Stop Sign Moments

Article by: Bridgehaven Team



Have you ever been on the road to work, thinking you have plenty of time to get there, and construction traffic stops you? A man greets you with a bright colored vest and has firm grasp on a stop sign. There is one lane of traffic ahead, and your journey comes to a screeching halt. You got up this morning when your alarm went off. You poured yourself the final cup of coffee before walking out of the door and left for work on time. Now, the audacity of this construction worker has the “nerve” to bring your schedule to a screeching halt. What is your attitude like in this moment? Are you patient? Are you indifferent? Are you angry? Like it or not, with a stop sign in your face, you are going to have to wait.

Galatians 5:22-23 contains a list of the fruit of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” If there is one “fruit” that is lacking in the “stop sign moments” of life, it is patience. To develop patience, one must wait. Time-oriented cultures (like the U.S.) and the concept of waiting do not seem to fit together very well. Patience in general—often learned through waiting—is not very easy. Waiting, especially waiting on the future, is something that is often hard to do. In the midst of waiting, though, God often has a lot to teach us about Him— and ourselves. Becky Trabassi once said,  “How we wait on God’s timing says a lot about of the depth of our trust in God.” Our culture is a very fast-past culture (evidenced by the fast food restaurants, drive-throughs, and express-lane aisles). Waiting is not something that comes natural to us. We want what we want, and we want it now. Waiting brings special challenges. What are we supposed to do with waiting times? More importantly, though, what is our attitude as we wait? Do we wait patiently? Do we wait expectantly? Do we wait with hope, or do we wait with despair?  Do we get aggravated? Who do we look to during waiting times? Faith in God is a huge part of the process of waiting. Satan would have us doubt God’s goodness (and timing). The Lord has much to teach us through the waiting, though. Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). He is trustworthy. Waiting often reveals the allegiance of our hearts. Will we trust God in faith, or will we trust someone or something else? Sometimes it is only through life’s “stop sign” moments that the fruit of patience is learned. So the next time you see a yellow-vested man with a stop sign, be prepared for the lesson that the Lord may want to teach you.