What is the first word that pops in to your head when you hear the word “obstacle”?

If you asked seven year-old me this question, the answer would be, “course.” The Obstacle Course. The neighborhood kiddos and myself enjoyed inflicting pain upon ourselves if it meant we got to have fun. One of the easiest ways to do that was to race to the park and invent the most outrageous obstacle courses ever.  I loved running to the park with the rest of the rowdy children on my street. After sprinting across the dangerous road, we reached the infamous, “Jarod Park.” Ladies and gentlemen, that was THE place to be. It was nothing more than a slide and some monkey bars to the naked eye, but to a handful of seven year-olds, it was Disney World. Our parents saw billions of infections while we saw trillions of opportunities to go crazy. The leader of the pack would demonstrate the elaborate obstacle course each child would soon attempt. The person who completed it the fastest would get to create the next obstacle course. It would go on for about fifteen minutes, or until someone started a new game. At that time, I thought that was the hardest thing people had to face. The Obstacle Course (dun dun dun) created by yours truly, complete with a head first pursuit down the slide, and a one footed hop to the other side of the park.  (Creative, right?) Well, uncoordinated me thought this was the hardest thing ever. Long story short, I couldn’t even finish my own obstacle course.

Isn’t it amazing what we find challenging in life? I mean come on, I live in a town where the hardest thing for us is figuring out what outfit we want to wear to school. Many don’t have that luxury. We define THAT as an obstacle. My point is, we need to begin looking at our “problems” from an outside perspective. When I start to think my life is hard, I step back and think of what people who are very close to me are going through. My former babysitter, and role model is battling Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme, which is a serious form of brain cancer. Not only is she dealing with this, but in 2008, she was diagnosed with Leukemia. After three years of remission she discovered terrible headaches, and was diagnosed with brain cancer. That is HARD. It is incredibly difficult for me to think or talk about, because she has such an impact on my life. How could this happen to her? Which brings me to this common question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

Honestly, I have no idea. It keeps me up at night. I question God and His plan every single day.

But somewhere deep inside, I find trust. It is incredibly difficult to understand why He puts these bad things into our lives, and to keep trusting Him when he does. But we also have to understand that He does nothing without a purpose.

Everything happens for a reason. 

Try. Try everyday to keep faith in the obstacles thrown at you. Try to remember He has a plan. And thank Him. Be thankful for what you have and how minuscule your obstacles can be. Put faith in who you cannot see. Make that your biggest obstacle.






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