“We want to endure, but . . . we begin to grow impatient. At some point we think, What’s the point? . . . Too much work. Too much rubble. Maybe it’s just time to give up. What are we supposed to do when the obstacles add up, we grow tired, and all we can see is uncleared rubble?”- Kyle Idleman (emphasis author’s)
As Kyle Idleman concludes Chapter 8 of Don’t Give Up, he discusses the fourth basic obstacle we all face.
4. The Obstacle of Slow Progress. Like the people working under Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, it’s easy to get discouraged when progress is slow. Because we thought the process would move along a little quicker. That people would show more interest. We feel our strength giving out.
So, when all we can see is uncleared rubble, Pastor Idleman offers a few ways to change our vision:
- Embrace the obstacles. Rather than choosing to step away, back down, or pretend something’s easy when it’s difficult, Nehemiah faces his obstacles head-on. He’s honest with himself and others about the state of the crisis. In addition, he expresses confidence in God and doesn’t avoid the problem. Kyle adds, “Procrastination is often just a way of not giving up all at once. It takes courage to identify and honestly assess the situation. To embrace the obstacles.”
- Persevere in prayer. Whenever Nehemiah faces an obstacle, he prays. First, he reminds himself of who God is. Second, he reminds himself what God’s done for His people. Lastly, Nehemiah finds confidence as, in prayer, he remembers the promises God has made.
- Just keep building. When the opposition’s threats grew more serious, Nehemiah just kept building. And workers carried building materials in one hand and weapons in the other. If at all possible, Kyle counsels, keep doing what God’s called you to do.
Finally, Kyle notes, the point at which you’re most ready to quit likely indicates the turning point in your rebuilding effort. You’re so close to breaking through. The author concludes:
“All obstacles seem epic; we might have expected decades of work. But sometimes when we look back, we realize we didn’t have far to go. The real obstacle was how we saw it.”
Today’s question: What uncleared rubble blocks your vision? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The cumulative effect – one step at a time”