remains the same! There are valuable things we will be able to preserve. However, there are valuable things we will also need to embrace as God moves us forward. I am convinced that as we journey into the future, the new normal, we will discover outcomes and beautiful things that perhaps we never even thought possible. That’s just the way God works! Trust Him with every detail! I will, as we start a new ministry chapter in Moncton, New Brunswick, this month. Excited, as I choose to focus on what God has in store!