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Far too quickly, we complain about difficulties in life. But our problems may be God’s way of getting our attention—to mold our character, prepare us for a better job, or lead us in another direction. In Numbers chapter 22, we see how God used Balaam and his donkey to illustrate this principle—even though Balaam was not a righteous man. God had told Balaam not to go curse the nation of Israel. But the lure of money drove him to go anyway. On the way, God sent an angel to block the path of the donkey. We read this: “Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him. ‘Why did you beat your donkey those three times?’ the angel of the LORD demanded. ‘Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. Three times the donkey saw me and shied away, otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.’ Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the LORD, ‘I have sinned. I didn’t realize you were standing in the road to block my way. I will return home if you are against my going.’ But the angel of the LORD told Balaam, ‘Go with these men, but say only what I tell you to say.’” So God blocked the path of Balaam’s donkey to get Balaam’s attention. Likewise, God may use our circumstances to impede our way or get our attention, but if and when if He does, it is for our own good.

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