What To Do When You’re Facing Obstacles {a lesson from some wise men}


As I unraveled the story of the wise men, stepping into their dusty sandals, and peeking into their {advent}ure of seeking the King, I was surprised to find so much application to our lives as well. These men give us a picture of what it means to have an {advent}turer’s heart in every season of life and how to overcome the inevitable obstacles that will come as we seek to travel deeper into God’s heart. {You can read the introduction to this series here.}
Taken from the lives of the wise men, here are four practical ways to face obstacles, challenges, and unexpected situations in our life:

1. Admit what you are facing and ask around.

“Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a start in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship Him.” {Matthew 2:1-2}

Most commentaries say that the wise men did not actually see Jesus until one year after His birth. We forget that. We forget that their coming wasn’t that same day He was born. As wise men who were devoted to studying the sky and the stars, they still had to go on an adventure to see their Messiah face-to-face. The bible says even when they arrived in Jerusalem they asked around. They were humble enough to know they still needed the help of others to make it to their destination.

We are on a pilgrimage, an adventure, just like these wise men to ultimately worship our King with every step we take. Adventure is full of scenery and setbacks. We all know that, but how often we forget that life is not about our instant gratification or our happiness. Perhaps, like me, you are facing a challenge, a trial, an unexpected situation right now, let’s take some tips from the wise men and admit that we need help. Let’s not be too prideful or fearful of what others may think to ask – to ask for guidance, for prayer, and for wisdom from others.

2. Observe the star- stay focused.

“We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled His birth.” {Mt. 2:1-2} “Then the star appeared again, the same they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves…” {Mt. 2: 9-10}

As we seek Jesus and desire to walk with Him into the unknown, the enemy strategically scatters obstacles along our path. If we are not careful these bumps can distract, discourage, and destroy us. The wise men didn’t allow obstacles to deter them from the King. Despite having to travel from afar, and then not knowing exactly how to get to Him, and then falling into the hands of deceitful Herod… the wise men stayed focus on one thing. The star.

The star represents God’s presence. The star drew their eyes upward and onward. Do you see the star in your life today? Let’s stay focused on it. And by it, I mean God’s living and abiding presence in our lives. If we look down or even around we will easily want to pack up and give up this adventure, it’s too hard, it’s too long, it’s too much!

But when we look to Jesus, His word, His promises, His truth shining brightly over our darkness, we will end up “in the right place…and arrive at the right time!” {Mt. 2:9-10}

3. Live in responsive curiosity to God’s voice.

Throughout the entire account of the wise men’s journey to Jesus, we see a picture of devotion not perfection. These men allowed their curiosity in the King to draw them into an adventure of seeking Him. Their adventure, although arriving a year later after His birth, is one of trusting God to mysteriously lead them to Himself.

These men were indeed wise not because they possessed superior scholarly knowledge or devoted themselves to study, but because of their sensitivity and eagerness to worship God and follow His leading no matter what.

When obstacles come, when things are not happening in our timing or our way, when we feel like giving up, let’s remember that the adventure is not about getting somewhere quickly or competing against others. We overcome obstacles and end up encountering His beautiful presence when we devote ourselves to persevering with a heart that is devoted, eager, and lived in a responsive curiosity to know God more.

4. Ultimately obstacles lead us to overwhelming worship.

“They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh.” {Matthew 2:11}

Unashamed to worship, to kneel, to give generously to their King, these scholarly men not only knew about God, but they knew God. They understood the whole point of their pilgrimage was worship. They traveled with an awareness of His presence and without hesitation they allowed themselves to be overcome with grateful worship. Throughout their entire journey, with every step they were reminded of what was in their hands… gold, frankincense, myrrh. Their hands full of gifts, and hearts ready to worship.

As we move through obstacles, charting unknown territory, and walking daily in this adventure with God, let’s do like the wise men and worship! There will be darkness and hopelessness, unanswerable questions, and mystery, but all along the way God is beckoning us to come and empty ourselves at His feet in worship. The point of it all.

Although we enter each day with hands and hearts full, may be go to bed each night emptied of ourselves, having poured it all out to our King.


Today I’m giving away one of my favorite resources when it comes to moving through obstacles along this adventure- Lara Casey’s powersheets! They are such an amazing, simple, beautiful tool to help us as women set God-centered, faith-filled goals. I would love to send one of you a 6-month powersheet starter set!

**All you have to do is leave a comment on the blog about a current challenge or setback you are facing! Giveaway ends tomorrow Tuesday at midnight PST.
{open to US residents only}

Leave a Comment

Comments (3)

  1. I just came across your post on Facebook and I’m so happy to have found your blog! I’m looking forward to reading your posts. I love the practical ways you’ve outlined for those facing obstacles and challenges. I love how God gave you clarity into the story of the wise men and how you were able to relate it to everyday life. I can definitely relate to this part: As we seek Jesus and desire to walk with Him into the unknown, the enemy strategically scatters obstacles along our path. If we are not careful these bumps can distract, discourage, and destroy us. I’m encouraged by the wise men and how they didn’t allow obstacles to deter them from the King! Thanks again for sharing these truths! Merry Christmas!!!