Recently I was working in Garden City outside right outside of Savannah, GA. As I was getting ready to head for lunch, I started asking for food recommendations. To my surprise, no one gave me a lunch recommendation, all anyone said was “any food choice I could want is just two miles down the road.” Sure, I put ‘food’ in my GPS and almost 100 food locations popped up for me to choose from that were just two minutes down the road. My game plan was simple, pick a place to eat, get food and head back to work.
Little did I know that traffic was HORRIBLE! After it took me TWO HOURS to go two miles, I decided to eat at Chick-fil-a (shocker) and get back two miles down the road. TWO HOURS! Everyone told me ‘just two miles’ not one person mentioned how bad traffic gets just two miles down the road. But after my frustration and being out of work for over an hour, I learned a good lesson.
This two-hour, two-mile commute, four total miles taught me that sometimes there are short steps to take in your next stage of life, but that step may take more time than expected. Your next step may be right in front of you. You may know exactly where you want to go and have your own time frame lined up and planned out, but that is not how life works. I am finding more and more that the next two miles in life may be a two month or even a two-year wait.
I see this so true in my life and so many of my friends’ lives. I have seen friends struggle with wanting to take a two-mile step into the direction of working full time but having to finish extra college first and that small next step take two plus years. I have heard of friends who have been married for a few years and so desperately want to buy a house and start a family but have to wait for the next step that has taken them longer than their friends. There are people who can see their next step in front of them to open their hearts and homes to fostering or adoption, but the next step is taking longer than it should.
We live in such a fast-paced world where we want the ‘to-do list’ lifestyle or the “one step at a time” to happen quickly, but God does not promise us that we will live on our own timeline. He gives us so many promises of prospering that I believe we find our biggest desire and need for God during the in-between. We find our greatest need for God while we are in the two miles of traffic that takes two hours of our life. God draws us in to remind us that we are created to be fully dependent on Him. That even though we see the next step in our life, we are not in control. That when we find that we are stuck from point A to point B that God has not forgotten us, He has not left us stuck in the same season without a purpose. He is with us every step of the way, at every traffic jam drawing us closer into His love, trust and faithfulness. You are not stuck! You are in your season for a reason.
As I was still frustrated about the two miles taking so much more time of my life than expected, I turned to the Bible and was reminded of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. Hannah so desperately wanted to have a baby. She saw her friends in the season that she also wanted to be in. She didn’t understand why she couldn’t have what she wanted but she could see it in others around her. I’m sure she questioned why it taking her so long, why was she the one feeling stuck? This is the same questions that I have asked myself and I have heard friends question from a deep part of their heart as well.
Just as Hannah had so much faith in God for His perfect timing in her life, we are called to have faith and to wait in faith. We are to build our faith to be strong and unwavering on the time it takes to get from step A to step B. Have faith that God’s presence is with us, He is not simply ignoring our prayers and heart desires. God has proven time and time again that He loves us too much to let life unfold on our timeline. Instead He answers prayers at the right time, every time.
Join me in building our faith in the wait! Worship with me as we sit through the traffic of life. Spread the joy that comes from God as we are being prepared for the next step in life. Help me in making a culture of supporting each other in our own seasons of life without adding pressure of what is next. Remind friends that God is a God of promises and answered prayers. Keep praying, keep pressing, keep trusting there is joy at the end of your traffic jam.