Everyone who’s taken a road trip before has had to make a choice; do they take the most direct path, or do they take the scenic route? A lot of people just want to get there as quickly as possible, but some opt for the road less traveled. There may come a time in your life where that’s not the path you would choose for yourself, but God chooses it for you; you might want to take the fastest way forward to rush on towards what next, but God may have put you on the slow track for a reason – perhaps even to protect you from yourself.
When the Israelites were lead out of Egypt by Moses, many of them probably wanted to get on the fast track to the promised land. Yet God knew that they were not ready to come into close contact with the Philistines yet; they had to learn how to fight. It may have seemed logical to them for God to lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, and quicker, but God will not lead you into anything that He didn’t first prepare you for. If you are facing it, it must mean God thinks you’re ready for it. God didn’t leave them to find the way by themselves however; He was with them the whole time, and His presence provided a cloud to block the desert heat from them by day, and a pillar of fire to give them light by night. And when their enemies caught up to them, God did the impossible and parted the very sea in front of them.
Taking the hard way can be frustrating and seem like a waste of time, but what this story shows us is that God knows more about our circumstances than we do. God has a habit of always leading us into situations where He is our only way out, but what was intended to break you will push you forward and promote you. God will set up trials to get us on our knees, get us back to our Bibles, wean us from the world, and make the watching world admit that there is a God!
Dr. Derek Grier
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