It seems that every year at the start of our ministry season, our team encounters a great amount of opposition. This year has been no exception. With three teams on the road, every team member has faced enough challenges to cause us all to want to park our motor homes and boats and return home.
I really thought it would be impossible to top the challenges we faced last year. Boy, was I wrong. After experiencing an amazing kick off to our “A Day to Remember” tour in April and May, a tsunami-sized wave of attacks engulfed us. From inclement weather to equipment failure to family emergencies, we have been bombarded with an obstacle at every turn.
One night while feeling low, I asked myself what more could possibly go wrong. The next day, I received an answer. A new attack, different from the others, came from within our own organization. It required a total restructuring of our third team, a team that was supposed to add support to our existing ministry teams and to enhance the impact of our ministry across the United States.
I’m so thankful for God’s faithfulness to encourage my heart in these times of distress. When I seek His face, He never fails to put a reassuring and relevant word directly in my path at just the right moment to lift my spirits and give me direction. Such was the case when that internal attack came.
I was listening to a message on 1 Thessalonians 2:17–20. In this passage, Paul was trying to reach a group of people with the gospel. He worked hard and tried time and time again to move forward to where God was sending him. But he couldn’t get there. He was under attack, hindered by an enemy who had one purpose: to keep Paul from reaching his destination.
The word hindered in the Greek is egkopto. It can be used to describe a deteriorated, broken-up, impassable road. It can also describe someone who cuts in on a runner who is running his race, someone who throws an elbow to the runner’s face and knocks him completely off course. And that’s exactly how I feel at times. It’s like someone comes out of nowhere and elbows me right in the head!
Like He did with Paul, God has put my family and me on a course with this ministry, In His Wakes. We strive to introduce people to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ through water sports. We have destinations to reach, so we work hard while relying on the strength of the Lord.
But challenges come. Circumstances and people come in and try to knock us out of the race. Roads become impassable (literally) with weather and equipment failure. But God is faithful, and in the end, He gets us over each obstacle and right to where we need to be. Every time!
Satan will pull out his full arsenal of attacks to keep you and me from reaching people with the love and hope of Christ. But remember this: the devil cannot stop what God has put in motion! That’s true in this ministry, and it’s true in your life, too.
With God’s help, we can keep going. An obstacle can become the very thing that strengthens your faith and makes you more powerful in God’s hands. Stay the course. Don’t give up, no matter how big the obstacle may seem. God will get you to your destination. Great joy awaits you there! Take it from me—when you arrive, you’ll forget all about the painful elbows and tough roads, and you’ll be better for the journey.
By Nate Miller
Photo by Tadeusz Lakota