Monday, April 30, 2018

The Price We Pay

Recently there has been quite a bit of road construction in our area. There was a road widened to allow for a turning lane. This project took a long time and caused all sorts of traffic delays on one of the busiest roads in our area. Now there is a major repaving project occurring on a 2 mile stretch of the same busy road that is causing major disruptions in traffic. You can't go anywhere in our area without hearing about the traffic problems associated with this construction. People are very adamant about sharing their displeasure with the long waits in traffic. You hear about it at the store. You hear about it at church. Scroll through your Facebook News Feed and you'll probably get a digital earful of people's thoughts on sitting in the long lines of traffic. (Before you post those social media rants, you may want to check out this blog post on being careful what you post!) I have purposefully avoided this repaving project because I don't have an hour to sit in traffic. So I can't comment on how bad the traffic problem is, but the price we pay for a good road is ultimately worth it.

Now I am as impatient as the next person when it comes to sitting in traffic. I despise it and want to get on down the road so I can get to my destination. But how do I complain, criticize, and critique the situation when 2 months from now I will be reaping the benefits of a new, smooth road? There weren't many complaints about the road or the traffic on the road until there was a major upheaval in people's daily activities. When the project is done folks will go back to not complaining (too much) about the road or the traffic. So when we sit in traffic waiting on the paving to be completed, we have to remind ourselves that this current disruption is the price we pay for countless hours of smooth driving and little traffic.

Our spiritual life requires the same kind of perspective. None of us like to be stretched spiritually. None of us like to be pulled out of our spiritual comfort zone or forced to reevaluate our spiritual condition. None of us like to sit in that spiritual traffic jam watching as God does construction on the road we find ourselves on. The work that God does in our spiritual life when He forces us to confront our own sin, or apathy, or (you fill in the blank), means He is working to make us more like Christ (Romans 8:29). As He does this, sometimes it means we have to sit patiently and watch as He tears up the road we've been driving on as He replaces it with His road. It is difficult for us to watch Him work. It is hard to see the sins we have become desensitized to being brought into the light. It is hard for us to be confronted with our apathy towards God, spiritual disciplines, and worship. You cannot be conformed to the image of Christ, which should be the goal of every Christian, with out being sculpted by the Master Artist. All the sculpting, all the conforming, all the confronting is done with our good in mind. And just like sitting in traffic watching road construction, we have to remember that is the price we pay for the benefit that is coming. The price we pay for a stronger faith and a closer walk with God is always worth it in the end.

The next time God has you sitting in a spiritual traffic jam as you watch Him work to replace your road with His road, remember that it is for your good and the end result will be well worth the price you pay.

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