A few years ago I went on a mission tour to Honduras with a medical and dental team. As we prepared for the trip it became increasingly evident that I was going to have to be able to speak at least a little spanish. I realized soon it was just too late to get very much accomplished in the area of language, so I was going to have to rely on the interpreters who were nationals from the area. I wasn’t alone on the language thing and there were several others on our team who were trying to learn as much as they could about how to speak spanish. It was frustrating to think that language was going to be a major hurdle to us sharing the gospel and all of us were a little unsure how effective an interpreter could be in handling this barrier. To our surprise, the interpreters were great and they made things extremely clear to those we shared the gospel with and many lives were changed. Also, our ability to discern what was best when sharing the message through the interpreters became easier as we got to know the area and the people. We were amazed at how much we could discern and learn from those we ministered to. Most of the time we were very good in relating to those who couldn’t understand a word we said. What seemed to be so difficult became almost easy, and we even picked up enough spanish to start sharing on our own. The language barrier wasn’t a barrier at all. In fact, it stretched us and made us more effective and we took a major step forward in our Christian Walk because we were forced to fine tune our communication skills.
It just goes to show that if we ask God to help us, He always pulls through. Things that were barriers to us growing in our Christian walk can become stepping stones to a closer relationship with Him. In Psalm 119:125 the Psalmist said, “I am your servant, give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.” When we make the commitment to really move forward and grow in our relationship with the Lord, He gives us understanding that we never had before. When I accepted Christ, I thought I would immediately understand the Bible because now I was a Christian. To my surprise, it was still difficult to understand. The difference was, I now had a driving force in me that made me want answers. I believed God’s Word had those answers and even though I doubted myself, I continued to seek God’s Word. Little by little the fog cleared and God’s Word really started to come alive to me. When I first started reading the Bible I almost gave up because it seemed like the obstacle of my past lack of Bible knowledge would keep me from ever being able to discern what God’s Word was saying. When things started making sense, what used to be a barrier to my growth as a believer became the very thing that I depended on. As a servant, I found out that God didn’t send me out on a mission with no chance of succeeding. He took what seemed like a “language barrier” and showed me how to make sense of it. The lack of understanding of God’s Word shouldn’t be something that keeps us from pursuing that close intimate relationship with Him either. Let that barrier be your stepping stone by asking God to give you understanding, or discernment when reading His Word and then TRUST IT, by LIVING IT.
This is a huge step many never make it through. As a servant of God, seek Him and He will come through every time with the answers you need. Matthew 6:33 says, ” Seek first the kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” This is just the beginning. Walk up to the barrier of understanding God’s Word and allow it to be your stepping stone to a new and exciting walk with God. His heavenly language is definitely not a barrier to those who know Him. It is the essence of a growing believer and the power to live for Him is found in the book breathed by Him.
The pilgrimage continues…..