Since all of life is filled with lines, I discovered to use them for my betterment. As a young mom, I hated grocery lines with the children. All their “being good” was used up and long lines meant lots of saying “no” to the candy located at the check out. Then, one of the guys would have to urgently go potty. The youngest one would wiggle in the cart seat and begin to cry. Of course, the register tape would break, the lady in front of me would have a million coupons, and my feet hurt from teaching all day. I just wanted to get out of the place and go home. Remember those days? After one such incident, the Lord pricked my heart on the way home.
Internally, I heard him ask why I had not used that opportunity for Him? What? I didn’t have patience to even serve my family. At that, I remember giggling and saying to Him, “OK, I give, we are your family. Show me how.”
He taught me through Osborn Chamber’s devotional, My Utmost For His Highest. Chambers said, “ A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, but our Lord continues to stretch and strain, and occasionally the saint says, ‘I can’t take any more.’ Yet, God pays no attention; He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight and then He lets the arrow fly.”
That analogy has helped me so much. Later on in any line, I learned to use the time to teach my children, whisper to them, or show them how to observe others and be grateful for those around us. Line time became a relationship time. Now, it wasn’t perfect, but it sure improved my line expectations with our little guys.
As I aged, life became fuller and more hurried, and I would feel frustrated waiting in a bank line, a doctor’s office, or a retail line. Then, I would visualize myself being stretched for a purpose. I would turn to someone near and begin to ask them about their life, their problems, and God would use me. The wait was fulfilling. I was experiencing holy love, and they were being splashed by grace.
Lines continue. Now, they are waiting with my husband, my granddaughters, or by myself. God has taught me so much during these “waiting times.” He taught me to pray at red lights, sing favorite hymns while stuck in traffic,and to be grateful for my blessings while waiting at doctors’ offices. Whether the line is short or long doesn’t matter. It is God’s time, and I am His bow with His directed arrow.