I hate detours. They slow me down. They take me off course. They often lead me into uncharted territory. So, basically, what I'm saying is I hate detours because I have an often insatiable need to be in control. I want to know where I'm going and when I'm going to get there. That bold black arrow on the bright orange sign could just as well be pointing at me saying, You're not in charge. I hate that.
We all encounter detours as we travel life's path. Unexpected things pop up that slow us down, take us off course, lead us into uncharted territory.
But, actually, there is. Rather than resign ourselves to the fact that we're not in control, we can simply place our trust in the One who is in control. We can trust that God knows where our journey will take us even though we don't. We can trust that He will provide exactly what we need to move forward. We can trust that He will be our Guide, our Constant Companion, who will walk beside us, every step of the way.
Years ago, I received a rather unique gift from a friend. I had no idea what it was until I read the letter of authenticity that came with it. It was a lamp that dated back to the time of Jesus. It's what people used back then to get them around in the dark. It was a tiny, handheld lamp like this--with the less lumens than a 99-cent flashlight--that was the psalmist's reference when he wrote, Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path (Ps. 119:105).
When I encounter detours on my journey and am unsure of where I'm going, I often ask God to "show me the way." What I really want is for Him to shine onto my life His super-sized celestial spotlight, revealing every twist and turn along the road and bringing my ultimate destination into plain sight. Instead, he hands me an itty bitty lamp with the candlepower of, well, a candle, that illuminates just enough of the path before me to take the next step. Once I've taken that step, I have enough light to take the next.
One step at at time. Since Old Testament times, that is God's reminder of how we should do life.
I'm not to the point in my spiritual walk where I thank God when I encounter detours. But, more and more, I find myself thanking God after I've experienced them. Because often when I look back, I can see clearly that God allows detours in my life to strengthen my faith, to deepen my dependence on Him, and to teach me to trust Him to control things that I can't.
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