To say I was annoyed would have been an
It was my last day at work before leaving on vacation. My morning preparation had gone well, and I now found myself on the road, headed for work. I was 15 minutes earlier than normal, and those extra 15 minutes were just exactly what I thought I needed to ensure that I finished everything and would be able to finish work on time. But now, all of this was for nothing, because I found myself stuck behind an extremely slow dump truck on a narrow country road, in a fog so thick that there was no way I could pass him. As I poked along 20 kph below the speed limit, I couldn't help chaffing with impatience.
As the kilometers slowly slid by and time quickly moved forward, I found my annoyance turning towards God: "Why didn't You tell me to go a different way?" I found myself asking. "I could have gone the highway, or I could have turned left back there instead of right; but now I'm committed to this route and at this rate, I won’t even be able to get to work on time, let alone early!"
It was about then that the truck slowed even further and then stopped altogether.
As I peered out into the fog to try and see what had caused our trek to halt, I could just make out the shape of a train crossing the road. The fog was so thick that I could barely see it, even though the track was right in front of my detested dump truck. "Why, God?" I cried, "You know how every moment today counts!"
My mind instantly turned to the fog, and as I looked out into the pure "creamed soup" of the air that surrounded me, it occurred to me that perhaps the four-lane highway might not have been the safest route to work that morning. Had I not had a slow dump truck in front of me, I would likely be trying to drive much faster than weather conditions would safely allow. My despised "dump truck" was actually the one thing that ensured I stayed on the road! Peace filled my heart then. The dump truck wasn't an annoyance, it was my safety net.
And the train?
Just the time I needed to realize the magnitude of God's blessing in what I considered to be negative circumstances.
As the train cleared the track and the dump truck slowly began to move forward, I smiled. The massive vehicle did make a great pilot through the fog, and I did feel safe driving behind it! "Thanks, Lord," I said, "thanks for the truck."
At that moment I knew I was going to have all the time I needed at work despite the delay. And I did. I was able to leave on time with every last detail taken care of.
Isn't it true that we so often curse the things that appear to be going against our will? And even worse, when the seemingly "bad" things happen, don't we so often grumble at God for allowing them? But what if those "bad" circumstances are actually allowed by God to bring about greater blessings? After all, I wouldn't have been blessed if I had gotten into an accident on the way to work, and the lost time was a chance for God to shine through with yet another miracle of time management!
Let's stop chaffing at the seemingly negative circumstances. Instead, let's remember God's love for us. Let's remember that He sometimes allows negative circumstances in our lives so that the doors can be opened for even greater blessings. And let's especially remember that God's picture, the one we don't see, is far better than our own!
"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Rom 5:3-5, NKJV)
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.