Three lanes reduced to two; construction; a disabled vehicle. How often have we met backed up traffic? Losing time isn’t on our agenda. Traffic delays are among the mild unexpected events we experience, yet they interrupt plans and send us into negative attitudes..
Last time we met here, we discussed one way we prepare for unexpected life events. We pack God’s promises for daily living. Sometimes we keep promises in our carry-on bags for usual life challenges. When we experience a significant life interruption, we reach for larger suitcases.
The promises not only hold us up in hard times, but as we live believing them, we change, and develop character to influence others.
“So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.” (2 Peter 1: 5-8 The Message)
We can lead the life God wants for us, not by managing a traffic delay without exasperation but as the character qualities overflow, they “keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1: 5:9 NIV)
Ineffective and unproductive? That’s heavy unnecessary luggage to carry on a trip.
Or effective and productive? That’s the ease of a suitcase on rollers when we choose to pack His promises,and influence the passenger in the front seat.
God’s promises aren’t wishful thinking, but truth that tell us He lives up to what He says and who He is. When we believe and hang on to them, they change us.
Yes, as in our last blog, we’re thankful God gave us the heavy coat for unexpected weather. The “heavy coat” was often grace when I didn’t think I could deal with a difficult person. The heavy coat was wisdom for the path to the right decision. Or promised strength when I didn’t think I could go on one more minute.
It’s more than seeing the heavy coat—the provision and promise, but seeing God is trustworthy. My faith is renewed and built up, and my character, perspective, thinking, and attitudes change.
What does that look like? The heavy coat in unexpected weather becomes an opportunity to display goodness, patience, self-control, and the other qualities Peter mentions. It’s a lot like seeing the fruit of the spirit in my life designed to display Jesus, nourish others, and be effective.
J D Winiger in his blog post, A Bouquet of Lessons, says, a small act of kindness shows who we are inside. As we have been the recipient of God’s kindness, we spill that out to others. When we add these characteristics to our faith we show who we are inside, We show we’ve packed those great and precious promises to keep our focus, not only in our present, but later to unpack for our future, when we meet a traffic delay or need a heavy coat in June.
Where have you unpacked His promises so you can be effective rather than ineffective?
What describes your winter coat in June?
I was privileged to share a writing journey with April White. Together we collaborated on God’s promises in life interruptions. Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When life Falls Apart releases September 28. It’s available for pre-order. We’re looking forward to traveling with you in hope.