Satan’s Obstacles, or God’s “No”? Part 2: Obstacles

After yesterday’s “cliff hanger,” I was persuaded to post the continuation of the story earlier than next Friday. I have been mostly consistent (O. C. D.?) about posting once a week, on Friday. But, when I’m doing a story with a lot of details, I don’t want a post to be too long, because some readers will just skip something they don’t have time to read at the moment. At the same time, making y’all wait a week for each installment might lose some of you, too. (Who stays focused on one story that long these days?) So, here’s segment 2, and the final segment just might be posted tomorrow. Or Friday. Maybe Friday I’ll have nothing. And I suspect no one will die because of it. Let me know in the comments what you think.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper … Isaiah 54:17

As I related in my last post ( ), I was conflicted the morning it seemed I would finally make it to the St. Patrick’s Day parade for an outreach I had wanted to do for years. The age-old dilemma of discerning God’s will in the midst of conflicting circumstances reared its head, and I wound up promising the Lord that I would go, no matter how I felt or what complications arose. I prayed that if He truly didn’t want me to go, He would put an obstacle in my path that I could not get around. Otherwise, I would assume they were the enemy’s distractions, or even the Lord’s speedbumps, but not roadblocks.

It seemed someone didn’t want me going, because that morning, besides my emotional misgivings, the following “glitches” came up:

1.). My evangelism partner was lacking the enthusiasm she’d had when we had met before to pray and plan. I was to find out later that she was dealing with some chronic pain issues, and this was a bad day for her. But, God bless her, she had decided, as I had, that there are times we just obey, whether or not it’s comfortable or convenient. We had talked earlier about how the Lord had sent His disciples out two at a time, possibly so that while one was talking, the other could be praying. It looked as though I would be the talker today.

2.) I was asked by my daughter if I would take two of my grandchildren to the parade, and I agreed. When I arrived to pick them up, one of them was still barefoot, cranky, and whiny and didn’t want to go. I ended up getting said child ready and dropped off at our house to “hang out” with “Beepaw.” (So much for getting to the parade early.)

3.) Parking was predictably very difficult – but not impossible.

4.) Before getting out, I leaned over to get something off the floor. The chain holding my glasses caught on the gear shift. A small explosion followed, scattering hundreds of tiny beads all over the inside of the car.

All of these were hardly deal-breakers, just inconveniences. It occurred to me that the more obstacles were thrown my way, the more it could mean the enemy didn’t want me doing this – and the more it must be something important and worthwhile! (Aha!) My mood lifted a bit as I brushed tiny beads off my lap. I smirked, muttered under my breath, “Nice try,” stuck my glasses in my pocket, and left the mess in the car to deal with later.

I made my way toward the crowded streets, with my nearly-silent partner, who I hoped was silently praying, and my little granddaughter, who didn’t seem that interested in being silent …

Not exactly what I had originally envisioned.

But then, this wasn’t about me, was it?

Prayer: Lord, Your plans are rarely what we think they are, but I’ve learned that they are always better. Thanks for the adventure of trusting You when things look crazy and out of control. I know that You are always, always in control. Thanks for letting me come along for the ride. In Jesus’ name, amen.

12 thoughts on “Satan’s Obstacles, or God’s “No”? Part 2: Obstacles

  1. Annie, thanks for sharing part two early. Waiting a week I often forget the previous portion (the joy of short-term memory retention) grrrr sarcasm. I’m in the season of life, where multiple times per day, I walk into a room and wonder why I’m there. I appreciate your recap at the start or I would need to re-read part one though I just read it this morning.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Haha! I know what you mean, Manette. I laugh at the story of the man who told the pastor the older he gets, the more he thinks about the hereafter. The pastor said, “Why, that’s wonderful, John!” and he said, “Yeah, I come into a room and ask myself, ‘What am I here after?'” πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good story, Annie! It’s now Saturday, so I’m already a day late and a dollar short, but yes, very curious to hear all the details of your St Paddy’s parade evangelism!

    I once was having trouble discerning what to do and not sure if I was hearing the Lord, having feelings, or being attacked by the enemy. Finally I parked, sat in the parking lot, and prayed asking for an intervention. I kid you not, my seat belt began to tighten. The more I fought the tighter it got because those things like to retract and jam. I was darn near in a panic, sure I was going to die of strangulation and claustrophobia. Finally I heard the Lord whisper, “stop struggling.” The moment I did, it just set me free. I was completely fine, just rattled from the experience. Ha! I not only took it as a clear “No” from God, I went and sold the whole car.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, he does, Jimmy. And it’s important to discern whether we should fight harder or hear the Lord’s cancelling the assignment. I’ve reached the point where I trust that when it becomes out-of-my-hands impossible, that’s the Lord saying “No,” and He knows best.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen: “And it’s important to discern whether we should fight harder or hear the Lord’s cancelling the assignment. “


  3. Ann, was surprised to see your post. I. An understand putting it out early so the story is fresh. I don’t mind it coming out the next Friday as long as there is a short recap at the start. The shirt recap jogs my memory of what I read the previous Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

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