The road of life is filled with roadblocks and obstacles. Some of them are just a part of the natural world, such as who we are at birth or the education and money we need to do something.
Other roadblocks are of our own making, the mistakes we make, or the lines we will not cross.
There is a third category of a roadblock, either seen or unseen, put in place by the Lord, and this is what Balaam faced in the strange tale of Numbers 22.
God told Balaam that he was not allowed to curse Israel, that the Lord blessed them. Balaam saddled his donkey and set out to do the very thing God told Balaam not to do.
As Balaam and his two servants traveled, they did not see the angel of the Lord standing in the way with a drawn sword. The donkey saw the angel of the Lord and turned into a nearby field.
Upset by the detour, Balaam beat the donkey to get back on the path. A second time, the angel of the Lord blocked the route, but the road was narrower with walls on either side and a second time, the donkey veered out of the way, this time crushing Balaam’s foot.
Balaam was very angry by this time, beat the donkey even more to resume their trip. Finally, the third time the angel of the Lord stood in the way, and the donkey just laid down and refused to move no matter how much Balaam struck her.
How often do we become angry or frustrated with life’s roadblocks? Often, we are so focused on the goal ahead; we fail to ask if we should even obtain that goal.
Christians will often speak of open doors and closed doors to describe the will of God. We know that sometimes the flight is canceled, or we don’t get the job we wanted because the Lord is closing the door. Other times, we get an unexpected call to go somewhere because God has opened the door.
Believers should always pay attention to what the Lord has said in His word when we approach roadblocks. Are any principles being violated? Are we ignoring the expressed will of God, or is He guiding us, as He did Paul, into the correct place of the ministry He has given us?