When the Way is Blocked

No one likes roadblocks or delays. We prefer doing what we want and going where we wish. But sometimes we find roadblocks in our way, and frustration sets in. Or irritation, anger, resignation, sorrow. Disappointment can bring a whole spectrum of emotions. And we wish for a bulldozer to clear the way.

I’ve encountered a few roadblocks lately. My mom and I had cataract surgery on the same day. Two different countries, a world apart, but on the same day. The doctors said all went well, but we still couldn’t see well! Then my mom became seriously ill and spent 10 days in the hospital. And I longed to go to her.

Roadblocks in the way

The first was Hubby who didn’t want me to travel. The second was my back injury last year. Handling luggage on my own would have been a struggle. And third, I wasn’t able to see clearly far away. My eye was still healing and I couldn’t get new glasses yet.

But I felt bad. I wanted to see Mom, and felt I should be there for her. So I started checking flights. And Hubby got the passports out, though he was concerned about me traveling alone.

And that proved to be an unpassable roadblock. Both my passports had expired.

I wasn’t heading anywhere.

That’s when the emotional battle started. The full gamut.

Frustration over my failure to renew them. But then, with my serious back injury, I hadn’t planned on traveling. I was only thinking about getting up and walking again.

I was angry because Hubby couldn’t travel with me. Not at him, but at useless and senseless government regulations. As a non-vaccinated alien he can’t enter the USA, even though the emergency is over. He couldn’t accompany me.

Resignation set in. No one but God can change the unchangeable. All I could do was acquiesce and accept what I could not change. But nothing stopped me from wishing I could see Mom.

My desire for proper vision was unquenchable as well. But my other eye had developed secondary cataracts. I had to undergo another medical procedure.

So I applied for new passports. Which, of course, meant waiting at least a month. And I proceeded with yet another cataract surgery. Another wait, another roadblock. So I still can’t travel. I can’t order new glasses until my eye heals, and that will mean waiting for them to arrive.

Facing all the roadblocks, I wondered if I’d ever get to see my mom again. Time keeps ticking, and her health isn’t getting any better.

Roadblocks, roadblocks, roadblocks

We are humans. Frustration is normal in the face of roadblocks. Any of the emotions we may feel are normal reactions. But not necessarily spiritual.

We know that God always works things out for good. All things. Even when we don’t understand.

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 CSB

But we don’t like waiting. We want to do things right away, and with nothing in our way. So we search for a bulldozer.

We forget to trust God and wait for him to work. We forget that he sees and knows things that we can’t. And that he can do things we can’t even imagine.

I couldn’t get to Mom. But she got well enough to go home. And hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to see her at least one more time. I didn’t relish a third cataract surgery. But at least there was a remedy. My passports have arrived. We still can’t go until the U.S. government removes that bureaucratic roadblock.

But I see that God is pushing the roadblocks away one at a time.

All things work for good in God’s hands. He knows which roadblocks to remove and which ones should remain. Some roadblocks are permanent. But even then we can rest in his care. In his loving arms.

We can trust him because he always knows what’s right.

And that should cause us to skip the emotional gamut. Let go of all our frustration, irritation, anger, and sorrow. Yes, disappointment can be tough. But the knowledge that God controls the roadblocks, should turn disappointment into rejoicing for his care. And transform resignation or acquiescence into a hymn of thanksgiving for his everlasting peace and presence.

I hope that when I come across future roadblocks I will react with thanksgiving, not frustration. That I won’t try to build my own roads. But wait for the Master roadmaker to pave the path, when and as he wishes.

We can always trust our Master roadmaker to pave the best path. He does better work than any bulldozer, paving crew, or architect.

When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well with my soul.

Horatio Spafford

Images: Fence by Andres Ayrton | Road closed by Pete Alexopolous.

13 replies on “When the Way is Blocked”

What has seemed like a detour has blessed us as you share how God is working through it. It’s too easy for us to offer great advice while we watch you struggle but so hard when it is us in our Heavenly Father’s waiting room. You are exactly where God has planned for now. Have a blessed week Sheila.


Thanks Pastor Pete, but I always appreciate your great advice. You always offer nuggets of wisdom! And remember, we are all on the same road. Some of us are stepping on, but then we all have moments where God leads us in to his waiting room (or rest area). We all spend time there, sooner or later. But no matter what point we’re at, it’s as you say. God has us exactly where he wants us for that moment. He has only good plans for us. Always! Thanks for your encouragement, and you have a blessed week too!

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So good, Sheila. I too have been side-swiped by frustrations that sent me reeling. But with you I want to affirm that God knows what he’s doing, he’s in control, and everything he does is for our benefit, or for the benefit of others. We can trust that the benefits will be worth it all when we see Jesus, because then we’ll understand the perfection of his plan. Thank you for drawing our attention heavenward, where it belongs! P.S. Praying that you and your mom experience healing–and soon!


Side-swiped. That sums it up perfectly, Nancy. But when life sends us reeling, we know that Jesus is always there to catch us. Praying for the situations you’re dealing with and that the Lord grants you peace. We are in good hands.


Oops–my response wasn’t phrased quite right! I should have said I’ve been side-swiped by frustrations IN THE PAST. However, it is true that some of those frustrations have never been brought to closure–thus my response above. Thank you for your prayer, Sheila; the Lord DOES grant peace!!


Oh, I’m feeling your frustration. But yes, it’s an invitation to lean on God and trust that He is working under the radar, and when we understand someday, we will see how it was all for our good. Love from the USA. We are in Missouri now… much warmer than Minnesota. 🙂

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Thanks so much, Linda. All these uncontrollable and unchangable things in our lives can indeed create frustration. But I love how you put it. God is working under the radar! What a consolation. I’m glad you’ve escaped Minnesota cold and snow!! It’s freezing up there. Hope your move went smoothly. And that the Lord will help you all adapt, make new lasting friendships, and grant you many opportunities for serving and ministering to others!


Oh, Sheila, I’m sorry for all the frustration that went with your multiple surgeries and your mom’s ill health and passports and all the stuff and clutter. And you’re right, God does know it all. A wise woman once told me that if I knew what God knows I’d be fine with what God does. It makes sense–and I know that He wastes nothing that happens in our lives. I’m with you, my friend–hopefully, in the future, I’ll handle those roadblocks with a sense of faith and trust.


Thanks, Dayle. I love that saying! It’s so true. God knows what he’s doing and we need, or at least I, need more trust to put it all in his hands and leave it there. He sees, he knows – my job is to just trust.

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