Updated: Mar 26, 2022
Our adventures in Oxford and the surrounding area have come to an end. I have enjoyed and learned much during our weeks here. Included in a long list of new friend encounters, Civil War battlefields, history museums, art galleries, basketball games, gardens, wooded trails, lakes, coffee shops, and city squares, the Oxford “roundabout” has been a noteworthy teacher. My small hometown had a straight turnpike with exactly 13 traffic lights. Oxford, unfamiliarly, has several one-, two-, and even three-lane roundabouts. As a result, my introduction to her roundabouts provided me with a valuable object lesson: YIELDING.
I’m not a very confident driver and usually defer to my handsome groom-chauffer’s driving skills. As his bride-navigator, when it came to roundabout navigation, I quickly developed the “in at six, out at nine” communication style that worked well for single-lane roundabouts. However, the complexity of two and three lanes in each roundabout made my direction-giving comical: “in at six middle, past three move to right, out at nine after yield to two.” All of this had to be spoken in a two-second window as we whirled around with cars to our right and left. You can imagine the consequence of hesitation or misdirection. Round and round and round, “Oh, No,” we go. Whatever happened to “It’s green, Go, Honey” or “Turn right at the light up here, Dear?” These roundabouts, in addition to making my head spin, forced me to quickly think and desperately pray at the same time! As a result, I’ve become keenly aware that failure to obey a yield sign in a roundabout can lead to destination delays, missed opportunities, and sometimes painful consequences. The same is true for life’s roundabouts.
God’s yield signs bless me, protect me, and encourage me in life’s roundabouts. For instance, when my new friend, Dusty, whom I met in the Southern Eatery (by the way, it is the best food we’ve had so far in Mississippi), references Acts 2:28 in our conversation, God politely reminds me, “The choice to yield is yours.” When He says through David, “I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope (Acts 2:28, MSG),” He gives me a yield sign, “Choose where you pitch your tent: the way of hope or the way of fear, the way of life or the way of death.” I am blessed when I choose to yield in the direction of His way of life and hope.
As I listen to Alistair Begg’s podcast on forgiveness and forgiving, God protects me with, “Yield in the direction of forgiveness.” I have occasionally missed my exit out of this roundabout and found myself going round and round. Although I have the option to exit to the towns of Hardness or Excuse or Self-Righteousness, Jesus’ yielding to the Father’s will to become the sacrifice as payment for my sin shows me the way to the promised land of Forgiveness and beckons me to follow his lead.
When I read David Platt’s post on Jeremiah 29:11, I am encouraged to persevere through life’s difficulties. The well-worn road of suffering is traveled by each of us. Even though none of us can escape its inevitability, we can each be assured by the yield sign given to us in God’s Word that we are not alone in our suffering. The One Who Suffered for Us is with us on every road we travel. His presence brings strength, joy, and provision in every journey.
I'm looking forward to the road ahead with great hope and increasing faith as I choose to yield to each God-given sign along the way. I rejoice in the wonder that Jesus, our Maker, our Way Maker, our Banner, our Shadow from the Heat, and our Day Star is our guide. Next stop: Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Wonder what yield signs we’ll encounter there? Between now and then please know you, Precious Reader, are His beloved and my prayers for your blessings continue.
-Susan of the Wildflowers