Coming Soon . . .
Sometimes I feel like my plans are stuck in a ditch.
I’m stuck in “Coming soon . . . ”
I’m trying to get my projects to the finish line but stuff keeps coming up and knocking me off the road.
I’m busier than a squirrel trying to decide which side of the road it wants to be on.
I’d hoped to have many projects completed by now, but life happens and plans get changed.
As they say, the only constant is change.
Or is it?
Actually, a truer statement makes that statement ironic:
The one true constant is God, and He never changes.
Finally, something–Someone–we can count on.
Four Tips For When You’re In A Ditch and Waiting for the Tow Truck
1. Be content.
Imprisonment wasn’t on the Apostle Paul’s To Do list, and yet, there he sat.
And while he sat, he chose to be content.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want
[Or in a ditch–my translation].
(Philippians 4:12, NIV)
God had a reason for Paul to be in prison. He was reaching people who couldn’t be reached any other way.
Because Paul was willing to embrace his ditch time, he got to be a part of an amazing story involving earthquakes, prisoners, and guards coming to salvation through faith in Christ. (Acts 16)
If he’d simply grumbled and complained about the injustice of his being imprisoned, I don’t think God would’ve used him in such a dramatic, incredible way.
He would’ve dwelled in the ditch, just the same, but he would’ve been miserable rather than singing hymns of praise.
We don’t always get to know why God has us in a ditch, but we can choose to be content there by trusting in the Faithful One.
2. Be humble and teachable.
Ask God if there’s anything you need to learn in order to be released from your ditch.
And then listen.
Sometimes God lets us get stuck in a ditch because we’re not as ready for the next step as we think. He slows us down because He’s not done preparing us.
When we learn to drive, we don’t get thrown straight onto the highway. Our instructors wait until they know we’re ready to handle it.
After Paul got saved, he spent three years in the wilderness being trained by God before God sent him out in ministry (Galatians 1:15-18).
Paul had been a model religious leader, a Pharisee. How could he possibly need three more years of training?
But all his fancy education wasn’t enough. God knew what Paul needed, and He knew how to train him properly.
Paul could’ve felt stuck in a ditch those three years, but his heart was humble and teachable.
He listened and learned.
Arrogance will leave us stranded in a ditch alone. Eventually, even our friends won’t want to help pull us out.
Be humble and teachable.
I’m going to repeat that. Be humble and teachable!
3. Be Patient.
Maybe we are in fact ready, but God hasn’t gotten the other players in place yet.
Our projects and plans aren’t really ours. God is the one at work. He’s inviting us to join Him.
It’s no good our setting off on our own to develop our own rogue projects.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5 NASB.)
Going rogue is a sure path to eventual failure.
From first to last, it’s all about Christ. Everything we do is about and for His glory.
Whenever we ride in a caravan, the lead car has to wait to make sure the other cars are in place and ready to follow.
Perhaps you’re leading the caravan and you’re ready to take of, but you’ll leave valuable players behind.
Paul and Silas wanted to go preach the Word in Asia and then in Bithynia, but God stopped them.
He didn’t tell them why they couldn’t go to Asia. He simply said no.
They could’ve fought God on it. Instead, they complied, and God sent them to Macedonia where they got thrown into a ditch, otherwise known as prison. (Acts 16:6-40)
They may have wondered why God thought Macedonia was a better choice than Asia. But it’s in this Macedonian prison that the jailer and his family got saved.
And years later, in God’s perfect timing, He sent the gospel to Asia and Bithynia as well.
4. Fill Your Heart With Worship
When you’re weary of waiting, try worshipping.
In fact, here’s a great worship song to learn: Dwell by Vineyard Worship.
If you’re stuck in a ditch, let this song fill your heart with the beauty and power of dwelling in God’s presence as you wait for God to send you a tow truck.
Then afterward, I have two questions I’d love for you to answer about a “Coming Soon . . .” project of my own. Thanks!
Remember: Our plans may change, but God never does, and He’s in the ditch with us.
In fact, as we’ve seen, He may have put us in that ditch.
One of the projects is a makeover for my blog.
These changes will better reflect the heart of my message that from first to last, it’s all about Christ–and He loves you.
I’ll unveil the blog makeover as soon as it’s done–Duh— along with a new series of blog posts I’ve been developing.
Would you please respond in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org your answers to these two questions:
What struggles and challenges are you currently facing?
What questions do you have about God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, or Christianity in general?
This blog isn’t a place for me to just babble.
Not that I don’t enjoy babbling. I love it. But I’m too busy for that, and so are you.
I want this blog to offer answers to your questions as well as give you hope and solutions for your struggles and challenges.
You can help me with this goal by sharing your questions and challenges with me.
If the Lord brings me to your mind, pray that His plans and purposes for this blog will be accomplished as I make the changes.
Thanks for taking the time to read and support my blog with your prayers and encouragement.