With forty-eight measurable snowfalls this winter many conversations started with: “How long was your commute?” Black ice, snow, disabled vehicles, distracted drivers, multi-vehicle accidents and snowplows often turned normal commute times into nightmares.
It wasn’t unusual for Brian to call several times on his way home with delayed ETAs due to slow traffic or icy roads. When the weather is nasty, we want to be someplace warm, dry and safe as soon as possible
For the most part, we don’t like storms. We don’t like the unpredictability, the obstacles, hurdles, distractions, turbulence, hardships, delays or discomfort in life that they bring. We want calm days and timely arrivals.
Life isn’t like that. Life is full of storms that often cause long commutes; it always has been, and it always will be. Wherever the Lord is taking us, whatever road He has us on, there will be storms, and there will be delays. But that’s not all bad…
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead us to disappointment.” – Romans 5:3-5 NLT
The storms will not destroy us. The delays will not defeat us. Both will shape us.
“So be truly glad. There is a wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold…” – 1 Peter 1:6-7NLT
God has a purpose for every storm and delay on the road He has you on. He knows what storm He wants you to endure. He knows where you will be delayed because you’ve slid off into a snow bank, or spun out, or even stalled. He knows when you will be in white-out conditions, unable to see the next turn. He is already there waiting to help you.
But sometimes the storm or delay may be our own fault. Sometimes the delay is the direct result of disobedience. The Israelites in the desert understood a long commute.
“Normally it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, going by way of Mount Seir. But forty years after the Israelites left Mount Sinai…” – Deuteronomy 1:2-3 NLT
The Israelites arrived at the Promised Land shortly after leaving Egypt, but refused to believe that God would give them the land, so they didn’t go in. The consequence of their sin was a forty-year-sand-storm of grumbling and disobedience. Talk about a long commute!
There are no short-cuts to spiritual maturity. It is impossible to grow in our understanding of God, and our part in God’s plan, without weathering storms. It is impossible to get out of the desert without trusting God.
How are the roads that you are currently travelling? Are you in a storm? God knows the length of your commute and every pot-hole along the way. You can trust Him to bring you safely home.