roundabouts, detours and other disturbing distractions; if this isn’t a metaphor for life, I don’t know what is. It seems lately every where I go I encounter a road block and am rerouted on a detour; a detour that takes me where I have never been before, where I never intended to go, where I do not want to go and where I inevitably end up lost and late for whatever it is that brought me out in the first place.
Now, although this is an all too fitting metaphor for my life, I am speaking of a literal reality in my life at this present time. This reality is shared by all who live in my city because a short section of one of our major highways has been closed in both directions so that road repairs can be done. It may be a small section of interstate, but it is one that everyone uses to get to, through or around our city. This particular well traveled road seems to connect many people to many places. So now we are all faced with the challenge of finding new ways to get to our old places.
I have not found this to be an easy task. I am comfortable with my familiar routes. Now I have to venture into the unknown (along with everyone else although I’m thinking they have the advantage of GPS systems, which I don’t) Nevertheless, these closed roads stand between me and my desired destinations.
You would think by now I’d be a pro at dealing with closed roads and life’s detours, I’ve faced enough of them over the years, as most of us have. We all encounter roadblocks from time to time. (or in some cases, life seems to be one roadblock after another) It’s how we deal with the detours those roadblocks demand of us that makes all the difference.
I usually get lost when a closed road forces me to detour. I end up in unfamiliar territory. The plan I started out with now no longer works. I often end up asking for directions. (sometimes more than once) I also discover people and places that I never would have otherwise, except for the detested detour. Sometimes I discover a better way than what I had chosen for myself and been denied access to. (yes, the literal and the metaphorical merge at every intersection of experience here!)
When I am lost I remember “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)
When I am discouraged by all the detours I must travel, I recall:
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”(Proverbs 19:21)
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
I am not off course after all, but right where God has planned for me to be. (not where I planned but where God purposed for me)
When it is too dark for me to see clearly:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
When the detour seems never ending:
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” (Psalm 27:14 & Psalm 40:1-3)
When the detour terrifies me:
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
When the detour is too difficult:
” I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35 & 37)
The detours in my physical and my spiritual life are frequent rather than few and far between. But I can rest in the sure knowledge that my Heavenly Father is with me in my detours (which aren’t detours at all to Him) and He will deliver me from or see me safely through to the other side of each one. I am not lost, I am not off His path, I am not alone! It is God’s purposes that are prevailing as He orders my steps through each and every detour.
“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever — do not abandon the works of Your hands.” (Psalm 138:8)
“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
sincerely, Grace Day