Speed bumps...you either love 'em or hate 'em! Perhaps it depends on the surrounding details. Are you on time or late? What vehicle are you driving? How big is the bump!? My children like them when I'm driving over the bumps, especially in my husband's pick-up! These bumps give them a small jolt that they enjoy.
I remember driving my kiddos around one day (in our mini van, not the fun truck!) and taking the side roads to get to our destination, and we were late. I do not like being late. One particular side road had close to 15 speed bumps! It was dreadful, as I was behind a *very* slow driver who was going excessively slow over the bumps. Perhaps a side road was a bad idea!
Needless to say, we were indeed late to our destination, but our day wasn't ruined by any means. Yet on the negative side, I probably wasn't the most gracious example of a long-suffering driver! My kids had eyes and ears in the backseat, and they didn't find a great example of grace shown to the other driver.
The main thing, though, to consider is the value or purpose of the speed bumps. Aren't they to control people's speed, especially in a neighborhood or school complex? Tagging safety to the bumps makes them a bit more bearable. My perspective could have been better that particular day! I should have realized that these bumps (and the slow driver) were grace in my life so that I didn't drive faster than I should, resulting positively in the pedestrians around me being safe.
In life, we experience bumps along the way, too! Trials enter. Times get tough. Life may be frustrating or overwhelming. These trials may be simple neighborhood speed bumps. Or, our trials may be like driving through miles and miles of a bumpy construction zone. In our lives, we do not naturally thrive in the midst of these bumps.
Perhaps the middle of Romans 8 can be our guidepost when dealing with bumps in life. (There are so many neat passages, but we'll just stick with this Romans passage for now.) Verse 18 has us considering our sufferings in life. Bumps will come along the way. We see in verse 26 that sometimes our weaknesses in life are so big that we do not even know how to pray in the midst of such trials. Praise God, though, because His Holy Spirit is making intercession for us...to the throne of God!
This leads us to one of the neatest set of verses in the Bible (verses 28-29)! Believers are promised that all of our life's circumstances, including our trials, work for our good. It does not mean that our trials make us feel good. It means that our bumps serve a spiritual purpose in our lives. Specifically, as in verse 29, these trials are so that we can become more like Christ. We will not grow spiritually without trials. Without trials, our faith will not stretch.
It really comes down to perspective. Are we viewing our trials through the right lens? Are we viewing our bumps as a way to become more holy and pleasing to God? Are we increasing our faith or letting the bumps squash our trust in God? Whether we like it or not, trials are for our good...to become more like Christ. I pray that we do not waste the bumps.