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When it’s time to press on regardless

Regular contributor Jane Walters encourages us to persevere in God’s strength to overcome the obstacles that life places in our path.

I had a frustrating journey to meet with a friend recently. I was already late leaving, and I knew that my normal route to the venue was currently closed for roadworks. I was semi-confident of an alternative route and set off, hoping my memory would serve me correctly. Temporary traffic lights had me further delayed but what de-railed me completely was a Road Closed sign just where I didn’t want it. I had no choice but to turn back, waiting once more at the red traffic light, before picking up some yellow diversion signs. Unhelpfully, I soon found myself back at the original closed road that I’d been avoiding in the first place. 
 
Sometimes, our passage through life can feel like this. A pessimistic friend once said, ‘It’s like one door shuts only for another one to smack you in the face.’ It’s not just our patience that’s at stake. Discouragement at difficult circumstances can feel like a big fat “no” to our plans and leave us going around in circles. 
 
I remember, a lifetime ago, sitting through office training sessions, faced with SWOT analyses – looking at our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It’s all couched in positive terminology, of course and I do take their point. When we come across threats to our progress in life, we have a choice in how we respond. We can either buckle, throw up our hands in despair and give in; or we can re-group, have another look at the situation and decide to press on. 
 
When my life changed quite dramatically a couple of years ago, I felt ill-prepared for what lay ahead. I didn’t know where the diversion signs were going to take me. As ever, I called upon my faith in God, who’d always been utterly faithful in the past, but I also found a new prayer bubbling up. It was this: ‘Grow me, Lord, so that I can learn to deal with all these challenges.’ Every time fear whispered in my ear, I repeated that phrase: keep growing me, Lord. 
 
Back to my earlier story: in the end, I ignored the final Road Closed sign and discovered not only that there were no roadworks and no blockages but that I was a mere few metres from the main road that would take me to my destination. My prayers for help and guidance had led me to take a step of faith, to press on regardless. I wonder if that may help you, today?


Jane Walters 175Jane Walters, formerly Clamp, is the author of Too Soon, a mother’s journey through miscarriage (SPCK) and a regular contributor to Premier Radio and UCB. She is also vice-chair of the Association of Christian Writers. Jane leads creative writing retreats and is a popular speaker locally and further afield. Visit: janewyattwalters.com
 

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