It’s been sort of a crazy week amid a pretty crazy life, so it didn’t altogether surprise me a few days ago when I found myself stopped at a green light with my car jam packed with Walk by Faith Ministry’s three paralyzed dogs on the way to the doggie dermatologist a few hours away. It didn’t altogether surprise me, but it did altogether annoy me. My stress level has been altogether high, my patience level has been altogether low, and I could not for the life of me understand – nor accept – why traffic was stopped at a green light of all places. But then it dawned on me, how many of us are stuck at green lights in our lives – and what exactly does this mean?
It’s one thing to be stopped at a red light; in fact it’s totally understandable. But how many times have you found yourself stuck at a green light? In other words, it’s high time to move forward in some, if not all, areas of your life. When God has made it plain and clear it’s time to move ahead, there you are in your little driver’s seat with your car jam packed with who knows what. And you are just plain old stuck – not to mention, hot and bothered about it. Or not. Because if the truth be known, some of us don’t mind being stuck whatsoever. Others of us simply can’t stand it. But that’s neither here nor there. The point of the matter is God has said GO, and you just ain’t done it.
Why not? Picture me in my Honda element ministry ‘n doggie mobile jam packed with just about anything and everything. Just like our lives. All ready to go, but not moving. Sometimes we’ve got stuff we just don’t need. Sometimes we have stuff we should have let go, maybe even long ago. Other times we have no stuff at all. Or maybe we were told to get some stuff and just didn’t bother. Stuff or not, here’s the deal. If God said go, why haven’t you gone? Why aren’t you going? Why are you in the exact same place you were yesterday, and the day before, and the year before, or decade before, or whatever before. Stuck at the green light.
Why? In my case this week, I couldn’t get through the green light because of something up ahead. It wasn’t my fault (in fact, I made that plain and clear with my let’s-get-going attitude). I would have gone. Really. And sometimes, in our lives, we really would move forward. But something’s blocking our way. Maybe a family member who won’t go along with God’s will. Maybe a school teacher who won’t support the project God really wants us to work on. Maybe the weather we just can’t control. I don’t know. You do. If you’re stuck at a green light, you probably know. Or perhaps not. Because maybe you just haven’t realized, or acknowledged, or faced facts. The light is green, and guess who’s moving? Not you.
Sometimes we’re stuck at a green light for a reason I hesitate to mention. Not. Of course I’ll mention it. I’m gifted (yikes, not everyone likes this) with telling the truth, even the hard truth. We might just be stuck at the green light because we ain’t paying attention. Imagine that. Ever stood at a green light with everyone and their dogs and mothers honking from behind to tell you it’s time to MOVE BUDDY (that’s the mild, sweet version of what they’re more than likely saying, thinking, yelling, cursing, or BARKING)? Why aren’t you moving? Answer? You know. We’ve all done it. Daydreaming. Not paying attention. But hey, we’re not talking about a green light on the road to who knows where. We’re talking about when GOD GIVES YOU THE GREEN LIGHT and SAYS GO, MOVE, HELLO, WAKE UP. So, why aren’t you listening?
Next? The next possibility? Ahem. Get ready. Ahem. I hesitate. No, I don’t. Here it is. REBELLION. “I’ll show him.” No, let me be more precise. “I’ll show HIM.” Yeah, Him. God, that HIM. I’m going to do things my way, I’m going to do things my way, la la la la la. Na na na, yeah, sing it to me sister. Sob story just won’t cut it. You a rebel? Maybe not a rebel, but a part-time rebel? Feel like following Jesus when you feel like it? I can’t say I don’t have any experience in this area. Sadly. Truthfully. Got to be honest about it. Some people are downright stubborn. Some people just get the t-shirt. Some people pay a quick visit once in a while to Stubborn-ville. Get the point? Maybe you’re at a green light because you are BOUND and DETERMINED to do life YOUR way. I promise you, you’ll pay. We always do. The Lord isn’t Lord for just nothing. He’s EVERYTHING. And when He says GO, the light is GREEN, hello, it’s a perfectly good idea to go. No, not just an idea. It’s the very best thing to do. But hey. There’s nothing like encouraging a stubborn person to go forward. Honk, honk, honk. Better to drive right around the person, eh?
Now some people get stuck at green lights simply because they don’t know the light is green. Are they color blind? No. Are they totally blind? No, they wouldn’t be driving. It’s not really a matter of not seeing; it’s a matter of not HEARING. Plain and simple, some people don’t know how to hear from God. The Bible is totally clear about the ability, and necessity, of hearing from God. But some people are new to the Lord, and others are not new but haven’t taken the time and done the study to learn how to hear from the Lord. So the light turns green, and guess what happens? Nada. Nothing at all. Can’t hear God saying, GO, GO, Go already! But God understands, doesn’t He? In my estimate, or in my experience I should say, God is perfectly happy to help me learn to hear from HIM and give me more opportunities to realize the light is GREEN.
If you think these are enough reasons for being stuck at a green light, think again. Leave it to human beings to get stuck for a whole variety of reasons. Like fear, for example. Ever been afraid to move ahead? Or pride. Ever been prideful. I sure have! The Lord’s been dealing with me about pride lots lately. Or how about other forms and fashions of sin? Oh boy! Who wants to go forward when that yummy temptation over there looks loads better?
I think you get the point by now – the point about being stuck at a green light anyway. But reasons, and excuses, and justifications aside, here’s a big, bold, beautiful question for you.
If you’ve found yourself stuck at a green light, and you’re sure God has called you to move ahead, are you ready to do something about it?
When I was a little girl, my pediatrician told my mom about me:
“The green light says go.”
HONK. HONK. Light’s green, buddy. Yo, HONK….HONK….!!!
Are you ready?
Father God, forgive any and all of us for being stuck at green lights. Please help us to see the LIGHT, and please give us the courage and strength and whatever else we need to GROW and to GO forward in our journeys with YOU! I love you, Lord! Please bless those who read this, and please send this devotional to whoever needs it. Please move through my heart, and these words, to touch and transform lives, to grow your Kingdom, and to grow us all into the sons and daughters you desire for us to be. In the name of sweet Jesus, AMEN!