Destiny in the straits

“Bonaparte remained in Paris, forming schemes for the gratification of his ambition, and his desire of making a figure in the world; but obstacles opposed all he attempted.”

This was said by Napoléon Bonaparte’s biographer. Yet, see how he went on to alter the course of history and become one of the most impactful leaders of all time. It was said by this biographer, that if Napoléon’s wishes had been granted when he desired a particular course, Europe’s fate – not to talk of his own fate – would have been markedly different.

Had Joseph enjoyed approval from his brothers, had he not been sold into slavery against his wish, had he not been falsely accused and put in prison, his destiny and the course of history may have been very different. At least we can say that his travails and tribulations contributed to his eventual enthronement and the rescue of a civilization.

As the scriptures say,”Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. But the gate is narrow and the way is difficult that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” 

This refers to eternal life and I am also convinced that it applies to the present. Maybe we should really rejoice when the way is difficult. Maybe the strait gate and the narrow path really leads to life, fulfillment and significance here now and the wide gate and the broad way leads to destruction and mediocrity. 

Moses too was raised as crown prince of Egypt but he only became ready to step into his destiny as one of the greatest leaders of all time after spending 40 precious years away from comfort and ease. While I am fully convinced his first 40 years enjoying opulence and being part of Egyptian royalty was key, I doubt if he would have been able to lead, had he not gone through the strait and narrow.

What if you really need a stint in the strait and narrow for your own good and that of others, if not for present and future generations? Maybe then we should rejoice when we have to go through discomfort, hurts and pain for a season, against our wishes. Could the obstacles on your way be a sign that you are being guided by an Invisible Hand to a destiny that is bigger than you? 

12 thoughts on “Destiny in the straits

  1. Hiiii Tolu,Hope you're doing GREAT…I always follow your posts..I'm not back,I'm still there :D…and I understood a change in your style of writing…it's more fantastic…I've been in paris on 2004…and when you write about paris and Versailles…you remind me all my memories..any ways I love your post…Thanks for feeding us with JOY OF LOVE.TAKE CARE

  2. Some more good thoughts here Tolu. Sure sounds like we thing along similar paths! :)I totally agree with you that it's through the hard times that we truly grow. They show our lack and therefore our greater need of Him who can help and grow us through the tough time.The past ten years have been that for my wife and I with her ongoing battle with cancer. It's been tough and several times I thought I had lost her but I would not trade these times for all the riches of this world. These tough times have drawn us so much closer together and closer to the Lord.I do think our hard times, when we have pulled through them and leant what the Lord was wanting to teach us, gives us a greater measure of authority in life. Keep musing…

  3. I am glad to know that Paul.Paul, I am going to have to respond to this twice. There is a depth here. Thank you for sharing this Paul. God bless you and I thank God because you and your wife will pull through. I will be back.

  4. @lannalife. "The hard times show our lack and therefore our greater need of Him who can help and grow us through the tough time." We grow in the straits and at times fulfillment and significance is doubtful without being straitened. Jesus said, "I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!" Even the King of Kings had to go through the straits. It seems at times that when we have it too easy, we fail. Look at wiseKing Solomon.The Psalmist says, "For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place." That sounds like very dire straits but it seems the purpose of the trials and afflictions is the wealthy place. Perhaps that is why we are to count it joy when we go through the straits. There is a wealthy place for you and your wife. "When you have pulled through," for you will pull through because God intends for you to pull through.Thanks Paul, I will keep musing.

  5. Jaycee, "at exactly the time of maturation, He causes our fruits to be ready." Loaded words. When the fulness of time has come, He launches us forth, but not before.Thank you for your profound comment.

  6. Thanks for this Tolu. It reminds me of one of the scriptures that has helped shape my life. It's James 1:2-4 – 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. There are not too many passages of scripture that promise complete maturity not lacking anything. I find that staggering. I've come to take trials to be my personal accelerated development program. Thanks for this bro.

  7. I read this the day it got posted and my initial thoughts rested on cynicism. Why did that Tolu have to write about a stint in the strait and narrow …as if life wasn't difficult being narrow enough, we have to now deal with the stint!And then, I came back to read again and as much as it's tough to accept, the fact is that the stint is always for our own good. It's heretical to think that because I'm God's child, my life's experiences will just go down a smooth road; that because God is the pillar that holds my life, I am promised no challenges; and that even if they come, they'll disapear like Alaka-zoom! It's tough hearing/reading messages like this, but for our own good, we'd be wise to adhere to the painful truth that the path of peace and joy lies in not always having our wishes granted, just like Moses, Joseph and Napoleon's temporary needs ended up unrealized. But that our ultimate fulfiment – the path that every true greatness must walk, comes through having those thorny stints in our path. Thank you Tolu for this reminder. God bless you always.

  8. Tolu- often I have seen obstacles as signs from God that that is not the door I am supposed to walk through. I then retreat as a form of obedience to His will. "Could the obstacles on your way be a sign that you are being guided by an Invisible Hand to a destiny that is bigger than you?" I love this phrase of your post because it provides the hope and exuberance that is often missing from me during these moments of closed doors….especially when I envision them as "closed doors." In so doing there's a finality to the possibility. Your words phrased as such, however, instill excitement that a greater destiny than which I could plan for myself is in God's hands and in-work. Beautiful! Simply beautiful!Thank you for those empowering and inspiring words!-Ella

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