Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Man Of Sorrows Wondrous Name"1 (Lyrics)
One day as I was coming home from grocery shopping with the help of my walker, I noticed time and again how the wheels got stuck and almost tripped me headlong over the walker. It took great skill to get over the curbs and even the tiniest holes that seemed to enjoy the thought of seeing me perish on my way home.
I learned to slow down and prepare for the unexpected bumps that I did not even see but felt as the walker's wheels got stuck more than ever before — so much more that this devotional had its beginning and started forming!
I am thinking of how many stumbling blocks there are in life that we can name and sort out. What blocks do we trip on daily? What personal blocks do we leave around? Who suffers from the blocks that we place for them? Who all trips over my tiniest slip of words or actions?
Before I stumbled and perished in any deeper sorrow over this thought, I opened my Bible for help. What was there for me to find?
Leviticus 19:14 – Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling-block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 8:9 – Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling-block to the weak. (NIV)
God is very concerned that we be mindful of our weaker brothers and sisters, that we not offend them by our actions, or cause them to be tempted away from the straight and narrow path. But we also need to watch out for those who are stronger than us, who might lead us astray:
Romans 16:17 – I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 1:23 – But we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. (NIV)
So now, the question is — Is Jesus a personal stumbling block for me — for us? Are His claims on our repentance, loyalty, and obedience too great for us to follow Him as Lord? Do the mysteries of understanding the Trinity, or Jesus as both human and divine, defy our natural human learning and our humanly-focused eyes, and cause us to see Jesus as a stumbling block rather than the wonderful way, the truth, and the life? Has what used to be hard to understand been revealed as life-giving bread and thirst-quenching drink? Do we struggle and stumble over how a loving God can allow evil in the world, or how God in His sovereignty can allow us human beings to have free will? Let us pray that the foolishness of our natural human logic may be removed by the Lamb of God Who takes away our sinfulness. Let Him change our stiff-necked logic and doubt into faith in Him Who died a cruel death on the cross, as He finished the way to save us from eternal separation from God!
If we can say thanks for the stumbling blocks that finally saw us concluding that it is a better choice to receive Jesus the crucified, then our walk becomes a positive and joyful stride over and through the blocks that we used to trip on. I thank God for the lesson today — a deeper lesson than just getting home over a few obstacles: discerning the spiritual obstacles.
Prayer: Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, beloved Son of God the Father, You have removed all the obstacles out of the way of Your followers and Your people. We thank You, with honour and glory to Your name. Thank You for not letting us stumble all over again, but rather, walking us home to Your mansion where we shall live forever. In Your name, we pray. Amen.