On my way to work, there is this section on the motorway that at peak hour in the morning gets very congested. The road merges into one lane and then goes under a bridge, with the cars from the on-ramp also needing to merge into the one lane. You can imagine it can get pretty messy.
Now, I've noticed the habit of a lot of the cars during this congestion is to take the off-ramp over the bridge and come back down the other side to skip about 100 metres of cars. They seem like the smart drivers, taking the easy option to skip some of the traffic and make their journey easier. However, their choice to take the quicker route actually just makes the congestion worse because it means more cars needing to merge from the on-ramp into the one lane of traffic. It may make their journey easier, but in the long run it makes the traffic for everyone else worse.
Personally, I don't like taking the easy route in that situation. Something just doesn't feel right about skipping all the other cars who are following the rules and make their journey longer just so I can get ahead. This decision does, however, tend to make my journey longer.
I feel like this is a good picture of what is can be like sometimes in the world, living as a Christian and following God. We can see those around us who break the rules, step on people and hurt people in order to make their way to the top of their profession, talent or social community. We see them doing those things and although we disagree with their choices, we become disheartened to see that, somehow, they receive positive outcomes for their morally unstable decisions and we wonder how they get to break the rules and be rewarded while we follow the rules and seem to be stuck.
It can be a very frustrating and disappointing cycle to become aware of. That is, if you don't understand the power of the favour of God.
Understanding how it all works
Now, imagine you're in that same traffic situation and you've decided to do the right thing and just stay in the normal flow of traffic to avoid making things worse for everyone else. You see all the other cars just skipping over the bridge and making their way quicker and you begin to question whether you made the best choice.
But then, you see a car coming towards you down the shoulder of the road, going in the opposite direction to all the traffic. It gets closer and closer to you until it stops next to you. A kind looking man gets out and motions for you to roll down your window. He tells you to pull out of the traffic and follow him, because there is a hidden road that no one knows about that will get you to your destination faster than any other road. You wonder why this man has only chosen you, but you follow him anyway and sure enough, you make it to your destination faster than you could have imagined possible.
This picture is what it looks like to live and move in the favour of God.
His way is always the better way
When we are humble and obedient to God, honouring Him with our lives and our choices, He actually honours us in return. The Creator of heaven and earth honours us for our faithfulness, because He is a good Father. When we wait on Him for direction and provision, when He tells us it's time to move and chase that thing we've been hoping for, it's an amazing feeling to see how much easier it is than we thought it would be. He makes the impossible possible and the difficult road smooth.
Yes, sometimes we feel like we're a bit left behind for a season when we make decisions based on God's direction and our character and morals rather than our desire to get ahead in life. But the truth is, when we try and do it on our own, it may work for a time – like it seems to work for the cars skipping the traffic – but it doesn't help or encourage those around us, it just tears them down and will eventually damage us as well.
We are the children of God and He makes a way when it looks like there is no way. Like the hidden road in the illustration I shared, God provides us with wisdom and insight into the path to take to achieve our goals, without having to harm anyone in the process. When we let God make a way for us, we get to skip and the queue, be lavished in grace when it's our turn to excel and we also get to maintain strong relationships with those around us.
From my own experience of waiting for the moment that God says 'yes, now it's your turn', it can be hard at times. Trusting Him to part the sea for you and refraining from trying to do it yourself can be frustrating sometimes when you let the world's way of doing things cloud your view. But, I know from many moments in my life now, that His way is always so much better, more fun, simpler and a lot more fruitful.
I encourage you, if you are waiting in the queue for something in your life at the moment, don't be discouraged by those skipping the queue unfairly and getting ahead.
Wait for God. He will come get you when the time is right and take you past all the obstacles to get you to your heart's desires quicker and easier than you would have thought possible. Don't lose heart, He will reward you for your faithfulness to Him. It's worth the wait.
Caitlyn Furler is a lover of writing, music and people. She is a recent graduate of high school in Australia and works full time as an assistant in a law firm. She is a worship leader in her church and is enjoying the possibilities and mystery of not knowing what she wants to do 'when she grows up'.
Caitlyn Furler's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/caitlyn-furler.html