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The Roundabout Way

When we are ready to go somewhere, and especially if you use a GPS, you have a choice to go the most direct, fastest way or you can go the shortest or you can go round about. Most of us like the fastest way. We want to get where we want to go. Sometimes, however, it may be to our advantage to go the roundabout way, even if it does take longer. That requires patience.

In our town, they have established roundabouts in places where you would normally have a light or a four way stop. It took some getting used to because we all liked going direct. Now we enter a circle from four different directions and it requires patience and letting your neighbor go first. It takes a little longer to get through, but in the end, it’s safer.

God uses roundabouts when dealing with us too. He did just that with the Israelites right after they left Egypt on their way to the Promised Land. He didn’t lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory even though that was the shortest route. He was concerned that if the Israelites were faced with a battle so soon after leaving Egypt, they would panic and run back there instead of pushing forward to their goal.

In essence, the Lord sees ahead of us at all times. He knows whether the direct route is good at that moment. He knows what lies around the corner and how we may be thrown off course unless we go round about.

By going round about, He saved the Israelites from a battle they could not win, and one that would have shaken their confidence to the core. Because they followed God’s direction, they saw a miracle performed right before their eyes. The Lord created an escape route for them to walk right through the Red Sea as the Pharaoh's army was destroyed.

Perhaps you are in a situation where you see a clear path forward, but you can’t understand why every time you try to go in that direction, something gets in the way. You may have the right goal or destination in mind, but you have the wrong route. It could be that going your way would actually create more issues for you. You just can’t see it yet. That’s where patience comes in. Maybe you should take a moment, slow down the pace and trust that the Lord may have a roundabout way for you to go.

It takes trust in Him and not in ourselves to travel roundabout.  It means we understand our limits and His limitless power. It means taking the time to learn the lesson before us, or to see the value of going in a different direction. Sometimes I wonder if we should pray for the roundabout way instead of the way we think we should go. If Jesus is truly our hope, and we believe that, then we should be glad when He shifts us to a different path.

What miracle or change is waiting for you if you only take the Lord’s roundabout way?

‘With Your unfailing love You lead the people You have redeemed. In Your might, You guide them to Your sacred home...You will bring them in and plant them on Your own mountain--the place, O, Lord reserved for Your own dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, that Your hands have established. The Lord will reign forever and ever!” Exodus 15:13, 17-18

Prayer

Lord,

You are the same yesterday, today, and forever! Those who know Your name trust You because You have not abandoned any who seek You. This is why I can confidently say, the Lord is my helper, and I won’t be afraid. What can people do to me? You will meet my every need out of Your riches in the glory that is only found in You. Help me to daily live by faith and not by sight. In return I throw all my anxiety onto You, because You care about me; You are with me now, You protect me everywhere I go, and You will bring me back to Your side. You will not leave me until You have done everything that You have promised me. You are my strength and my shield. My heart trusts You. I was helped, my heart rejoiced, and I thank You with my song. I wait with open arms to receive all the miracles and blessings that will come in Your roundabout way! AMEN!


Photo by Lucas Miguel on Unsplash

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