God's Red Light
By Lori D'Augostine
-- Have you ever found yourself getting ready for work in the morning, frantically searching for the match to your calf-high black sock? This isn't just any sock. It's the perfect fit for your calf high black boots or black trousers.
You look at the clock, and notice that you have five more minutes until you must leave.
There is no time to find this sock and so you hobble around the kitchen like an amputee, antsily moving to the disco beat of your microwave's turn table, hoping that the chime will go off sooner than the amount of time it takes to cook your food.
Your heart beats faster and faster, as you imagine that the world is wondering, 'Will (insert your name) make it to work on time?'
Finally, the missing sock is retrieved and the instant oatmeal is fully cooked, and there is still some time left as you ease yourself into your Acura, chanting your victory song. You forecast that it will be a great day and heartily wave to the garbage man on your way out of your neighborhood.
Your smile soon fades however, as you speed up and are suddenly stopped dead in your tracks by the all too familiar red light.
This isn't your common red light, however. It is one of those rare lights that stubbornly remains red for what seems an un-Godly amount of time. What are the chances? Out of the 3,000 times that you have left your home, perhaps you have hit this light just as it turns red, 10 times before?
You turn on a Christian radio station and hope the lyrics will appease your impatience. You may even add two or three other tasks to the mix. Whichever mode of distraction you use, the red light still has the upperhand.
Life has its way of stopping us dead in our tracks. God has a way of stopping us dead in our tracks when we are flying by the seat of our pants; especially when we think we are doing quite well at it.
I found myself at a similar crossroad recently. My red light seemed to last an eternity, and I found myself squandering all over, grasping at anything and everything within reach that could serve as a distraction.
However, all of those momentary fixes were not enough to carry me through that eternal pit stop, and so as a meandering child, with my windows rolled all the way up, I cried out to God and asked the often dreaded question, "Why?"
"God, I thought that you worked it out for me to make it to work on time. You helped me find my missing sock just in time. But now I'm late because of this irritating traffic light. Why?"
This may seem a silly example, but these confessions of traffic light rage are mere symptoms of a greater problem, and can often present themselves in much more tragic circumstances.
"God, I thought that you wanted me to go to work and provide for my family, but since the car accident, I have been left paralyzed and cannot even take care of myself. " "God, I thought that you wanted me to marry this person, but they say that they are no longer in love with me." "Why, Why, Why?"
Job 30:26 says,
"When I expected good, then evil came; When I waited for light, then darkness came."
When we are so blindsighted by the curve balls of life, we must not turn to man for our answers. It's funny, the answer I get over and over from man, is that someday, it will all make sense; as if longing for some future time when hindsight will tame my wild heart is enough to keep me quiet.
I beg to differ. Even if the puzzle pieces of our lives do someday come together, the ability to make logical sense of it all doesn't seem enough to fill the voids in our achy hearts.
We need something more. We need something now. We are meant to keep our senses attuned to God in these times of isolation. While we are at the traffic light, we can expect God to answer us. But we must ask Him our poignant questions, and we must turn the radio off and listen to Him. We do serve a God who speaks to us in the midst of our pain. Job determined to wait for God's voice.
Psalm 40:1 reminds us,
"I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry."
Next time you find yourself at a red light, take heart, my brothers and sisters. Do not just pass your time idlely by, anxiously awaiting for the light to turn green. Soak in every moment of this time because it will soon pass and you will never be able to go back to these crucial moments.
The God of the universe has beckoned you and wants to captivate you entirely with a timely word that you must pay heed to before you get caught up in the traffic of your life again.
God is not abandoning you. Your healing is on its way, but you must stop first or you will not recognize it.
Job 14:14 says,
"If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes."
For all those wondering, I did make it to work on time that day, and I did make it to the other side of that seemingly eternal crossroad I mentioned earlier, quite changed.
Because of those precious moments spent at that devastating red light in my life, I now pass through every other intersection of my life with renewed ease and even smile in the face of every other red light that stops me dead in my tracks. Funny, how that happens.
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." (James 1:2-3 NAS)
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