Somebody once asked William Carey what made him successful in ministry. His answer? "I plod."
I have been doing a lot of plodding here in The Location. And I'm not bragging about plodding. There's nothing fun about it. There's nothing telling me for sure that my plodding will lead to any success. Mostly, I'm plodding because I don't know what else to do and don't feel that God has called me to do anything else. I am in this for the long haul.
We have been waiting for an important piece of paperwork from the government for two and a half years. (Three pieces, actually.) The government promises that an answer will be given in 15 days of submission of our proposal, and that the whole process will be completed in 45 days. Here we are roughly 900 days later and now they are telling us they are "putting it on hold" just when we thought we were about to finalize everything. So, what to do? Plod.
I know many others would have given up by now. And I'm not saying that is the wrong thing to do. However, I have never been one who has felt like obstacles were signs from God that we shouldn't continue down a certain path. I tend to believe that God makes us strong to meet those obstacles, overcome them, and then glorify him. I think a few hundred thousand former slaves of Egypt might agree with me after they finally climbed up the opposite shore of the Sea of Reeds.
I once heard a former missionary say, "I no longer believe in a God who leads us through open doors. I believe in a God who leads us through stone walls."