Not too long ago we watched a movie based on a real-life story of the Coast Guard’s most daring rescue in US history. But what was so good about the movie, was the outstanding spiritual lesson that was being taught. You see, for this small group of Coast Guard men to be able to rescue a T2 Oil Tanker that had split in half due to a tumultuous storm, they had to make it passed what they called the “Bar.” The “Bar” was the highest “Wall” of the ocean you could say that you either made over to get to the other side or it would literally crush you back to where you came from. That is true in a spiritual sense too.
Everyone has obstacles in their life that they are either going to get over or be crushed by, but many of the obstacles that the Lord places in our lives are not for our harm but for our good. I have heard Bradlee Dean use this analogy many times in the schools, and I would like to share it with you. A coach when training his team has them lift weights. Why? Because it’s those weights of resistance that makes his players stronger and more prepared for their end goal, which is to win the game. The coach does not put those weights of resistance against his players because he hates them, he puts those weights of resistance against his players because he wants them to be the best at what they do.
Take a look at the military, for example. The military in Basic Training takes their recruits through a barrage of obstacles, trials, testing, and more to make sure that their soldiers are correctly prepared for war. In fact, if they did not train them in this way, they would be doing them an incredible disservice when it came time for these men to go off to war! If they do not train them and train them hard, they will not survive when they get into battle. And so it is with the things of the Lord.
Unless we have been tried, tested, and true, we will wither and fade away like grass in the scorching sun when trials and temptations and persecutions come. We must have the mindset, that by faith and with the grace and strength of Jesus Christ, we can and will get over that “Bar.” We will in Jesus name because we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13) As King, David said in Psalm 18:29, “For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.” It is through Christ and Christ alone that we are able to overcome any obstacle because it is only through His strength that we can do it!
I saw a quote by Charles Spurgeon that said, “Your cross is prepared and appointed for you by divine love, and you are to cheerfully accept it. You are to take up the cross as your chosen badge and burden, and not to cavil at it. Jesus bids you submit your shoulder to His easy yoke. Do not… kick at it in petulance, or trample it in pride, or fall under it in despair, or run away from it in fear; but take it up as a true soldier of Jesus!” The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:3 that we are to “…endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” This Christian walk is not an easy road, and true Christians will have to get over that “Bar” on a daily basis.
So when you’re faced with a challenge, obstacle, or difficult situation in your life, rather than shrink away from the obstacle in fear, ask God for the grace and strength for you to rise up and overcome. Again remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13), so don’t quit or give up on your journey through this life. It will not be easy, but the Lord promised that He would never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5) Those men who rescued the people assured to die on that T2 Oil Tanker would never have done so if they did not have a leader who had the guts to get over that “Bar.” He didn’t let the fear of being crushed stop him from his mission of saving those men and save them he did.
In the same way, we must not let our fears with the obstacles we face crush us and ask God for the courage to break through and overcome no matter what lies in front of you. Do not let your trials, oppositions, and obstacles hinder you from getting to the other side so that others also might be saved. And remember, you can do all things through Christ, in Jesus name.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Amen!