The Blessing Of Bad Traffic

[I will probably regret writing this post the next time I am running late because of bad traffic.]

Traffic jams are a daily problem in Nassau. I assumed that all my years living in traffic heavy Toronto would prepare me for the traffic challenges of this 22 by 6 mile island. I was wrong.

My GPS tells me that the drive from my home to my church office should take me 7 minutes. Rarely, do I get there in less than 20. On occasion, this short drive has taken me more than 60 minutes.

At this moment, I’m sitting at my desk, at the church, in downtown Nassau. There is no use trying to go anywhere. I’m stuck here—and that’s the blessing. Terrible traffic is enabling me to do some extra things today–like write this blog post (I haven’t written a post in more than 5 weeks). I’ve had more time to read my Bible. I’ve had more time to pray. You might say that I’m experiencing a forced retreat, but I’d prefer to think that I am rolling with providence.

There is no use in me belly-aching about conditions beyond my control. I know the cliche is that “When life serves you lemons, make lemonade”, but the Christian recognizes that “life” doesn’t have the ability to serve you anything. We serve a God who is sovereign over all things. Nothing takes God by surprise. Jesus reminds us,

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)

There is so much in that little text. God is not too busy with “big” things that He cannot care for the little things. He cares about the smallest detail of your life. In short, you matter to God. On this basis, Jesus tells us to not be afraid and to not worry about trying or uncertain circumstances (Matthew 6:25-34).

I do realize that traffic congestion is a tiny issue in the greater scheme of things, but I rejoice that God’s purposes remain even in the tiny things.

I don’t always use my time wisely. And I don’t always have a positive view about the traffic here in Nassau. But today, I thank God for an opportunity to catch up on some things that matter immensely. I am grateful for the fact that, out of a negative thing (insane traffic), can come a positive thing (an opportunity for more intentional communion with God).

You might not live in a place with traffic problems, but perhaps you know what it is like to have your plans interrupted by adverse or unexpected circumstances. “Life” did not serve you “lemons”. God has entered in. How will you respond?

Jesus tells us not to be afraid and to not worry.

That’s a lot easier to do when we position ourselves in close proximity to Jesus Christ. But perhaps that is God’s intention with the adversity or interruption that you’ve encountered.

Eventually, the traffic will ease up and you’ll be on the move again. Until then, let me encourage you to use this time to draw close to God. That’s what He wants, and that’s what we need.