Walking Our Faith: Lessons on a Life Under Construction

I watched the construction of the intersection of Colorado Highway 9 and Frisco’s Main Street and the new roundabout nearby as I commute to work on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from my home in Blue River.

From the roost of my reliable 2012 Yukon, I took every turn into account as I built the roundabout and laid out the new intersection lines.

Quite honestly, there were times when I thought their measurements must surely be wrong because I couldn’t see how two lanes of traffic were going to fit into the roundabout or how I was going to turn from there. Highway 9 on Main Street without blocking the other two lanes of traffic in this busy intersection.

But after the 8 am Mass at Sainte-Marie on Tuesday, I got to work. I crossed the roundabout with another car by my side, and there was plenty of room for both of us. When I got to the traffic light I found out that they had extended the length of the turn lane so that there was room for a lot of cars.

It occurred to me that not only did the road engineers not need my help, they could see the result of this construction project when I couldn’t. I hadn’t needed to worry all these months.

At the same time, it occurred to me that this was a very apt analogy for what my prayer life might look like.

For the second month since arriving from Florida to live with me, Mom is still sleeping on the living room couch in my apartment. I have two bedrooms upstairs, but her legs will no longer be climbing the stairs, and with the arrival of my international student, we now need three bedrooms. Our search for a wheelchair accessible house with a ground floor bedroom was unsuccessful. But every day I search the real estate app on my phone and send prayers.

The lack of answers is disheartening. When I get up at 6.30am to make breakfast for my international student, I walk past sleeping mom on the couch as I make my way to the kitchen, and I wish she wasn’t disturbed by my activities. I wish she could sleep on a real bed in a real bedroom.

I’m frustrated that I can’t do more, that I can’t support myself, to run this race and never to catch up.

I believe that is the danger of an unanswered prayer. Our frustration grows and we blame either God for his silence or ourselves for our shortcomings.

Like my daily observation of the Frisco construction project, we see the incremental changes, not the meticulous plans and measurements.

If you are like me, you can start reciting Bible verses to yourself. Promises like Jeremiah 29:11 in which God promises that he knows the plan he has for us, plans to give us a future and hope.

But it’s hard to stay hopeful when life is under construction and you seriously believe that the great engineer was wrong in the measurements. And why weren’t you consulted on the way things should be?

Instead, I remember all the times God finally answered my prayers and His plans were better than mine and never too late.

What to do while waiting? I want you to know that it’s okay to feel discouraged. I’m doing it now. But I also think we have to keep moving forward and do the best we can with what we have. And we must give ourselves grace when we feel that our efforts are not enough. We need to be confident that our prayers will be answered at the right time, in the right way, and that God’s plans are far better than ours.

“In God alone is my soul at rest; my help comes from him. He alone is my rock, my stronghold, my fortress: I stand firm. …

“In God are my safety and my glory, the rock of my strength. Take refuge in God, all of you. Trust him at all times. Spread your hearts before him, for God is our refuge. – Psalm 62: 5-8

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