We headed up the mountains looking forward to changes in color along the highway. Our plan included a stop at a waterfall, lunch, and finding pumpkins. As we started out, our conversation was peppered with laughter and questions from two little boys in the backseat. All was well until we noted an emergency vehicle and clusters of people in the distance. As we drove closer to the scene, we spotted cyclists-lots of them. With wishful thinking, we hoped the bike race had ended. Not so; the further we drove, we caught up with lines of cyclists. Our conversation moved to curious questions,

“Where are they going?” “How many are there?” asked the younger boy.

“Thousands, I think,” answered his brother. “I saw the number 2,000 on the back of a shirt.”

I silently groaned, knowing there were well over one hundred and they were going in our direction. The two-lane winding road required we stay in our lane and not pass. Ten miles an hour would make a long morning. We had no solution except to fall in line and stay in our lane.

We understood the reason for the delay but the explanation didn’t fix it. We continued driving under twenty mph for nearly thirty minutes. In that thirty minutes, we had a remedy. We played an imagination game:  How far were they biking? Were they tired? Do they race a lot? How many were participating? What kind of bikes do they have? Why did one cyclist get off and walk up the hill? What if someone was hurt or had to use a restroom? There’s a lady sitting in a lawn chair cheering and another with a laptop. A laptop?  Why? Yes, clocking the cyclists.

Time didn’t speed up. Thirty minutes was thirty minutes, but we used it with creative questions, imagination, and fun—even learning that someone keeps records on a laptop in the middle of nowhere..

Life presents more serious problems that often don’t have solutions.

We plan but…

We expect but instead…

But… we can look for remedies. We thought we had a clear path but interruptions say otherwise. How can we stay in our lane?

  • 1 Peter 5:7  reminds us to not be anxious but to cast our cares and anxieties on the Lord because He cares for us.
  • Psalm 16:5 tells us our script is safely in God’s hands.
  • Matthew 11:28-29  invites us take Jesus’ yoke and find rest.
  • Hebrews 13:5 affirms God ever abandons us.
  • Hebrews 4:16 says we have access to prayer and can find mercy and grace to help in time of need.

Life situations may not change and daily life traffic often stays bumper to bumper with no way of escape. There are lines of bicyclists in our way and no way to safely pass. When solutions to fix and change aren’t likely, and we have to stay in our lane, we can find remedies of security in God’s promises. We can look for hope: confidence that God’s character never changes and He keeps His promises—like sufficient grace when we’re stuck behind cyclists with no escape in sight.

What about you? Have you met “cyclists in your lane” or has  bumper to bumper traffic  halted your plans? How have you met the promises of a remedy when you knew a solution was not in sight?

You can read more about real hope in life interruptions in Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart by Marilyn Nutter and April White.

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