How to Overcome Impossible Obstacles

Mountains You're Facing May Be Smaller than You Think

One thing I’m still learning on my journey of faith is not to make assumptions about mountains, or obstacles and challenges I encounter along the way. For one thing, mountains are not always what they appear to be.

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In the late 1800s, Half Dome was described as being “perfectly inaccessible.” Until someone blazed the trail and installed eye bolts into the granite. Now tourists regularly accomplish what was once considered an impossible feat.

When the Hebrews faced the Red Sea, they thought it an impassable barrier. It wasn’t. When we were homeless and without money, buying a house seemed impossible. Not so. [Get some encouragement and read more of our story in my new book A Story Worth Telling.]

Whatever challenges you may be facing today, rest assured that they only seem like mountains from your perspective. And perspectives can change.

A Story of Overcoming Mountains

My friend Daniel Buell was the co-founder of Cornerstone Christian Academy where I served for a dozen years before stepping out to answer God’s call to write as a Kingdom catalyst. He too faced a seemingly impossible task in the summer of 2000 when he agreed to lead the effort to launch and open a college-prep school for grades 7-12—in less than two months!

At the time, only eleven students were enrolled, I was the only teacher with a contract, and the school had not yet been charted by the state of Ohio. Anyone with any experience in education will tell you that these barriers Dan faced were insurmountable. Perhaps with an additional year—and a lot of money—the task could be done. Maybe.

But Dan persisted by faith, believing that God had called him to run toward the seemingly impossible to establish a vibrant Christian school for God’s glory. He built a dedicated team quickly and spent a lot of nights in the office, watching the sun come up on yet another stack of completed paperwork.

Nothing came easily. And that is often why choose to walk away from the challenge of a mountain. Overcoming them is never easy. But mountains make the ideal settings for the best stories to reveal the majesty of God.

Incredibly, when the first bell rang, the school opened with full faculty, an enrollment of 131, and state-charter status in record time—an accomplishment that was nothing less than a bureaucratic miracle.

Today the school is thriving. It consistently enrolls around four hundred students annually in grades K-12 and sends graduates to the best colleges and universities throughout the nation. Where most saw impossibility, Dan saw something different: opportunity. Here’s his perspective: “A mountain is merely a change in the terrain you must travel, so keep hiking.”

And that’s the other funny thing about mountains. From God’s perspective, there are none.

You may have heard the expression that someone is “making a mountain out of a molehill,” making a big deal about something that is truly insignificant. We all too easily forget that God sees no mountains, only molehills.

If we can remember God’s perspective as we answer his call to live a story worth telling, we can patiently be still and watch him work, like Moses, even while we keep moving forward–even running toward–the mountains we encounter and overcome by faith.

Question: What mountains are you facing now that seem impossible to you? How might your perspective change if you could see them as opportunities for God’s glory to be revealed? You can share your thoughts with other FaithWalkers by clicking here.

The One Thing Every FaithWalker Must Do

And Why Each of Us Easily Qualifies to Do It

Every Christian wants to one day hear the words, “Well, Done!”  Each FaithWalker wants to do great things for God. But most of us think we just don’t have what it takes to qualify for the Faith Hall of Fame.

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We’ve all got stories we tell ourselves about why we don’t belong on the field with those “Major League Christians” we meet in the pages of Scripture. [See my post The Myth of the Minor League Christian.] It’s as if we think we must be perfect in order to qualify for walking by faith.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Thank God!

In fact, do you know the one thing every FaithWalker in Scripture seems to have had in common? Failure.

I’m Giving Away My New Book to Pastors Only

Plus Catalyst Atlanta Tickets and a Few Guest Posts You May Have Missed

It’s Memorial Day in America! A day when we remember those who gave their last measure of full devotion by faith — they died for what they believed to be true.

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These brave men and women were FaithWalkers in many ways. And my next post will ask the question — what beliefs would you defend at the risk of losing your life?

A Free Gift for Pastors Only

But today, as you relax, remember, and enjoy the company of friends and family, I just wanted to pass along some news you can use and a few guest posts you may have missed from last week.

First, I’m giving away my new book A Story Worth Telling for FREE to PASTORS ONLY! And one pastor will win two free tickets to Catalyst Atlanta along with 8 copies of my new book for small-group study.

Total prize value: $750!

Click here to discover more — and please pass this post or the page link (FaithWalkers.com/pastors) along to any pastors you may know.

Memorial Day Reading You May Have Missed

If you somehow do get a moment to read today, here are three guest posts I wrote at various places last week:

You may have faced—or are facing now—what appear to be impossible obstacles, massive mountains that threaten to keep you from answering God’s call to live a story worth telling.

But there’s good news: MOUNTAINS MAKE THE IDEAL SETTINGS FOR LIVING THE BEST STORIES.

Continue reading…

Every day you lead, you are writing a story. You don’t have to be a writer or even put pen to paper to make it a good one. But you do need one key ingredient: belief.

Regardless of your beliefs about spiritual matters, your leadership legacy will be determined by your faith.

Continue reading…

It’s time. Or at least you think it might be. You’ve been sensing a struggle within for a while, but you’ve kept it to yourself.  You’ve felt a restlessness, a sense that you should be pursuing a new life calling, something more in line with your God-given gifts — but you’re scared to step out without knowing how it will all turn out.

Continue reading…

Quick update: A Story Worth Telling finished the week as the #1 paperback New Release in Christian Faith at Amazon! Many thanks for all of you who are helping to spread the word.

If you don’t have your copy yet, click here now to start making your life memorable.

Special Alert! Guest Post with Ron Edmondson Today

I am privileged to have a guest post featured with Ron Edmondson today at his stellar blog where he shares his thoughts on leadership, church, and culture.

Ron is one of the leading bloggers on pastors, leadership, and church issues — and truly great guy.

Check out my post and share it if you think it has value:

Ten Things to Know before Pursuing a New Life Calling

And to those visiting FaithWalkers for the first time from Ron’s site, welcome!

I invite you to claim a free chapter from my new book releasing everywhere in just a few hours!

Click here to claim a free chapter of A Story Worth Telling and find out how to get faith-building resources valued at $284

Why You Need Not Fear Being Afraid

My friend Dan Nichols recently wrote a post identifying fear as the greatest threat to leadership. It got me thinking. I agree that fear keeps many people from living a story worth telling, but it doesn’t have to if we make fear our friend.

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None of us enjoy feeling that our story might not turn out the way we want it to. Fear is what we feel when we sense we’ve lost control, when we’re uncertain about what might happen next. When we don’t know how things are going to turn out, we feel fears icy grip tighten around our soul.

But fear is not all bad. In fact, out of our control is what we should be feeling — it is the reality in which we live. When circumstances bring us face-to-face with this reality, we have a choice: let our fear control us, or see it as an opportunity to live a more authentic life.