When I am serving as a substitute teacher, I’m often intrigued by the books I find sitting on the desktops of the teachers I am helping. Sometimes there is even time for me to skim a chapter or to scan the table of contents and to be inspired. On a middle school math teacher’s desk, I discovered this quote from Marcus Aurelius, the last of the Five Good Emperors of Rome:
What stands in the way becomes the way.”
Marcus wrote this bold statement near the end of a nineteen-year reign (161-180 A.D.) that was characterized by war, plague, intrigue, a coup, continual empire-wide travel, and financial catastrophe. Ironically, those who knew Marcus Aurelius testified that rather than being discouraged by these huge obstacles, he saw them as a path to virtue.
Struggle is a predictable factor in everybody’s story, but we don’t need to take Marcus Aurelius’s word for that. Isaiah, God’s Old Testament prophet wrote about obstacles long before the Roman Empire existed:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;Isaiah 43:2
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.”
The word to notice in this verse is when. High waters, raging rivers, and hot fires will be part of our lives as long as we are living on this fallen planet. Obstacles are a given, but they are not the end of the story. If “what stands in the way becomes the way,” our story finds its focus in the sovereignty and the goodness of God. Jesus comes to you with tenderness in the midst of every obstacle saying, “Trust me. Walk with me.”
What is standing in your way today? Are you willing to trust that the One who walks alongside you will faithfully continue with you on this new and good part of your story?
Holding you in the light,
Jesus comes to you with tenderness in the midst of every obstacle saying, “Trust me. Walk with me.”Tweet
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