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The return of summer has also meant the return of an interesting phenomenon at a beach near where I live. On the hottest summer days, light traveling from nearby ocean-going freighters is refracted back to earth as it leaves cool air by the ocean and enters warmer air higher up above the waves. The result is what looks like a ghost ship traveling, inverted, in the sky. My youngest daughter describes the whole effect as an "obstacle illusion."

I've been thinking about her description and, even though it doesn't quite fit the light phenomenon I described above, it is an accurate description of something else we can all face in our walks with Christ. You see, often in our lives situations or things arise that cause us to doubt whether God can or will help us.

For instance, soon after Israel left Egypt, they found themselves trapped between the Red Sea and the pursuing Egyptian army. To them it looked like the end had come and that God had abandoned them. The same must have been the thought of the disciples after Jesus was killed. They locked themselves away for fear of the authorities who had killed Him. It looked like the end had come for them and God's work in their lives. Of course, all was not as it seemed to be for Israel or for the disciples. Things only looked really bad at the time.

What about you? What seemingly impossible situations are you facing in life? Do you feel stuck in a dead end job? Are you unemployed with bills mounting up? Are medical tests looming in your future? Do you have a child that has rejected God? Is the church you are pastoring going nowhere fast? Is your spouse utterly clueless about how you want love shown to you? Does life look and feel like God has abandoned you and that you should just quit altogether?

Don't give up! Don't despair! Just because things look bad that doesn't mean that God has left you or cannot or will not help you. Pray and keep praying until your deliverance, or better yet your Deliverer, comes.

Don't quit on God because your way is blocked by an obstacle illusion.

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