We had just passed a junction (isn’t that always the way!) when the traffic ground to a halt in front of and around us.
As we trundled along at a snail’s pace (actually I’m not sure we were going that fast) the mood changed from happiness to grumpiness.
I think that all of us felt frustrated that we had just passed a junction that we could have turned off at to reach our destination.
Most of us confessed that we hate traffic jams and talked about the stress that we feel when we are in them.
This whole jam thing had spoiled what was until that point a wonderful day.
Eventually it became clear that there was a problem in the inside lane ahead and as we headed further on we could see a police car parked ahead blocking that lane. We were all trying to see what had happened and as we drove past the police car we saw in front of it something that we had not been expecting.
When I saw it, I was glad that we had been in the traffic jam.
Funny isn’t it how something that causes us such stress and frustration can be something that we later give thanks for.
What’s that? You want to know what had caused the traffic jam?
In front of the police car was a huge pothole. We had been driving along at 70mph and I thank God that we didn’t hit the hole moving at that speed.
We arrived at our destination later than we had hoped but we also arrived in one piece and without injury or damage.
This was a traffic jam I was glad to have been in. The person who was driving had suggested that we left in plenty of time and so even with a delay we were nowhere near being late. So why did we get stressed?
When we face obstacles, do we view them as a nuisance or do we pause and consider whether they may be there to help us?
In Acts 16, Paul tried to go to various places that he wanted to but God kept stopping him. I’m sure that Paul was really, really frustrated but later on he ended up in the place where God wanted him to be (you can read more about that here).
Are you going through a difficult time?
Rick Warren said that ‘God doesn’t waste a hurt’. God may not necessarily want you to be going through the difficulties that you are, but in it he will be at work. Instead of just focusing on the negative, why not pause to talk with and to look to God?
Let’s stop, look, listen and think.
Stop and tell God how you are feeling and ask him to speak to you.
Look to God rather than just at the problems. Let God lift you up and give you hope instead of letting the problems drag you down and into despair.
Listen to what God is saying in the difficulties.
Think about who God is and who he is transforming you into. Consider how much worse things might be if God was not at work.
I was glad to be in that traffic jam! I wonder what we can look at differently in our lives today?