One day earlier this week I had ten visits scheduled throughout the day, and half of them did not happen because of a cancellations or illness. Needless to say, the day did not go exactly as planned. I could have been frustrated, but instead tried to make the best of each situation, had a chance to visit with teachers and other students more than I usually do, and got some of my other work done. These are small things, and life is full of little detours each day. But when life throws you a major detour, as when relationships in your family get a little rocky, when your job situation takes a major change, or your health takes a significant setback, then you might start to question if you are on the right track. It’s not so much IF you encounter a detour or obstacle in life, it is more WHEN you encounter these things, how do you react to them?
A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2
You have probably heard the story a dozen times. Someone grew up in the church, was wronged by someone in the church, and never wanted anything to do with the church again. Or someone you know lost a loved one and became angry and bitter toward God for their loss and more or less gave up on their faith. When things are going well, it is easy to say we love God; but when things turn South or don’t go our way or if we are criticized, if not persecuted, for our beliefs, then the true test of our faith is revealed. It is one thing to face the consequences of sin or unwise choices, but it is quite another to do what is right and be punished for it.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:44-45
When I look at things I want in my life and become impatient, I am becoming selfish and forgetting God’s promises. I only need to be reminded in scripture of how He works through decades and generations to bring about his promises in His time and not ours. I often wonder what I would be thinking when wandering through the desert with Moses after 2 months, 2 years, or 20 years. I would start to have my doubts that we were on the right course. What did Mary and Joseph think as they were planning their life and their course was significantly altered as they trusted God’s leading? But God proves faithful, even to us. So I need to be more patient when I am given a detour, yet rejoice when He answers even small prayers almost immediately. It is not an easy balance to maintain, especially when we can demand most things now and have them on our doorstep the next day in our consumer driven society. God doesn’t often work on the schedule we dictate.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7
There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12
Is there sin in your life that is causing you to stumble and fall short of where you know you could be? Repent from it and be restored. Have situations in life outside of your control taken you down a path that you did not expect? Don’t become bitter or resentful toward anyone, but seek to forgive and to make the best of each situation as you are able and ask for help before you become helpless. If you see a brother in a difficult situation, offer a hand or a word of truth in love when you are able to see possibilities he does not see. In all things, seek the counsel of the Lord and His guidance as you plan your steps and make choices in life. It will not turn out the way you planned it, but in the end, God’s detour will be better than what you could have done on your own. Put your trust in Christ as He leads you through life.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Strength and Courage in Christ,