Monday, January 5, 2015

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If you're in a hurry, there are words you really don't want to see on the highway like, "Reduce Speed", or "Construction Ahead." Often that slow-down occurs long before you even see the sign. You wonder, "What's going on here? Why am I in a two-mile traffic jam?

I was on a main road; actually I was in a cab coming from the airport in a large city not too long ago, and we had to slow down for a major construction area. And that meant the expressway was going to be very slow for a very long time. I began to wonder how long we'd be there, I was starting to get impatient. But the cab driver, he had a great attitude about it. He's been in plenty of those probably. He said, "Hey, it's an inconvenience, but it will be so much better when they're done."

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Slowing Down for Construction".

Yeah they're right, it'll be a better road when they're done. I guess that makes it worth the wait huh? Well our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 23 beginning with verse 1. Now these words of course have comforted and challenged and encouraged so many people for centuries. "The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul." It's a beautiful scene. But there are some potentially troubling words here. "He makes me lie down." We do slow down, but, usually unwillingly. It's not easy to get us to put on the brakes.

And that might be exactly what God's doing right now. He's slowed you down. You are in a Divine Construction Zone. He's slowed your speed so He can work on you. See, when things are moving at full speed, He can't do the construction work. It's possible that you've been traveling at a very high rate of speed. And there's been stress and there have been deadlines. You've been trying to manage growth, or manage a crisis, or build something new. Maybe you're even packing more and more into your life. You're trying to balance demands that are coming from every direction. You're trying to make things happen.

And suddenly - boom! God hits the brakes. He's got a lot of ways to make us lie down. One visit to the doctor can stop us, a child who's in crisis, a marriage that's in crisis, an emergency in the life of someone you love. Maybe God has used some bad financial moves in your life as the brakes. It could be a dramatic change you could never have anticipated. God's brakes are different, but the results are the same. You get slowed down.

Now you could sit there, you could mutter, you could bang on the steering wheel. Or you could realize why God is doing this. He knows you need quiet waters right now. You need green pastures. Your soul needs some restoring. You're tired inside, outside. Don't fight this. This is God's love in action. He knows you couldn't keep running at that pace.

Maybe you've been running over people, or running past them, or neglecting the people closest to you. Maybe you've begun to think that your work is your worth, and you've crowded you to the edge of your life. Whatever kind of construction He wants to do, it's probably overdue. God could never refocus you while you're running at full speed.

So, if God has slowed you down or even shut you down, I hope you'll relax in the knowledge that this is His plan. This is His love. This is His assignment for you right now. And it's His way to give you what you need most. Sure the traffic has braked to a halt. You can't do all you usually do, but take heart, you are in God's Construction Zone.

Like that cab driver said, "It will be worth the inconvenience. You will be so much better when the construction is finished." So be still and know that He is God.