I hate detours. It’s such a pain in the butt to have to redirect my path to my destination because often it is time consuming, and I’m in a hurry to get where I’m going. Sometimes it appears like you are moving in the opposite direction of your destination.
As your driving along, you see the detour sign because of construction on the road ahead, or maybe there was a serious accident, and the sign instructs you to follow a road going in the opposite direction. You curse the timing because you have some where to be, and you’re running late. Now, you’re going to be even later.
You’re plans are foiled!
It happens in all areas of life.
You had plans. They were good plans and plans you were sure were part of God’s desire for you. The plans didn’t fall into place like you wanted. Life happened and threw a detour into your plans. You wonder if you really heard from God.
I had plans.
I was going to be married at the age of twenty-six and start having children. My plan was to be a wife and a mother.
I’m not sure if I took a detour and I’m just taking a longer road to Marriedville or if I’m on a different road altogether that leads to a different destination.
Twenty-six was over a decade ago so I am definitely on some sort of detour.
I know marriage is a good thing. God made marriage and children are a gift from Him so why am I not married with children? To answer that question I have to shrug my shoulders and say I don’t know.
I had plans to become a counselor. I went to school for a few years of training and then decided to take a break and figure out if this was really for me.
While trying to figure that out, I thought I’d go to ministry school and see if ministry was for me. I felt sure God was calling me to the ministry somewhere but wasn’t sure where. Then I left my internship after a few months into it and decided this wasn’t for me.
I didn’t plan on getting sick and dealing with health issues either. Another detour in my life that I would at times also call a roadblock!
Detour after detour after detour.
In Hannah Hurnard’s classic book, “Hinds’ Feet on High Places” the main character Much-Afraid is led by the Good Shepherd’s guides for her journey to the High Places, symbolism for heaven. One day she turns a corner in her path only to find herself going in the direction of a desert place below away from the mountainous tops. Fear and anxiety grips her heart and she cries out in protest to her guides,
“I can’t go down there! He can never mean that–never! He called me up to the High Places, and this is an absolute contradiction of all that he promised.”
But the guides do not relent and continue to point to the undesirable path.
Finally, Much-Afraid cries for the Shepherd and pleads her case. The Shepherd comes to her and responds with tenderness,
“No, it is not a contradiction, only postponement for the best to become possible.”
When you’ve prayed and you’re sure of God’s promises to you and His plans, oftentimes, it appears our Guide leads us away from the promises. We cry out to Him in protest and He assures our hearts with these words, “It is not a contradiction of My promise to you, only postponement for the best to become possible.”
Through all the detours of my own life, I’ve learned to trust in the Lord’s character which means I trust that He is good and can only do good. If God can only do good, then whatever bad turns or detours I perceive as bad are not bad to Him, for His ways are not my ways, nor are His thoughts my thoughts. Furthermore, the clarity of my sight is a little near sighted and foggy. I can’t see the big picture like He can.
I am trusting that in hindsight I will see better how God’s plans worked through all the detours to bring me to His promises…the High Places.
Wherever you are, if you’ve circled around a detour or maybe you’ve reached that promise God has for you and are looking ahead to others, know this, Beloved of God, that He is good and His plans for you are all good. He isn’t going to steer you away forever from whatever promise you are seeking to see fulfilled. He is preparing you so that the best may become possible!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11