Dang it! Another red light. Didn’t I already pass that Cadillac from Texas? Yet, here it is again right up along the passenger side of my car in this two-lane highway! What good is it for me to hurry along and try to get somewhere quickly, when this road is full of traffic lights and those annoying drivers keep catching up with me? It seems to me that traffic lights are the great equalizer.
It strikes me funny how many times I have thought these same thoughts as I travel up and down many of Ohio’s highways. Sometimes, the more I try to outpace the car beside me, the less progress I seem to make. It occurs to me today that this same concept is true in regular life. Only it’s not a traffic light that is the equalizer, it’s God.
God loves each and every one of us. He gives us exactly what we each need at the precise moment that we need it. We may have different thoughts about how fast we need to get somewhere, perhaps in our career, our home lives, our love lives. But God has this uncanny ability to make us slow down at that “red light” and give us pause. This pause whether desired or not, serves a greater purpose in his almighty plan.
“He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully” says Luke 4:10. As Americans, I think we try to rush, rush, rush. Constantly trying to get to the next bigger, better accolade in life. In the Bible, however, the word STOP is mentioned 307 times in 13 translations.
The Lord tells Abram to STOP being afraid in Genesis 11:8. In Exodus he tells us, ” Six days you will do your work, but on the seventh day you will STOP…” Deuteronomy 10:16 explains that we need to circumcise our hearts and STOP being stubborn. In Ruth 1:16, “STOP urging me to abandon you and turn back from following you. Because wherever you go, I’ll go.”
The STOP serves a purpose in our lives. Halting, breaking, pausing are all for the good. We just have to give ourselves permission to accept that and try to see what the reason could be. God wants us to STOP and know his good works (Job 37:7). If you’re like me, you need more of this and less hustle and bustle. Just give yourself a break once in a while, appreciate the surroundings maybe, or pause to listen to some sound in the world, slow your thoughts and be in the moment.
“Listen to this, Job. STOP and consider God’s wonders.” (Job 37:14).