“It’s the mountains we overcome that make us who we are! The inclination is to curse the mountains in our path or try to avoid them altogether, but we don’t know enough at this point to recognize whether the obstacle is a blessing or a curse. . . . Don’t be too quick to curse the challenges you face because God may be preparing you for something bigger, something better!”- Mark Batterson
Mark Batterson moves on in Chapter 7 of Double Blessing as he describes three lessons he’s learned about opposition.
1. You cannot please all the people all the time. According to the diffusion-of-innovation theory, 16 percent of every human bell curve consists of resisters. So, even if you’re Moses coming down from Mount Sinai with stone tablets inscribed by God’s finger, 16 percent of the people refuse to buy what you’re selling. Thus, Pastor Batterson wryly observes, “such is life and leadership.”
2. The blessings of God don’t always seem like blessings at the beginning. At some point in life, Mark asserts, we’ll thank God for the prayers He didn’t answer as much as the prayers He answered. Because, with the limits of our human knowledge, we ask for things that short-circuit God’s plans and purposes. In the end, we’ll view the challenges we faced as blessings in disguise.
3. Opposition can have a refining effect on vision. Don’t summarily dismiss criticism. Instead, Mark counsels, listen to those criticisms. Right or wrong, they may reveal red flags. And go on offense as you answer you critics authentically. Above all, Pastor Batterson states, don’t pretend you possess all the answers!
Finally, in AD 170 Marcus Aurelius, the last of the Five Good Emperors, wrote these immortal words: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
In other words, the obstacle = the way. Through adversity, God increases your capacity. Furthermore, properly managed stress becomes a catalyst for growth. As a result, it’s possible for stressed and blessed to coexist.
Today’s question: How do the mountains we overcome make us who we are? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Unscalable mountains – go through them”