Saturday, March 11, 2017

Road Warriors

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

-- Psalm 43:5

Think your daily commute is rough?

Even if you've braved the infamous rush hours of Atlanta, Washington, DC, New York City or even Los Angeles, count your blessings that you don't live in Sao Paulo, Brazil. According to Time magazine, traffic jams in that South American metropolis of 20 million can sometimes drag for 100 miles!

Sao Paulo residents ("Paulistos") cope Trafficthe best they can as the gridlock consumes more and more of their lives. But their sense of helplessness and lack of control leave them feeling angry, exhausted and depressed. Time's quote from one frazzled commuter says it all:

"I feel useless, like I am a prisoner," complains Andreia de Oliveira, an architect who spends between two and three hours each day going to and from work. "I could be at the gym, studying, at home relaxing. But instead I am stressed and frustrated."

You might not suffer through crippling bumper-to-bumper traffic all day. But you (like every human being) have felt from time to time like things have spiraled out of control. Perhaps you feel like that today--and for good reason. But believe it or not, God is in control of the situation.  

This is a fundamental truth that every Christ-follower should embrace. But we often don't feel his control because we can't see the big picture. We don't know the life-changing people and situations that he'll introduce to our existence. We also don't have his vantage point of knowing what's around the corner and miles up the road. Moreover, it's hard for us to see a greater purpose in our lives when we're going through the pain of unemployment, lingering illness, family problems or even death. But God is in control. And for those who trust and follow him, he offers this assurance:

"Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you," says our Creator. "Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Has your life become a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam of depression and frustration? Don't ever lose hope. God knows what we need--and he knows it long before we ever ask him for help.

"But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord," we read in the Book of Micah. "I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me."

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