(I’m at Missions Fest Alberta in Edmonton today through Sunday. Join my workshop on Saturday at 1:30 or stop by our International Messengers booth and introduce yourself!)
I admit it – sometimes I just don’t understand God. Why does He drop detours in my path when I’m trying to travel from Point A to Point B? Doesn’t He know that changing my direction messes up my plans? Doesn’t He know that His path sometimes requires more time than I’d prefer to spend on a particular journey?
Of course He knows. And when He chooses a particular path for me, it’s because He has a reason! Exodus 13:17,18 illustrates this beautifully: “When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, ‘If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’ So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.”
God could have led the Israelites on a shortcut – the path that seemed best according to human logic – but doing so would have taken them through Philistine territory and risked a war with the enemy. God knew that engaging in battle would have proven too much for His people. And so, He led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness to the Red Sea. The path that seemed illogical to the Israelites was actually planned with their best interest in mind.
I’ll repeat that last sentence even if only for my own sake: The path that seemed illogical to the Israelites was actually planned with their best interest in mind.
This thought brings me great comfort and reassurance. According to the Israelites’ account, there’s no need to be afraid when life takes unexpected detours. There’s no reason for impatience when a long and winding road takes more time than a shortcut. There’s no need to divert and dash a different direction. If we’re in right relationship with the Lord and He’s our Leader, then we can trust Him and His ways. He knows the dangers that lurk and the battles He wants to avoid on our behalf.
What battles have you avoided by staying on His path?
Isn’t it comforting to know God has a good plan? I’ve been reading through the Old Testament and although this is not my first time reading the Israelites’ journey, it’s the first time that it keeps jumping out at me how God repeatedly says His motive in leading and lawgiving is their benefit.
So true, Janet. God didn’t give His laws to complicate our lives. He did it for our well-being because He loves us. In fact, I read in the OT recently where God gave the Sabbath as a gift to us. That was a new thought for me. He knows what our bodies and brains need to stay refreshed, so He gifted us with a day of rest. Nice.