When God Smiled During a Traffic Jam

A military mom finds peace while stuck in her car during rush hour.

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Posted in , May 31, 2018

A smiling woman at the wheel of her car

I don’t know anyone who enjoys driving in rush hour traffic, and I’m no different. I work hard to plan my days to avoid this perilous time, but sometimes it just can’t be helped. 

One afternoon I was stuck in a particularly long line of cars at 5pm in December. Rush hour is bad enough the rest of the year, but at Christmas it’s ridiculous. I was already having a difficult day, our son was on his first deployment, our other two sons had a big youth group party at the church that night, and I was late getting supper ready. Navigating the stop and go traffic as I inched toward home, my frustration continued to build, and that’s when God began to speak. 

“Thank you for the great support you give to our Veterans at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, NC with the booklets you provide. “                                                                                 --C. Garland Vance

I knew it was Him when I heard the whisper of a single word—peace. The word was so clearly spoken that I glanced at the radio, but it was off. I took a deep breath and strained to hear where the word had come from. I heard it again and this time I recognized that it was being breathed into my soul from my Heavenly Father. 

“Seriously? Now, in the midst of this kind of traffic—with all I have to do—you want me to focus on peace?” My words—spoken out loud—weren’t very respectful but they were an honest reaction. 

Instead of being blasted by a lightning bolt, I felt God smile. He already knew how I was feeling and wasn’t offended by my irreverent response. I apologized and my focus changed from the irritating traffic to seeing what He had to show me. 

As I sat in that frustrating situation, He began to draw parallels between my current situation and the struggle I was having with our son on deployment. I still come back to these two insights whenever I’m facing a difficult situation: 

1)  External situations don’t have to color internal reactions.
When I lift my eyes from the traffic jams of life and return them to my loving Father, I can and will find peace.

2)  Gradual progress counts.
Sitting in the stop and go of traffic made me feel like I wasn’t going anywhere. But truthfully I was. It was slow, but I was moving. 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV)

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