Delayed in Traffic
A couple days ago I was on my way to school, running late, driving as much over the speed limit as I could get away with, when up ahead, break lights–lots of brake lights. It seems the company working on repairing the street thought it was a good idea to put cones out at the very time many people who have jobs are headed to work and most people who are involved with education are headed to school. Traffic was at a standstill and it was backing up quickly. It was too late to turn and go another way. I was going to be delayed.
No One Who’s Going Somewhere Likes to be Delayed
The “old me” would probably have begun to shake and fuss and have all kinds of stress-out reactions. I hate to be late for work, but the “new me,” the one who has actually learned to trust God, is a lot more mellow. Delay is still not convenient, but I have grown to realize that sometimes there is a spiritual thing happening. Sometimes, being delayed is protection.
Do you believe God sends spirits to intervene in our lives to help us or to save us from some calamity? I sure do! Let me tell you a true story:
It was late summer of 2006. I lived on the outskirts of Anniston, Alabama, a reasonable dot on the map about halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta. My daughter was pregnant with her first child, due in early October.
One Sunday morning, she had to take her husband to the Atlanta airport to head for a school he was attending, and just so she wouldn’t have to return alone, I rode along. The plan was to go straight from the airport to church since we had warm up for worship team before the service. We thought we might stop for a coffee or something when we got close.
Now, I’m not great with directions. I’m pretty good with up and down, left and right confuse me, and I know better than to attempt north, south, east, and west. My daughter is better than I am. We knew we had to watch for signs directing us to I-20 W, and we were alert. No problem! We both saw the sign and headed toward our route, got on the interstate, and oddly, found ourselves headed in the opposite direction. That was weird! One of us might have misread the sign, but both of us saw the same thing.
We actually joked about it a little: maybe my propensity to get lost was contagious, after all. It took just a few minutes, maybe ten, to get to a place we could exit, cross over the interstate, and go back the other way. OK, sigh of relief, we were on our way.
It was a completely uneventful drive until we got within about five miles of the church. Suddenly, emergency vehicles were screaming past us, and up ahead, break lights–lots of break lights–and a horrible accident! Traffic was completely stopped. We watched from our safe distance as ambulances peeled away and as a helicopter landed and they life-flighted a victim from the scene.
Amazing! Awesome! Terrifying! What if we had not both misread that sign? What if we had been a few minutes earlier?
Do I believe God supernaturally provided protection for me, my daughter, and her baby? Indeed, I do! I believe that when we abide close to Him, He leads us to good things and away from bad things. Ten minutes can make a big difference!
So these days when I face delays, I try to remind myself of that morning. Instead of grumbling, I thank Father God for His love and His grace and His protection. He leads me to green pastures and still waters and away from the rocks and floods. I have learned that to be delayed is not necessarily a bad thing.
Be Patient in Delays
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. If you are experiencing any kind of delay, it may be that God has a purpose. He knows the end from the beginning, you know. Search it out; pray; see what He has going on for you. You might be surprised at how much your delays work in your favor.
In his blog “How to Be Patient,” Mike P. Taylor, explains that when we are experiencing delay, we have the option to fill up the time with positive activity–prayer, worship, rest, to name a few. He writes (and I love this!), “In reality, ‘delayed’ time is just as valuable as ‘non-delayed’ time. There’s still opportunity there for good things to happen, it just might look differently than you wanted.”
You’ll travel safely, you’ll neither tire nor trip…Because God will be right there with you; he’ll keep you safe and sound.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
God bless you, and may you find blessings in your delays.