Waiting for the Light to Change

Vol. 19 No. 24 | June 12, 2017

Sitting at an intersection waiting for the light to change, I reflect on the amount of time we spend waiting for ‘life’s traffic light’ to change.

Some typical things we might do while waiting:

We might change the radio station, maybe check our emails and text messages. We might search our GPS for the fastest route, clear the dust off the dash, maybe wipe the smudges from our wideshield. We might think it a good time to touch up our makuep (note: I am speaking of the collective we here, this is one I usually choose not to elect), maybe trim up our fingernails… check our teeth for food particles. (Remember, collective!)

These are just a few examples of the endless number of ways we find to distract ourselves while waiting for the light to change. But what about those times when we are waiting for life’s traffic light to change?

You are ready to go. In your mind you know the plan and are just waiting for God to give you the green light.

In your heart you are convinced that He wants you to quit your job, sell most of your early possessions, and move to a remote part of the world to spread His message. That is your vision, but the light is still red.

You are ready to be married. You have dated and dated, but so far the man or woman of your dreams has yet to show up. It seems like everytime you meet someone, you are sizing them up, hoping they will be the one. You think the light is finally going to turn green, but it stays red.

You know the career you want to pursue. You have the training and skills. You have written and rewritten your resume countless times. You have applied to every job that is even close to relevant. Nothing. So you wait.

You know your education is important, but you are tired of studying and ready to go to work. You feel like you can endure it, as long as the courses apply directly to your field. But if you have to take one more General Education course, you are going to lose it. You wonder if the light will ever change.

There is a story that comes from the life of Joshua. After the death of Moses, Joshua became the leader of the Israelites. There was a period of mouning (Deuteronomy 34) as God continued to prepare Joshua to lead the people. Can you imagine that waiting period for Joshua, knowing that once the light turned green he would step into the shoes of one who is described as follows:

Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:10-12, NIV)

But when the light turned green, Joshua did not hesitate; he proceeded forward.

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses, my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. (Joshua 1:1-3, NIV)

Pay close attention to this one line of Joshua’s instructions: … get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.

As you sit in your car, waiting for the light to change, you can piddle around with rearranging things in the glove compartment if you want. But maybe a better thing to do would be to get ready. You would not want to hesitate and delay your arrival because you are distracting yourself from the waiting period.

So get ready. Even if this waiting period takes longer and is more painful than you want. If you are paying attention and allowing God to do His work, the light will change precisely at the moment you are ready.

So please, be ready…the light is just about to turn green.


A Norvell Note © Copyright 2017 Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.