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The Value of Obstacles – Part 2

A certain man took over his father’s inheritance in a foreign land. Everything went well until famine struck. At that point, the man decided to seek refuge in another country. After a while, he started thinking of moving to yet another country.

Living in limbo

The man would have thought, "if only I make it to this other country, all will be well". Sometimes, people stay in limbo because they think there is something better somewhere else. They are here but their heart is somewhere else. As a result, they fail to live their best life where they are.

But this man had a special relationship with God. As a result, divine guidance truncated his time in limbo and gave him the clarity to stay.

If you have ever been caught between leaving or staying, you will appreciate the power of clarity and guidance.

Sometimes, God Himself can set up your obstacles to keep you in line. An African proverb says, "do not run faster than your shadow". It takes the mercy of God to stop a person who is running ahead of their destiny and divine timing.

From limbo to harvest

When the man changed his mindset from transit to staying, things started working for him. For the first time, he sowed, and reaped a bountiful harvest.

You can't produce when you are not grounded. Crops or livestock don't grow on air. You need to put your feet down on the ground and put your fingers to work to be able to create or recreate anything of value.

It is okay if you have an international vision. You still need to land somewhere and till the ground one place at a time.

Wells in the valley

You can imagine what happens next when a man whose immigration status is still dodgy becomes one of the highflyers in the country. Tongues started wagging and in no time, the man became a target for deportation. He was about to experience another major detour.

The family is displaced and once again, and the man and his family found themselves in a valley.

Imagine the feeling of being in this roller-coaster situation, oscillating between settlement and destitution, between having a home and being homeless, rich one day and poor the next.

But this new detour is a redirection to a discovery. His new post code has some history. His father used to live there. The diligent fingers of his father are all over the place. There are old wells of water here that he only needs to reopen.

Famine, crises, and envy had combined forces to push the man to where things would work in his favour - in a valley, a familiar valley with buried inheritance.

Resistance in the valley

But challenges would not leave the man alone, even in the valley. This is where people become despondent. You may think challenges would leave you alone since you are already down in the valley.

As the man began digging the old wells in the valley, controversies, arguments, and hostilities trailed him. But he kept on digging.

This is what most immigrants experience as they start new lives in unfamiliar places. You know what you are up to when obstacles line themselves up like an Olympics hurdles track.

You may need to push through rejection at every turn. Doors close in your face quite often. You dig wells, and they cover it with dirt the next day. They do this not because they don't believe the well has potentials, but because they don’t believe in you.

The good news is that those rejections and struggles end up signposting your breakthrough – leading you to where you should be.


You may sit down and cry over the meagre hand life has dealt you so far. You feel hard done by. But you may be sitting on reservoirs of wonderful things.

No matter where life has pushed you to, get up every day and dig, and keep digging. You might be surprised at what you could find – if you have God as your guide.

- Based on the story of Isaac in Genesis 26.


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