In August, my family and I moved. We didn’t just move to the opposite side of town; we moved past the opposite side of town and into the country. The move means that my commute is now doubled! While I was initially dreading the drive, I’ve found that it can be useful. It’s great for spending time in prayer or worship, and on mornings that have been a little trying, it’s wonderful to have the additional time to refocus on the Lord.
In addition to having my driving time doubled, my drive is now mostly on the interstate, which means I get to deal with traffic. Yet, I’ve found that even traffic is something that I can be thankful for. Traffic can be a very useful tool: it can help me to see what is inside of me. How do I respond when the car next to me decides to speed up until they’re just a few feet ahead of me and then gets into my lane? How do I respond when the same car then slows down for no apparent reason? Or what about when a jeep decides to stop in the Walmart parking lot, blocking all traffic, for two minutes while they wait for a parking spot? How do I respond when someone takes their parking spot and they then begin backing up to take the spot I had decided I would take? Do I become impatient? Irritated? If so why? What is or isn’t inside of me?
Our hearts are like sponges. When we are squeezed by circumstances or situations, what is inside of us will come out. The two situations above are not just what if’s—they are things that have happened to me within the last two weeks. In all honesty, when I was “squeezed” by traffic, what came out of my heart wasn’t very pretty. I was irritated! I was impatient! If I am becoming impatient with and irritated by traffic, what is this revealing about me?
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails”
My poor responses opened my eyes to the fact that I, once again, need more of God’s love. Would Jesus have become impatient behind a slow car? Would Jesus have been irritated behind a parked or backing up jeep? I tend to think He would have been patient. I tend to think He would have been happy that the person inside of the jeep got a good parking spot.
Things other than traffic can squeeze us. What comes out of your heart when you’re squeezed? Is it a pleasant sight? Or does it reveal an area that needs to be surrendered to God?