downloadI’m noticing a lot of drivers these days speeding through yellow lights at busy intersections. Some people even put the pedal to the metal to get through a light that looks more red than yellow. My point here is not to assign blame, although we all would do well to slow down and proceed with caution when a traffic light turns yellow.

These days it seems a lot of people HATE yellow lights. The thought of waiting through a long cycle of red lights while other drivers get to turn left, or proceed through the intersection before us, drives us crazy- at least it does me at times!  More than adding time to my commute, I’m starting to understand that yellow lights represent a deeper spiritual challenge in my life with God.

Yesterday, two friends talked to me about their journey to determine where God is leading them next in ministry. They invested time and money to check out a ministry opportunity and were excited about investigating this potential move.  After a grueling week, they instead came away overwhelmed and confused.  What they thought would be a move-ahead moment ended up being an experience that brought them back to square one.

They hit a yellow light in their life.

We spent time praying for wisdom and obedience to God in His design for their lives and future ministry. We also talked about some alternative ministry approaches, and what it means to both wait for God and keep exploring the doors that appear before us.  I am convinced that the yellow light God put in their path will soon be followed by a green light somewhere down the road!

I have learned that God’s yellow lights don’t necessarily mean He is saying “no”—although He could be.  When we hit the yellow lights of life God may simply be telling us “not yet” or “not here.”

The biggest mistakes of my life were the decisions I made to speed through a yellow light God put in my life or ministry path.  Even though I don’t like yellow lights, I am learning that they have a place in God’s plan for my life and ministry.

God can use Yellow lights to grow our spiritual patience. Our timing and expectations may not be in synch with God’s plans.   I am continually asking God to infuse in me the patience that comes by His Holy Spirit, as my human nature wants to rebel against yellow lights.

Yellow lights can stretch us and grow the spiritual discipline to trust God and wait on Him, especially when we are in a hurry for an answer or even feel panic. One famous Scripture promises some amazing benefits for people who faithfully wait and trust in God in times of waiting and uncertainty:

”Those who wait upon in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Isaiah 40:31

When we yield to God in times of yellow lights, we allow Him to renew our strength, help us soar through life’s uncertainties, run and proceed steadfastly with a spiritual stamina that doesn’t deplete us or cause us to give up.

Finally, if we are attentive to God, the yellow lights of our life can reorient our thinking to see things from a calmer, kingdom-based perspective.  God may have us on pause so we can help someone else who comes alongside us.  Sometimes God’s ministry call happens when we are busy making other plans

So, whether in actual traffic or in the spiritual traffic of our spiritual life, I encourage you to respect and learn from the yellow lights God allows into our path.  It’s worth the wait!

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14

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Thanks and God bless you!
Chris Atkins