Stand Still

natureI almost missed it. In fact, if someone hadn’t pointed to the opposite bank of the creek, I would have remained unaware.

A Great Blue Heron stood perfectly still by the creek bank. Without movement, this large bird easily blended into the natural surroundings. The previous week, I had seen a heron flying low over this same body of water. Perhaps it was the same one. This time I had the opportunity to take a picture.

I thought of the patience needed to remain motionless for an extended period of time. Standing still is not easy. For the heron, this patience would pay off when it saw its next meal swim by.

For me, patience can stop me from rushing ahead and making foolish mistakes. Oh, if only this were as easy as it sounds!

Right now, it seems like I’ve been in a holding pattern for far too long. I wonder how much longer I need to stand still. What repercussions will I face if I rush ahead before the timing is right?

As I pondered these questions, the words of a favourite song flooded my mind. “Stand still and let God move. Standing still is hard to do. When you think you have reached the end, he’ll make a way for you. Stand still, and let God move.” I am once again reminded that my timing is not perfect, whereas God’s timing is.

Maybe I’ll take a lesson from the heron and practice my patience. That way, when the time to move ahead comes, I’ll be ready.

Washed Out Road

God, Inspiration, trust, patience

The area we stopped in for the night was under a heavy rainfall advisory.

The forecast for the areas we’d be traveling in over the next couple of days didn’t look good so we decided an early start in the morning would be our best option for getting ahead of the weather.

Long before daylight we were on the road again. An hour later, we came to a complete standstill. All we could see in the darkness was a long line of tail lights ahead of us.

We turned the motor off and waited for things to start moving again. The night faded into morning light. A cold wind permiated the van and we got blankets from the back to wrap around us.

When we heard a washout had occurred ahead, we knew we could be there for hours. Since there was nothing we could do but wait, we decided to make ourselves comfortable. We moved to the back of the van, turned the furnace on and relaxed. After playing a couple of games of cribbage we made lunch.

Instead of stressing about the delay, I wondered what God was protecting us from by holding us back. We were safe, warm and had food, water and a bathroom so knew He was taking care of us. Later we learned of jackknifed semis and multiple accidents due to icy roads.

Almost five hours later a police car came by to announce the road was open to one lane traffic and we could proceed. I was surprised to find that the actual washout was 140 km from where we had been stopped.

This situation reminded me how God uses what I think of as delays in my life. He provides what I need to stay safe while He works to clear the road in front of me. Sometimes the work is done much farther ahead than I realize.

My role is to be patient and trust that God has everything under control.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and lean not on your own understanding ” Proverbs 3:5 NLT

Added Delay

Inspiration, God, patience

My husband and I were driving on the busiest highway in Canada, the 401 in the Greater Toronto Area. Our GPS kept saying things like, “Seven minutes of delay have been added to your route” or “Twelve minutes of delay have been added to your route.”

We already knew it was busy, with six to nine lanes of traffic headed in the same direction! After an hour of this, stop and go was becoming commonplace. We joked that at this rate we might still be sitting there the next day.

Flo (as in ‘go with the flow’), our GPS was being very generous with the delays she kept giving us. We chose not to let these messages bother us. As long as we were moving forward, no matter how slowly, we knew we would eventually reach our destination. The timing may not be what we had hoped for, but we would get there.

Isn’t that the way of life? I encounter unexpected delays and am frustrated at my lack of progress. What I fail to appreciate is that I am still moving forward. Unlike the GPS, I have no idea how much time is being added to my journey. A delay doesn’t mean the end of the road. My goal may be just around the next corner, so one step at a time, I will keep moving.