Monday, September 21, 2015

Taking the Long Road - Martin Wiles

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. Exodus 13:17 NLT

We weren’t interested in taking the long road home, but afterwards we were glad we had. 

My wife and I were on our honeymoon in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Fall was in the air and winter was soon to arrive. As we ate breakfast, we watched large snowflakes arch earthward. We decided to visit Cades Cove. Taking the 10 mile loop through the snow dusted valleys was breathtaking. 

Our plans for the return trip home were to take Newfound Gap Road, but inclement weather had closed the road. We were forced to return to Gatlinburg, then Pigeon Forge, then Sevierville, and finally to the interstate that would carry us home. Though it was a longer road home, we enjoyed the views.
God’s people had languished in Egyptian slavery for 400 years. When God finally delivered them, he wasn’t about to guide them along the shortest route to the Promised Land. Doing so would have pummeled them into the midst of their enemies, the Philistines. Faced with this danger, they probably would have turned tail for Egypt. 

I enjoy shortcuts—when driving and otherwise. Give me a keyboard shortcut on my computer that will perform an action faster than the mouse, and I’ll use it. Show me a back road that will take me where I’m going quicker and with less traffic, and I’m ready.

God, however, has a habit of taking me the long way around, which tests my patience and sometimes makes me question his dependability. 

I’ve learned to trust God’s heart when I can’t understand what he’s doing—which is most of the time. Trusting him develops patience in my life—an honorable trait since I tend to be the impatient type. 

God’s long way around may very well protect me from an unforeseen danger as it did the Israelites. The long way around certainly increases my trust in God since those long way around trips take me into what appear to be out of the way places. 

When God takes you the long way around, trust his love and wisdom. 

Prayer: Father, build our trust so we will follow You no matter what route You lead us down. 

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