Lessons from Traffic Lights
A while ago I was on the road in my town, and a bit pressed for time. I was nearly at my destination when I was stopped at a light needing to make a left turn. After about four minutes of waiting, I determined that the left-turn light was not, in fact, EVER going to turn green for me. So I backed up, crossed two or three lanes, and made a right turn pulled into a restaurant, turned around onto the cross street I needed to be on. I was stopped by a light in this direction as well. While waiting, I saw a car drive up to the left turn lane I was in, wait a few seconds to witness the left arrow turning green, and then proceed onto the road I needed to be on. *sigh*
So, a week goes by and I am making this journey yet again. This time I am waiting for the left turn arrow to turn green, but this time with a confidence that it would, in fact, EVENTUALLY illuminate in the desirable color. While waiting I realized something about my spiritual life. I had composed an article a while ago about waiting on the Lord (linky), and the referenced scripture popped into my head:
“…but those who wait on Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isa 40:31
We are a society that hates to wait. If our fast food takes over 3 minutes, we spaz. If we have to wait in any line, we complain to everyone we can. If we have to use dial-up internet, we often stir up violence against anything within proximity. But waiting on the Lord shouldn’t frustrate us. Waiting on the Lord is a trusting state that will cause us to renew our strength, rather than use it all up in frustration. My first reaction to the left turn light (the first time) involved taking it into my own hands. Eventually I got it done, but no faster than the other car who only had to stop for a few seconds.
What if we waited on the Lord like we wait on traffic lights?
Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD! – Psa 27:14
And I say to you, Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. And he who seeks finds. And to him who knocks it shall be opened. For what father of you, if the son asks for bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a snake for a fish? Or if he shall ask for an egg, will he give him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? Luk 11:9-13
I knew that the light would eventually turn green at the right time – i.e. when opposing traffic would not crash into me. I should trust that God will work things out at the right time. If not, I will go about it the long and stressful way, and (best case scenario) end up where God would lead me anyway, but frustrated, exhausted, and faithless. (Or end up in a mountain of problems!) God will give green lights in my life when it is safe and optimal to take that path. So self – stop doing it all on your own! Wait on the Lord like you wait on traffic lights!