I’ve just completed a long road trip. I had planned the route well giving myself plenty of time, but then on the motorway the overhead flashers came on saying there was a hold up. Traffic stopped and I was sat there for what seemed like hours going nowhere stuck in the middle of a three lane queue of cars.
How do we react in traffic jams when we are stuck, - get impatient, shout, get angry, get anxious or worse! Maybe you even suffer from road rage? None of that helps, because there is nothing we can do.
This also applies to everything else in life where things don’t go how we expected them to, and where we are powerless to do anything about it. Again what is your response - frustration, irritation, resentment, hurt, sadness or maybe a mixture of all of them?
It’s helped me to remember that even if I didn’t see it coming, God is never surprised by what happens in our lives, so if he is allowing it, there must be a reason. Patience is what is called for, with ourselves, with God and with other people. Patience and Prayer! There is a verse in Isaiah which helps me in these situations “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. (55:8)
And that hold up on the motorway that made me late? My initial feelings were huge irritation, followed by worry at the thought of a diversion and getting lost. Then I remembered the verse from Isaiah and the advice I have shared. In these situations God has given us an unexpected opportunity to stop and pray, to think about the needs of others, rather than our inconvenience. To hold all those people in the queue before Him, to pray for those who may have been involved in an accident.