Last Monday, I took a trip to Ikea. Great store. Huge layout. The entire route throughout the store is marked with arrows on the floor to get you through from start to finish. Only I had one problem – I wanted to go back to check an item that was in the very beginning of my trek. As we started to retrace our steps, I decided to take a short cut & made my way through what seemed to be a more direct route. The result? We were right back where we at the point we began our “shortcut”.
There are times in life that the longer route is the very road intended by God as well. Case in point….
This morning I am reading about God’s people, the Israelites. God delivers them from slavery in Egypt. He takes them on a road trip to their promised land. But interestingly, He does not take them DIRECTLY there. God leads them by a longer route.
“For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds & return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.” (Exodus 13:17b-18a NIV).
God knew His people might face enemies they were not yet prepared to face & they would give up & want to return to Egypt. He knew that the longer route was the one that would bring a successful exodus.
In my Key Word Bible, I am given several purposes of this longer route:
- The people needed to learn not to solely observe God’s mighty works but to also learn to depend on Him for the necessities of life (Key Word Study Bible – page 87). God was able to do the mighty & instantaneous. But He also wanted His people to depend on Him daily for their needs. They were to learn to come to Him for the basics such as food & water, their daily allotment.
- They needed to learn that they could not rely on their own abilities but that all that would be accomplished in their lifetime was solely accomplished by God’s own power. (KWSB – page 87).
- They needed to learn that even though they had been delivered out of the bondage of Egypt, they still needed to depend on God to maintain that freedom. (KWSB – page 87).
And so it is with us today. Sometimes the journey seems a little long. But there are things along the way that God knows are for our best to learn. Much the same way that the Israelites had to learn to trust God, we, too, will need to trust Him.
“Unwavering trust is a rare & precious thing because it often demands a degree of courage that borders on the heroic.” (Brennan Manning).
May we trust Him & become people that are doing the heroic.