[CF Devotionals] 2013-10-30 - Stumbling Blocks

Originally Published 2013-10-23

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When we moved into this house six years ago, I found many parts of the new yard quite pleasant. We put a fence up out back for our pups and adjusted a few flower beds, one of which was in their section. If you want dogs with three-inch legs to stay out of something, then the best thing to do is eliminate it ,so a flower bed out there didn‘t seem like the best idea, at least for the time being. I did, however, appreciate the square patio stones that made a path from the deck over to the other side of their section. It is especially helpful to have those stones there when it might snow, so there‘s a specific path they have to go, and I have to get to the trashcan. Just outside the fence, they put down are a few more stones that stop over by the driveway, which extends along the entire side of our house. Now those patio stones have been more of a source of contention. Due to settling over time, the stones have settled or risen on their edges, and when I push the mower out there, I often get hung up on one or more of them. Before I had thumb surgery, the arthritis was so painful when jarred by them, and now afterward, it can still be frustrating. So to me, that group of them is more like stumbling blocks rather than helpful walking stones.

We all have stumbling blocks put in our way, from time to time. Or even worse, we can become one for someone else. I have most often worried about the latter. However, there is something we can do about it. We can do our best to try not to be a stumbling block for someone, and we can keep our minds ready for any that might be put in our way. Personally, in the case of the stones in the yard, it somehow just occurred to me that the ones outside the fence causing so much trouble could, in fact, be removed from the ground.

Have you ever had an epiphany and wondered why it took so long to realize it? I must have carried on, and complained to myself about the stupid things, for at least four years - and then suddenly, this thought came: “why don‘t you just pull them up, Deb?” I know it isn‘t always as easy as just removing things, yet sometimes, it actually is much easier to make a change, but we just get so used to the problem that we forget there might be a solution.

A similar thought happened for me when I realized I could just do a little of my laundry a couple different times, rather than bogging myself down with all of it at once. We had a laundry day when I was growing up, and we just did ours on the designated one. Well, it‘s my own house now, and that really isn‘t necessary, and so I can do something different – something that reduces my stress about doing the chore. Point is, don‘t be afraid to change something you are able to, in order to either keep from stumbling or to keep someone else from doing so, as well.

“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (Romans 14:12-14 NIV)

“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1 Corinthians 8:9 NIV)

“We put no stumbling block in anyone‘s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.” (2 Corinthians 6:3 NIV)

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All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.