Running into road blocks, road construction, or other unknown obstacles make me irritable. Have you ever considered that God places irritating obstacles in our path for a reason? For instance, I had made plans to finish an outline I was working on by a certain date, but during that week my work load increased exponentially. I was later getting home every day and too tired to do anything besides eat dinner and start getting ready for bed. I felt frustrated that I wasn’t able to reach my goal. That weekend I went to a seminar that changed my approach to the project. The outline I was planning led in the wrong direction.
In Genesis 12, God told Abram to leave his home country to a place unknown to Abram. It was by faith that Abraham walked into the unknown, but he didn’t go alone. God went before him and made a way for him. God already had a plan made out and knew exactly where Abraham needed to be. There were obstacles along the way, but God used them to direct Abraham to the right place at the right time. Abram was probably tempted to stop in several different places along the way, but God used incidents to keep him moving. For example, when they went into Egypt because of the famine, God used a run-in with the pharaoh to push him forward instead of lingering. God even used a multitude of riches and a conflict with Lot to move Abram even further south until he was exactly in the land God had set aside for him. Many of the places he had journeyed through seemed good, but God wanted to give him the best.
When we run into obstacles, often it is because we are headed in the wrong direction or are tempted to settle in a place that is comfortable but short of God’s plan for us. Our plans are not always God’s plans. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” We have to trust that God only wants the best for us, so his plan has to be better. When we quit struggling to make our plans work and follow His leading, we will find joy and contentment that we never dreamed possible.