Monday, August 1, 2011

Bumps Ahead!

On my way to work one morning last week, I noticed a new sign: BUMP. Sure enough, in the next few seconds I drove over a small bump where road crews had been working.

“How wonderful to live in a state that cares enough about its citizens to put a sign on the highway, warning them of a bump,” I thought. “Now, Lord, why can’t You do the same for me? I’d like to know when a bump is coming up in my life, so I can be prepared ahead of time.”

His kind but firm voice resonated in my heart: “Because if I told you before every bump occurred, you’d be worrying, then planning how you were going to drive over it, or take a detour around it. You wouldn’t trust Me to take care of you and keep you safe.”

Gulp. Nod. He was right.

Planner that I am, I’d be mapping out fifteen steps to overcome each bump. It wouldn’t matter to me whether it was the minor irritation of a head cold or the major distress of a loved one’s death. Before each bump ever hit, I’d know exactly how I wanted to navigate or circumvent it.

Notice the emphasis on the word “I” in that last sentence. I would plan how to face each bump so I could overcome it by whatever method I thought best. Which requires no faith in my Heavenly Father to strengthen me, give me wisdom, and help me through my trials. Since it is impossible to please Him without faith (Hebrews 1:6), I’d be careening all over the road and sliding into ditches as I tried to carry out my plans. Finally, battered and covered in muck, I’d holler, “Help me, Lord!”

He would rescue me, of course. He’s faithful like that. But I could’ve saved myself a truckload of bruises and a bale of grief if I’d simply trusted Him in the first place. And He understands that if I don’t know the future, it’s easier for me to trust Him.

So, never mind, Lord. I really don’t want to know what bumps are up ahead after all. You know when they’re coming, You will get me through them like you always have before. And that’s good enough for me.

Would you like to know what bumps are up ahead?


  1. No. Not at all. I'm all for preparation, but this reminds me that His ways are not our ways. I couldn't handle to know all that awaits on the road ahead (good or bad).

    ~ Wendy

  2. If I was an angel or even a saint, gulp, I'd say, "No, I have perfect trust." But since I'm human, I have to say, yes, I like to know when the baseballs are coming so I can duck them.

    I'm still working on that perfect trut. :)


  3. Definitely still working on perfect trust, too, but I also definitely do not want to know. If I had known some of the things coming my way in the past,I might have given up and lost faith before they even began. I'd have never seen Him work them for good. As with being a passenger in China several years ago, I find it better to close my eyes, not see what's going on, and leave the driving to the one in charge, even if it looks like it's all over the road from my perspective.

  4. No, I'd be fretting the whole time. I enjoy what I have now, but just to be sure, I pray even when things are good, that God will continue to lead me through the good and bad.

    Good to read your loving words again, Jeanette!

  5. Generally speaking, I would say no. I don't want to know. There are certain trials, however, (like my sister's heart transplant) that hover over us for a period of months or years and we know they're coming...In those cases, it's a good time to prepare our hearts and make sure we're really ready for what's coming. Well, I guess that's what she should be doing whether we know about it or not. :)

  6. Great post Jeanette!
    I'm better off NOT knowing. I'm really not a worrier, but I am a "muller," going over and over things in my head. I think God gives me just enough info to trust, but not too much so I'd depend on myself.

  7. Not really. You're right about the "I." The not knowing helps take the "I" out of the equation and strengthens our faith muscles.

    Hard stuff. Very hard.

    You dealt with this very thoroughly and with such wisdom! Good job, Redheaded Friend!

  8. Jeanette:
    I would either be scared or I'd spend my time planning ways to beat the bump. I, too, am a planner. I want things to work out as 'I' want them to. I used to want the easy way out. But, I have learned that God sometimes places these bumps in our path in order to teach us something.

  9. I have to know EVERYTHING! At least I think I do. I'm a natural born coordinator. I will coordinate the birds in the sky if I can. Therefore, leaving my life's coordination to the Lord (including road bumps) is a very, very frightening but needful place for me to be!

  10. On he surface, I want to say yes, I want to know. But all of your excellent reasonings came first, so I have to say no. Good post. You truly made me think about it.

  11. My heart tells me "No" but there have been times when I would have liked a head knowledge of the outcome of something... the results of a medical test, or of a loved one's recovery from surgery... maybe which agent will turn out to be The one. But not knowing is what strengthens our reliance on God, and we need that.

    Wonderful post today, Jen! Thanks!

  12. Ah, Jen, I am a planner, too. I would overplan each bump and probably miss the whole blessing.


  13. I'd be pretty darn careful to avoid the bumps at all costs. I loved your analogy.


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