When God Doesn’t Take Us the Shortest Way

shortest way

The Shortest Way

The Israelites begged God for 430 years to let them get out of Egypt. Through a myriad of events, God caused the King to finally send them away – out of that land, heading toward the Promised Land, some 220-250 miles total. With 600,000 men (not counting women, children, or animals) we know that line had to stretch for mil,es.

It was a direct shot from Egypt to Canaan, but God didn’t take them through Philistine country, which was the shortest way. God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So He changed their course.

A Change of Plans

We know the scriptures and can understand God’s reasoning, but they were stuck in the hot, dusty, sandy dessert following their guide, Moses. They did not know why God changed their route.

No one sent them a memo explaining: “Oh, by the way, the route you’ll be taking is a long one because God knows you might change your mind about this trip. This is going to take years and not days – just so you know. He’s not sending you the shortest way. He’s taking you the long way around – just so you know.”

He has a plan even if it’s not the shortest way

As you begin the new year, you no doubt have made some resolutions. You might have some plans for the year –  or certainly some dreams. Are you facing an unknown diagnosis, a health crisis, or a financial reversal? Are you hoping that, this year, you’ll have answers to often-prayed prayers? What are your fears or your hopes for the coming year?

shortest wayTake courage from this story: 430 years of slavery and it seems as though the culmination of dreams is near. God takes them on a new route. It’s not the short way – but the long one.

There’s a reason.  We don’t know what that reason is – and it’s hard to understand WHY.

It might be that He knows there are things you need to learn before you step foot in the new land. Maybe He wants to use you to help others grow and learn to trust Him. Perhaps He’s preparing a miracle – or the fulfillment of a promise – but it’s not time yet.  He will show others His power while you wait. Whatever the reason for the detour around the path you thought you’d take – He has a plan and a purpose. He wants to bring you safely Home, and that’s why there’s a detour.

Practice being still.

shortest wayWhen the Children of Israel were stuck between Pharaoh and the  Red Sea after their hurried exodus from Egypt, it seemed there was no way out.

They were worried and frightened.

Then Moses said, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still. The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still.

Just be still. Let Him fight for you!

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Attribution for the photos belong to Moody Publishers / FreeBibleimages.org.

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