Waiting on God’s Green Light
For some very good reasons, I didn’t learn to drive until I was twenty-seven years old and living in the US. I grew up in Scotland, and my mum was a widow. There simply wasn’t enough money for all three of us children to get driving lessons. My sister, Frances, got them as a gift from a church friend because she was the eldest. My brother, Stephen, got driving lessons because he was a guy. And I . . . took the bus!
When I moved to California, though, I realized that if I didn’t learn to drive, I would be staying home until Christ returned. The first few lessons were a bit dodgy. In fact, they seemed to require the instructor to have me pull over so he could get a cup of coffee and a couple aspirin. But I got the hang of it. Soon the only issue we had was traffic lights. I could tell when they were about to turn green—I just kind of felt it in my bones—but that special skill of mine did not sit well with the instructor.
“You have to wait until you get a green light!” he noted, quite forcefully.
That’s a good phrase to apply to our spiritual life as well. When we’re at a crossroads, we are wise to wait until we get a green light before we move ahead. But it can be tempting to run ahead of God, can’t it? Sometimes God just seems to be taking too long to get back to us!
Whenever I have tried to move ahead of God’s perfect timing, I’ve always ended up regretting it. When there is no clear green light, God wants us to wait. David himself—the man after God’s own heart—encouraged us to be patient: “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14).
Only God knows the road that lies ahead. So when we’re not sure what to do, let’s choose to wait on the Lord in faith and do nothing. As J. I. Packer wrote, “When action is needed, light will come.” He must have had the same driving instructor I had.
God’s green light is always worth waiting for.