There are some things that I'm not sure I will ever understand. For example, why the Road Service would choose to begin major resurfacing work on the first day that schools are starting back. Anyway, now I've got that off my chest, I will move on.
Last week, as I was driving my son to school, I was diverted due to the above-mentioned roadwork. Elijah attends a small country school, so I was re-routed along narrow, winding back roads. It added around 10 minutes onto the journey.
It got me thinking about how sometimes God takes us the "long way around". From our perspective, there appears to be a direct and straightforward route from A to B. And, yet, it seems as if God is diverting us onto side roads that we never intended to be on. There are delays and detours on the journey that we would rather avoid.
We see this in Exodus 13. After 430 years of slavery in Egypt, God's people are finally released. One would think that God would lead them on the most direct route to the Promised Land. Yet we read: "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 ... So, God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea." (vv16; 18).
Why would God do that? We are told: "God said, 'If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.'" (v17)
God knew that, if His people would face any significant resistance, opposition, or obstacles at this stage, they would likely be completely overwhelmed and run back to the certainty of slavery.
The strange thing is, "The Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle." (v18). They thought they were ready to fight. But God knew they needed more time and preparation.
Sometimes in life, I think I'm ready for the next challenge, or opportunity. Then I become frustrated because God isn't moving as quickly as I would like Him to. Often, it's only as I look back later that I realise that I needed time to mature, grow and develop.
Perhaps right now, in some area of life, you're tired of waiting - for a job, a spouse, a new home, a promotion, a change to happen.
It feels as if God has forgotten about you. Could it be that He's actually taking you the long way around because what He is doing in you at this time is more important than what He wants to do through you?
I know that it's difficult to keep trusting in the waiting, but I pray that you will be able to see and discern how God is intimately involved in your life during this season.