Friday, October 8, 2004

When you are in a hurry, there are words you just don't want to see on the highway, like "reduce speed," "construction ahead." Sometimes that slowdown occurs long before you see the sign, and then you wonder why you're in a two-mile traffic jam. Usually, everything has to slow to a crawl around a construction area.

Once when I was on a major road in a metropolitan area, we had to slow down for this big construction area. They were obviously doing major work, so that meant the expressway was going to be slowed down for a while. My cab driver had a good attitude toward it all. He said, "Well, 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 "Slow Down for Construction."

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 23, beginning at verse 1. These words have comforted, challenged and encouraged many people for many years. "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 slow down pretty unwillingly, don't we? It's not easy to get us to put on the brakes, and maybe that's exactly where you are right now. God has slowed you down. You are in a divine construction zone. God's slowed your speed so He can work on you. While things are moving at full speed, you can't do construction work. It's possible you've been traveling at a very high rate of speed. Maybe there's been stress and deadlines, you've been trying to manage growth, manage a crisis, or build something new. Maybe you have been packing more and more into your life, trying to balance demands from every direction, trying to make things happen. Suddenly, God has hit the brakes.

He has a lot of ways of making us lie down. One visit to the doctor, a child who is in a crisis, an emergency in the life of someone you love. Maybe God has used bad financial news in your life as the brakes. It could be a dramatic change that you never could have anticipated. The brakes are different, but the results are the same - you get slowed down.

You could sit there and mutter and pound 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 it. This is His love in action. He knows you couldn't keep running at that pace. Maybe you were running over people, or past them, or neglecting the people closest to you. Maybe you've begun to think that your work is your worth, and He's been crowded to the edge of your life. Whatever kind of construction He wants to do is probably overdue, and God could never refocus you while you're running at full speed.

So, if God has slowed you down or shut you down, relax in the knowledge that you are living His plan. This is His love. This is His assignment for you right now. This is His way to give you what you need most. Sure, the traffic has braked to a halt, you're frustrated that you can't go very fast or go at all. You can't do all you usually do, but you're in God's construction zone. Like that cab driver said, "It will be worth the inconvenience." You'll be so much better when the construction is finished, so be still and know that He is God.



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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