Updated: Jan 25
Break Through External Obstacles (4-1)
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see - Hebrews 11:1
It was 7:30am on Tuesday. As planned, I was on time to catch my 8:00am train. After I put my laptop in my briefcase, a thought came in that I’d double check if my train pass is in the bag though I checked yesterday. To my surprise, I could not find it! Nervously I searched all the pickets in the case and my clothes, still I could not find it. It’s already 7:40am; I lost my temper and yelled at my husband. How could I plan the day well in advance but messed up unexpectedly! It threw me in Chaos.
Many times life is like a magic puzzle that is full of massive pieces of events, busy activities, accumulated mountains of possessions, and hectic chaos where beauties are deeply hidden within, and they can be only revealed when each piece is put in the right place and the puzzle is resolved. Faith is about to see a beautiful picture hidden behind a puzzle while battling over endless life events in life.
You are on the journey to Grow to Your Fullest, Step 3, the series of Breaking through External Obstacles. In the last post, we talked about Embrace Six Elements of Faith to Build Confidence to help you build lasting inner confidence and grow to your fullest. Today, let’s discuss the first element of faith - faith is holding on your vision to make you stick on your dream when you are in the darkest hours on your journey.
One year, my daughter received a Christmas gift, a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces and a beautiful picture on the puzzle box and it’s very attractive.
The picture foretells she can make a masterpiece if she assembles all the pieces. The beauty of the messes is revealed in advance through the picture and it inspires my daughter to work on the puzzle and ignites her burning desire to get it done because she sees the beauty of the picture and believed it.
However, even with such an obvious beautiful promise, because solving the puzzle was so tedious, so boring, and there were so many pieces which demanded so much time to figure out which piece goes where, several times my daughter just wanted to give up. We encouraged her to continue not giving up half way. And we promised her to frame her masterpiece once completed. Not only so but also we joined her to work on the puzzle.
The process to complete the puzzle and make the picture come true was not smooth at all. The beginning was very hard and sometimes it took almost an hour to put a piece in right place. Whenever we lost patient and heart, we looked at the picture on the sheet and thought how great if we could hang the picture on the wall. Then we moved on. When the work was completed about three quarters, by accident, my husband stepped on the working sheet and messed up several pieces, that means we had to put them back in place. My daughter got so mad at him and she lost her temper, she reached out her hands and wanted to flip over the work-sheet and destroy the whole work. As soon as I saw her action, I run immediately in front of her, covered the sheet with my whole body so she could not destroy the work. I cried out loudly and firmly, “you cannot do this!” Then I raised the puzzle box, yelled out, “Look at the picture on it! This is the promise to your work. If you tear down the work, you kill the promise! Look at what finished, the picture is almost there. Look at the frame we bought, it’s waiting for the picture to put in. Stop your anger and continue to work on it as we count on you. And you did the most of the work and you can finish the work well.” My daughter stopped crying and continued her work.
With the revealed beauty of the magic puzzle came alive with each piece she placed in the right place, she got to finish her masterpiece.
However, at the last step, we all amazed to find out that one piece of the puzzles missing and the piece is very critical. Without it, anyone can easily tell the picture is not a whole. We three searched out our house to find the missing piece. As it took about a month for us to work on the puzzle and the worksheet had been lying on our family room floor for so long. And most times we left the remaining puzzle pieces on the floor beside the worksheet. Sometimes friends or kids from neighbors came; it’s really hard to know where the missing piece actually was. Though we searched hard, we were not able to find it. We all lost heart. I could not help praying and expected to see the miracle. Two days was passed, we did not see any clue that the miracle would happen. We decided to put the picture in its frame anyway. On Saturday, when the morning light was shining through into my bed room, I woke up and cried out for the missing piece. Suddenly I heard my husband yelled out with excitement, “I found it! I found it!” My daughter and I run down to the first floor, my husband raised up the tiny missing piece in his hands. “See I found it!” We were all amazed! By accident, he found the piece right under the refrigerator door when he got some food out from it. Finally the picture was in whole and the promise of the picture had come true completely. Until now we still hang the picture on the wall.
Faith is about seeing the whole picture and holding on the vision though the physical environment is full of uncertainty. When we got trapped, the vision empowers us and brings us out of the trap; when we get lost, the vision is our compass to lead us to the right track; when we are disappointed or frustrated, and the vision fills us with hope and refreshes us with new sight. However so many times in life, we can easily lose the vision but only see things right before us.
One day, a light shined through me while I was contemplating what happened in the hectic life, we people are usually short sighted by only focus on what we see and assume what we do not see does not exist so we take what we see as the end and the whole so we lose the hope for future, that's why God initially created Adam and Eve but He did not open their eyes and let them see because our eyes are only to see things nearby and focus on the current states.
Vision is our anchor of hope. With hope rooted in our deepest mindset, we know the struggles are temporal, by-pass, not the end. It propels us to move on forward to go to the vision, the final destination. Without a vision, or when we lose sight of our vision, we will battle around short term or immediate results. Gradually we got trapped forever.
Dear friends, no matter whatever struggles you are facing, how hopeless you are feeling, remember it’s not the end; it’s the by-pass; have faith and hold on your vision, seek out a breakthrough and learn to wait. You will go through the setbacks and grow to your fullest!
In the next post, I will introduce the second element of faith – faith is confronting brutal facts to help you objectively evaluate reality and figure out a practical and wise strategy for breakthrough.
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May you grow to your fullest!
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