Obstacles – Overcoming

1 Kings 20:26-27, At the turn of the year, Ben-hadad mustered the Arameans and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel. The sons of Israel were mustered and were provisioned and went to meet them; and the sons of Israel camped before them like two little flocks of goats, but the Arameans filled the country.

Acts 4:13, Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.

Overcoming Obstacles

Calvin Peete leaped a number of obstacles to become a pro golfer: he was black, he had only an eighth-grade education, he didn’t swing a club until he was twenty-three, and he had a crooked arm that limited distance when he swung. No matter. He won anyway, finishing ten times in the PGA’s top ten.

The late Wilma Rudolph had an obstacle so basic to a runner she shouldn’t have been able to run: as a child she had contracted chronic pneumonia, scarlet fever, and polio. She wore braces until she was ten years old. No matter. In the 1960 Olympiad she won gold medals in the one hundred- and two hundred-meter races and in the four hundred-meter relay.

Booker T. Washington stated it well: “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position one has reached in life as by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed.” Indeed, some people face life laden with as many chains as Marley’s ghost, but their achievements belie their difficulties. That is why we cannot judge a person’s achievements purely on evident progress or success. Some may be only at the starting position when others are five miles into the race. More is expected of a person who as the advantage of “starting ahead” in life or from those especially gifted. Those who continue in the race, despite shortcomings, may not place as highly, but the effort to compete compensates for their lesser showing.

Courtesy of Speaker’s Sourcebook of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley copyright © 1995 by Word, Incorporated. Used by permission.
*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Applicable Quotations

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens. Circumstances and situations do color life, but you have been given the mind to choose what the color shall be. – Miller

Each one of us should do something every day that we do not want to do but know we should do, to strengthen our backbone and put iron in our soul. – Crane

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them. – Shaw

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. – Chinese Proverb

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of intercessory prayer, encouragement and exhortation of the Word of God and author of the ministry blog, For The Love of God. I live in Delta, Colorado with my beautiful wife of 49+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom we affectionately call Bella.
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