I commute to work via train every day. The train ride is about an hour long, so it can be a bit irritating at times, especially when there are delays – and let me tell you – there are often delays.
This morning, I was reading over John 13 for a study we’re going through at my church, when the train came to a halt. I stopped what I was doing and was thinking, “HERE WE GO AGAIN!” If you haven’t read any of my previous blogs, I’ll give you a quick update – I’m impatient and a bit of a control freak. I allowed that to take over in this moment. I found myself pushing the “fake gas pedal,” while sighing and eye-rolling with the nice lady next to me.
While I’m sitting there waiting, irritated and thinking about all of the things I need to do when I get to work, the announcement comes on letting us know that the delay is due to a draw bridge malfunction.
This got my over-analytical brain ROLLING. What if my fake gas pedal had worked? Well – everyone, including me, would have crashed into the Chicago River, and it would have been tragic.
I had just read John 13:7.
“Jesus answered him, ‘what I’m doing you don’t realize now, but afterward you will understand.’”
While I was busy sighing and pushing my fake gas pedal, I was unaware of the drawbridge malfunction ahead of me. The trained and educated conductors, who were in control of the situation, had knowledge of this and kept us safe from it.
Side note – I never in all of my frustrated train commute life EVER imagined I’d compare a train conductor to God, but here I am… so let me break this down for you…
Stop Using the “Fake Gas Pedal” Method
God is in control of my life, but so many times, in so many situations, I find myself pushing the “fake gas pedal.” Unfortunately, God sometimes allows that fake gas pedal to become quite real, and I either hurt myself or someone else… often times, both.
I’ve done this with many things but for this instance, I thought of my singleness. I used to view being single as a curse. I had this idea that everyone over the age of 25, should be married or on the path to marriage. Because that wasn’t me, I often times found myself forcing relationships to work that could never ever work. Consequently, I found myself hurt… a lot… and in some cases, I wound up hurting the other person too.
When we try to control the aspect of God’s timing, we can manipulate and look past things, which will in turn cause a whole lot of destruction in and around us. We may not understand God’s timing, but we can rest knowing that He is in control.
Turn Your Focus from Waiting to Trusting
A lot of times, when we are waiting or stuck in the “unknown” parts of our lives, whether that’s with relationships, our career, a diagnosis, etc., we focus solely on that in itself – the wait. I can stress so hard about not knowing an outcome, that I miss the beauty of the present.
When the train came to a stop, I stopped my “quiet time” and dwelled in my annoyance instead. If I wasn’t so emotionally reactive in that moment, I could have realized the beauty of it – I had additional time to talk to and learn more about God. Not only that, but if we did keep going, a lot of people would have been hurt and/or died. So that’s pretty important to remember God’s timing is for our own good.
We need to stop viewing these situations in life as “in between” moments. Continue to grow and serve, and watch the beauty of His timing unfold. Through that, we can turn our focus from the uneasy feelings that come with waiting to a sense of soul rest and safety.
Write down these verses and cling to them when you find your inner control freak is beginning to manipulate God’s timing.
John 13:7 – Jesus answered him, “What I’m doing you don’t realize now, but afterward you will understand.”
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Isaiah 40:31 – but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Acts 1:7 – He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Isaiah 43:2 – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.