Traffic - I know it well. It is one of the most helpless and frustrating situations in the world. It is the source of heated words screamed in silence and anger for complete strangers that almost justifying the things that you are thinking about doing to them. I will go ridiculously out of my way to avoid being stuck in a traffic jam, especially if it is a complete stand still for no apparent reason. I hate sitting in my car and realizing that somewhere up ahead is something that must hate me and want me to loose my mind. I feel the scorn of the people sitting behind me and I feel scorn for those in front of me. If I see things beginning to stack up in front of me I am immediately evaluating possible exit strategies and ways to avoid the dark depression that is looming in the mass of metal ahead of me. On Easter weekend my family and girlfriend went to a friend’s ranch in central Texas to celebrate the Reason for the season and Christ’s victory over death. It was an awesome time together and very refreshing. On the way home driving north up Interstate 45 toward Dallas the traffic started to slow down because the highway was being merged to one lane and then encouraged by a guy with a orange flag to exit onto the frontage road. I couldn’t see any reason ahead except for the guy and his truck with some moderately official looking lights was telling us to exit. So as I waited through the slow trek down the frontage road until we could get back on the highway I tried to comprehend what was causing such a delay. Then I saw it. On a bridge on the southbound side of the highway there was an eight-car pile up completely blocking the whole bridge. The frontage road was under construction so every single car behind the pile up was stuck with no options. I looked at my odometer when we passed the accident to see how much of a wait it was causing. Eight miles later we watched as unsuspecting cars slowed down to join the herd of stranded and helpless vehicles. I wanted to make a sign that said, “Turn back now – you are about to waste hours of your life in traffic.” As we drove by and we saw people sitting on the hoods, in the back of trucks and wandering around looking for purpose in the pointless waiting. They had no idea why they were waiting or what was causing them to be stranded with no escape. They were mingling and trading phone numbers and saying they would remember each other and the Easter Sunday they wasted precious hours in traffic. The two emotions that ran through my mind were compassion and “nany-nany-boo-boo.” Nany-nany-boo-boo” because it wasn’t me and I was feeling pretty smug that I wasn’t there. Compassion because I have been there and done that before and I know how awful it is. And only because I identified with them could I feel their pain and know what they were going through. I want to do something to help them but I couldn’t. Fortunately for us, Christ is not that way, He can do something. In Matthew 14:14 it says, “When Jesus…saw the large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick.” And then later on in the chapter He goes on to feed 5000 people and meet their needs. He was human and so He understood where they were coming from and what they were feeling. He could relate so He knew what they needed. In Hebrews the author understands this when discussing our relationship to the Risen Jesus. In 4:15-16 he says Jesus isn’t someone “who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet with out sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Jesus has been there and done that and He did with perfection. He knows how to live life to the fullest and how to rely completely on God for our strength. He understands what it is like to stumble and fall and to be discouraged. He has been there in the traffic of life and He has understood and mastered the challenges and He will guide us through if we will approach the throne and ask.