Stop Signs

October 31, 2001
by Jim Messmer

Proverbs 2:6,10 – For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. (NIV)

Psalm 37:18 – The days of the blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure forever. (NIV)

Driving to work this morning, a woman motorist passed me on a quiet residential street. She barely made it back inside the right hand lane, to avoid being hit head on. Off she sped, quickly out of sight, until I rounded the next curve, and there she was, waiting impatiently at a four-way stop. As I pulled up behind, she squealed her tires, and was off again, soon out of sight for a second time. Had she gained anything from her speeding, from all the extra risk she had subjected herself and others to? Apparently not, for as I rounded the next corner, there she was again, stopped at a red light. I thought to myself, "She's obviously in a big hurry to get somewhere. I hope she makes it."

Do we ever find ourselves cursing God's stop signs in our own lives? Are we making life more frustrating, and more risky than need be, by pushing ahead, breaking the speed limits of life that God has established for our own protection? Have we forgotten that we, as Christians, have all the time in the world, and then some? Surely the blessing which God has in store for His faithful children will more than make up for anything we have given up in this world, or have been deprived of for the sake of His kingdom. If we push against God's protective limits for our lives, we will probably find ourselves like my frustrated acquaintance: no further ahead, upset, taking unnecessary risks, and cursing God's stop signs, which are there for our own good.

Prayer: God, thank you for the hope we have of life that will never end, so we don't have to be in such a hurry in this life. Jesus, thank you for your peace. Your yoke is kindly, and your load is light. May we love your laws, and delight in your ways, forever! Amen.

    As a child, I walked with God, and paused to smell each flower.
    Then I got excited, as if life lasts but one hour.
    Rushing here, rushing there, I'd lost my sense of time —
    Seeking things of here, and now, instead of the sublime.

    Then the Lord reminded me about eternity.
    What had come to blind my eyes, from things I once could see?
    Had the Lord abandoned me, left me all alone?
    Or had I turned to lesser gods, and made this earth my home?

About the author:

Jim Messmer
Washington, Illinois, USA

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