Our Bible verse for today: “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearby; for God said, “The people will change their minds and return to Egypt if they face war.” So he led the people around toward the Red Sea along the road of the wilderness.” Exodus 13:17-18 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The path forward is seldom straight.”
The country music singer Garth Brooks once wrote a song called, “Unanswered Prayers”. It was about a night when he ran into an old high school girlfriend. As they talked, he remembered how he was so in love with this woman and how he used to pray that God would make her his wife. But the romance fizzled, they both moved on, and eventually he met and married the real woman of his dreams.
After that high school romance ended, there must have been some number of years of more failed relationships, aloneness, and periods of wondering why God had not answered those original prayers. But as he looked back on it the man realized that although the path that led him to his wife was long and took many twists and turns, it had been the right path after all and God knew exactly what he was doing.
In today’s Bible verse we read of how the time when God delivered the nation of Israel from captivity in Egypt. He didn’t lead them straight to the Promised Land by the most direct route. That would have been too easy. And if it was too easy, they wouldn’t learn and grow and become strong. Instead they would be weak.
So God led them out into the wilderness for awhile. It would be during the wilderness years that the people would have to face challenges, deal with struggles, learn to rely on God, and they would become strong and resilient. The easy and direct route was not the best route for them. It usually isn’t the best route for us either, and for the same reasons.
As you seek guidance from God you will naturally be looking for the easiest and most direct route from where you are to where you want to be; in your mind that answer would make the most sense, but you will probably be wrong. Our paths through life are almost never straight. There are always twists and turns. And the problem is, if we’re looking for and expecting God to give us a simple, easy, direct way forward, we will probably dismiss any guidance that doesn’t look like that. We will assume it isn’t from Him because it’s not what we were expecting. But you would then be dismissing the very guidance God is giving you, and potentially missing the good things He wants to lead you to.
Don’t dismiss God’s guidance just because it isn’t a quick and easy solution and therefore not what you were expecting.