Do you ever feel sad, happy, and overwhelmed at the same time? While celebrating freedom and a three-day July 4 weekend, these feelings shot off like fireworks that lit up the night sky over our city. What happens when our emotions get tangled up like Christmas lights that work right one minute and lose power the next? How quickly “this little light of mine” finds its way under a bushel when my many blessings scream…”let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!”
My holiday weekend was wonderful. However, with every beautiful blessed thing I enjoyed, there were burdens that tugged at my heart strings. How about you? Do you find yourself in a place Dr. Seuss described in his book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”? He tells of a place where one can get stuck and have the joy sucked from what was once a happy camper with a blessed life. He calls it the “waiting place,” where one easily gives up on life and gives out of hope that things will change. So, waiting sets in and happiness sails away.
Are you are waiting for things to change in your life, in the world, at work, at church, or at home? Waiting can be a good thing when it doesn’t consume and keep us from moving forward at the right time. How do we know when to wait and when to go forth? Traffic lights make driving on our highways easy with red lights to stop us and green to give a go ahead. Yet, that yellow caution light is needed to prepare us to stop. That bright yellow light warns us of danger ahead if we go at the wrong time. Obeying traffic lights can keep us from having a collision that could leave us with minor scrapes and bruises, change our lives forever with dependence on a breathing machine, or cause heartache for family and friends when a sheet is pulled over our bodies and life here ends. Do we obey and follow traffic patterns and lights that keep us and others safe; do we make wrong turns and bad choices that can harm us and others? Knowing when to go and when to wait can make all the difference in life and death.
Obeying God’s word and way for our lives keeps us moving along life’s highway with family, friends, church, job, home, toys, and all the trimmings of a “good life”! The troubles come when detours send us through places we are not familiar with, as Dr. Seuss alluded to in his book. Many times we get stuck in strange places if we are not in tune to God’s (GPS) guidance.
Getting stuck in a waiting place can be dangerous and deadly. We can become calloused over things that come our way or relaxed with a way of life that offers instant rewards and little demands. We can get so involved and overextended or so laid back and unassuming that we put off living for Jesus in all that we do, making things right with our Lord and loved ones, doing things with family, going forth when He nudges, trusting and obeying, getting involved in helping others, and just enjoying life. Our feelings quickly become tangled, our close relationship with our Lord and loved ones slowly slips away, happiness is at risk, and we are stuck!
Alas, we are not alone as the caution light from our heavenly Father blinks with a blinding truth we often overlook…”Danger ahead, My child… Look to Me and I will safely guide you through the green and red lights of life. Trust Me. I love you so much that I sent My Son to die for your sins. I knew you would have seasons of hurt and hurdles. I have been with you when tears flowed through the night and trials took a toll on your family. I watched you walk the aisle and give your life to Me. You know what is right but get confused on things the world is trying to change in My Word and in your mind. I am the same. I walk with you and talk with you and carry you when the load weighs you down; yet, you ignore my calls and disregard my warnings. Where are you headed? Don’t get lost my precious sheep! My children have made choices to distance themselves from Me. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light, you come to Me through My Son. I want to be your best Friend, to share a close relationship with you. Why are you not listening? What has taken up all your time? You haven’t kneeled beside your bed and prayed with your family for many seasons. You go, go, go and have very little time left for what matters most. I get leftovers when you are tired and weary. I long to hear you call My name first thing in the morning, take Me with you on daily journeys, and whisper words of love and thanks to Me before you close you eyes at night. Where are you? Your cell phone is packed with numbers and your schedule is filled with things to do and places to go, but I am not found in your phone or in your plans. Where are you going my child? Please slow down. Stop doing the things that distance you from Me and from the family I gave you to love and cherish ‘till death parted you. Rewind and rededicate your life to Me. Take that step of faith and see the places you will go with Me by your side. I caution you with a stern warning that I am coming soon. Please be ready to GO! Do not stop or get stuck waiting for everything in your life to be ‘just right – perfect’ before you walk in faith to the plans I have for you. Nothing or no one embodies perfection except My Son. I do not expect you to do it all right, just to believe in Me…God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to guide you on your journey. Confess and repent when you make wrong turns, get sidetracked, or just make a mess of things along your way. You have a choice to do what is right and good in My sight even though it seems the whole world is all tangled up in what is wrong. There is a remnant still standing on My promises and watching as did Gideon’s few. I will not forsake or leave you. I love you so much that I did give My Son and whosoever does believe in Him will not perish on the highway of life but will have everlasting life in Heaven…forever and ever. Do not get tangled up in sin and situations that can steal your good life there and your eternal life here in Heaven. Keep Me first and stay closely connected as I am the Vine, the One who will guide as you. Listen to Me. My sheep will know My voice. Be ready for I am coming soon.” Amen.
Next week, I will share the rest of my July 4th story. Until then, think about where you are and where you are going. Get untangled! Take time to reconnect and reroute if you have ignored His calls and are off course.
Becky Spell Vann is a long-time columnist for The Sampson Independent’s Faith & Family section and owner of the outreach ministry Tim’s Gift.