I suppose a good example of it might be our cottage that took four years to sell (yes, you read that right: half my daughter’s little life).
That might have been God saying, “wait”.
It might just as easily have been the voice of common sense saying, “Don’t buy an ancient house without a proper survey,” but you know; we had to wait and we did learn stuff in the waiting.
Or another example might be those times where you’re convinced that God has said to go for something, only to sense – somewhat embarrassingly, just weeks later – that you’re getting that red “time to stop” light.
I certainly felt that way with Facebook: one minute I was obeying what I assumed was a call to start an online fellowship group, only to be suddenly and completely convinced that it was right to quit the whole platform for good.
Baffling for all concerned, certainly, but then the paths in this faith thing don’t very often seem to run in straight, sensible lines.
“Traffic Light God.” I was pondering this idea as I read about Mary and Joseph over breakfast (and no, it’s not quite as saintly as it looks: that heap of nutty topping is fried-off in a deliciously generous lump of coconut oil: yum-my).
Anyway – the gist of the story was this: the angel told M & J to get moving because of Herod, so off they went. Then they were told to stay put, so they stayed put. And later on, they were told to return, so they got moving again.
They were really quick to act on God’s traffic lights for them, you know? Which must have been so lovely from God’s perspective (not least because it meant baby Jesus got to stay alive).
So let’s think about you for a mo.
Because I was wondering what colour the lights are that are currently glowing in your world (and no, not those pretty white fairy lights that are strung over your scrap desk, though I do suddenly desperately need some of those myself: bloomin’ Instagram fomo).
I was wondering what things, people or places God might want you to move on from; is there maybe something that you’ve outgrown? Something that’s been holding you back for a while? Maybe there’s a physical move on the cards?
And in which areas of your life might God want you to rest a while? What is it that you’re desperate to move on from, but God’s annoyingly whispering, “Not yet. It’s not quite time.”
What dream is in your heart that needs to push out a few more under-the-ground roots before it’s strong enough to flower? (Hard to watch those around you flower while you’re still doing the dull root work, huh?)
And where is that green light glowing for you? What new steps might God be nudging you to take?
What’s that thing that’s terrifying you (because God’s ‘green light’ things almost always do make you want to throw up *just a little bit* in your mouth) but you just know it’s the right next step? (My tip: just do it: He’ll get you there in the end, so make it easier on yourself and just take the leap now).
In my world, it seems making videos for youtube is getting a clear red light: pah. Either that or our internet connection is just plain old crummy and God’s not really bothered either way.
And I guess we just obeyed a pretty major green light in relocating over to this island in the first place. Can’t tell you how happy I am that we obeyed that one! (kicked and screamed for Britain at the time, mind you; might be an idea to show me the beach photos sooner next time, Lord).
And I’d like to *think* I’m sensing a bit of an amber light in terms of my scrapbooking ‘career’. It feels like there might just be fun things ahead, but it’s not quite time yet (at least, I hope there are fun things ahead and not galling Design Team rejections because I can no longer get on youtube… “Worms: back in your can!” – ha!)
The trick with all of this, of course, is trust.
Trust that there’s someone who knows the plans. Trust that that same someone will help us with the pain of stopping things, the frustration of staying put and the sheer terror of moving on.
And He can be trusted on this road trip, you know. He’s good company and knows the route like the back of His hand. The path’s not guaranteed to be especially straight or smooth, but He’s one awesome guide – red, amber or green.