My wife and I are never closer to divorce than when she is right.
Just kidding. We’ve already ruled out divorce as an option, but homicide… well.
Once again, just kidding.
Seriously, it really peeves me when my wife and I are engaged in passionate discourse (aka fighting) and in the midst of the battle it becomes abundantly clear that she is right.
The one time that happened was really rough on me.
You know that feeling that you have been missing the obvious? That the answer has been right there all along and you’ve just been too blind, busy or bored to pick up on it.
No? Just me? Hmm.
I get that feeling a lot while reading Scripture. I know its ‘living and active’ (Hebrews 4:12) so we shouldn’t be surprised when we read, reread and rereread and find something new at each approach.
This spiritual peekaboo is sometimes a blessing, sometimes a warning, sometimes refreshing, but always right. And, it happened again today.
I don’t know how many times I have read and preached/taught through the book of Exodus (I’ve even seen The Prince of Egypt like a hundred times), but there it was right there in front of me.
God added a new verse last night while we were sleeping!
Okay, you know He doesn’t do that, right?
Regardless, I was slapped in the face by the newness and freshness of a thought from a verse I can’t recall seeing before. I found it as I was reading through the Bible in a year.
By the way, you can create your own reading plan at www.yourversion.com and I highly recommend not only this site, but reading your Bible.
So here’s the verse. In the middle of the Exodus story, God has just brought the thunder down on Pharaoh and the Israelites are finally being set free to head to the Promise land.
It’s here we find this jewel:
Exodus 13:17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”
Wow, does this explain a lot about my life. Probably yours, too.
I think the normal tendency for humans is to look for the shortest and easiest route to the places we need to get. Whether it is in our career, relationships, finances or even spiritual issues.
Honestly, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. In fact, looking for the hard way and putting yourself in the path of most resistance would probably bump you up a couple of notches on the stupid meter.
But, what God is saying is that what is smarter, shorter and easier was not necessarily better. And, His plan is to move us in the direction of best!
How many times have I fought with God because the path we were moving down would be slower, cost more, or just generally be harder. The whole time I am kicking and fussing that this can’t be the will of God!
I even justify my objections by saying we need to go this other route and trust in God because He is able.
Problem is, this was true for the Israelites too. God could easily have used them to defeat any enemies in front of them. In fact, in just a few short years they will repeat the David and Goliath story again and again and again and again.
But, God knew something: Even though He was ready, they weren’t.
God has the advantage of knowing the past, the present and the future completely. He has a firm grasp on who He is and who we are. And when He does the math on any given situation, He will always make a better call than we will.
Sometimes the harder route, the longer path and the lesser choice is just what we need, and thank God (literally) He loves us enough to move us in the right direction.
We are all in different situations. For some of us the key should be, “Don’t rush it.” For others, we should say, “I’m in for the long haul.” For all of us, we need to commit to, “God’s way, not my way.”
Whatever you are dealing with and working on right now, continue to walk through your desert without looking back. Trust the hand of the God that is leading you and wait for the battle until God says you are ready for the fight.
It may seem like the long way around, but God has your best interests in mind. Don’t worry, the fight will come someday.
Until then, just keep on walking.
3 Replies to “The long way around”
Andy, I have found the same thing happening to me while reading the Bible latly. I think the Bible is like a huge treasure map in-side a croos-word-puzzle. The more you search and study the richer it becomes.
That ‘one time’ she was right huh? You know she will get you for that..lol.
Great message. And yes God does give us ‘teaching moments’ while we sleep.
Job 33:15 (New Living Translation)
15 He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night,
when deep sleep falls on people
as they lie in their beds.
While He doesn’t actually add new verse to the bible, of course, He does have a way of pointing out ones to us that didn’t sink in while we were awake. Sometimes too much ‘noise of life’ keeps us from hearing Him well..until we are sleeping or at least having some quiet time with Him…then yea, we ‘see’ some things we overlooked in His Word. Very good point. I have woken up with scriptures in my head many times before..its pretty neat actually. Of course the ‘idea’ is I need to go study on it. The latest one He put in my mind in my sleep was the ‘shrewd steward’ in the NT. I have to say I am still puzzling over that one..what does He want me to see in that story? How does it apply to me? Still working on that one.
Anyway in regard to your lesson here I can’t decide if I am in the long journey or the fight..maybe both? lol. It is hard to have patience’s at times though…I have to say I wrestle with Him at times on this. But as the bible says Gods timing is always perfect. Thanks for the lesson! Great work as always.
Andy, this reminds me of the Big Book on pg 164. “and surely we will see some of you as we trudge the road of happy destiny”. the road of happy destiny is not short or straight. To trudge is to walk heavily or laboriously. To plod sometimes as if in mud. Several years ago God lead me on a journey. I was not happy about it either. During that time, I learned much. Pain was very common on this journey. I learned that being angry & arguing with God wasn’t very fun. He has ALOT more patience & love then I do. Finally one night I surrendered my will and asked Him what the deal was. What was going to happen. What was I going to do? Then I heard that still & quiet voice of “Dad” say “Be still and know I AM GOD”. Man what a moment. I felt Him and knew that He was going to take care of it all. Then it dawned on me. All of these months I had been having a close personal relationship with the Father & Son. The weird feelings I was getting was the Holy Spirit. This is toooo cool. Those weird feelings are now the warm fuzzies I look forward to. I am a child of God. I have an identity. I have purpose. I have love. He kept telling me “I will”. God delivers. Usually in a most unique way. I so love Him.