When I get off late from work, I swing by the freeway to see what it looks like before I hop on it.
Usually I can tell by looking at the cars on the bridge if it’s worth the risk to drive through the traffic or take the street way. After seeing all the cars backed up past the on-ramp, I decided to take the street way home. But it wasn’t long before I got stopped anyway due to a train coming across the tracks on one of the streets I turned on.
I was a little irritated, I’ll admit, because the whole reason I took the street way home was to avoid being stuck in stand-still traffic. And here this train was, basically creating the same scenario for me when I desperately wanted to get home. The train was long (they always are), and I waited and waited, when suddenly, a car behind me gets out of the lane we’re all in, drives around the traffic and into a parking lot to turn around so they could drive in the opposite direction away from the train.
But by the time they’d hit the opposite side of the street, the line of train cars was ending, and as they drove away in the other direction, our lane was finally able to move forward.
Do you see where I’m about to go with this? If not, hear me out. Or read me out…
That car could have waited patiently for the train to finish crossing, like the rest of us were doing instead of getting impatient and choosing to go in the opposite direction. Who knows which way they decided to take afterwards, but I have a guess it probably was going to take longer now than if they’d just waited. And I feel like I find myself in that position in my life sometimes, and maybe you do too; we sit and we wait on God to open a door for us, to make an opportunity arise, to provide, to heal, etc. and when it doesn’t come when we want it to, we try things our own way. We get out of the line of cars, and speed off in a different direction, thinking it will be quicker if we just took a short cut or went around the waiting.
But what if right as we decide to take that short cut, we miss the door opening? What if as we’ve made that choice to do things our way, God was going to provide? We never know when God is going to bless us or answer our prayers, but I know I find myself desiring to take things into my own hands so I can get results when I want them, and I never know if God was ready to answer me before I made that decision!
My encouragement today is to just be patient. Wait on the Lord with whatever is you’re going through in your life. It’s easier said than done, and I know those of us who grew up in the church have heard these words PLENTY of times before, but it’s so true! Seeing that scenario last night on my way home was the perfect visual for this lesson in our lives – we leave the waiting place on our own, and miss out on the train passing and opening up the way for us to move forward!
Now, that doesn’t mean you won’t get that opened door at all if you decide to go your own way, but it does mean that it may take a little longer than if you’d decided to just wait! You truly never know what God will do in your life if you have the faith and trust in Him to do what He wills to do with you and for you! So, as I’ve heard before, and what I tell my students sometimes when they take their backpack off right before it’s time for them to get called in the carpool line:
“Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready when it’s time!”
What are you waiting on in your life right now? How long have you been waiting? Are you tempted to go your own way, and make things happen on your own without seeking wise counsel or praying to God about it? Have you already had a time in your life when you did go your own way, and later realized that you should hav waited?